Graduate Certificate in Music Education and Autism


This program will be offered remotely for summer 2021. 

Program Overview

Berklee College of Music's Graduate Certificate in music education and autism is the first of its kind. It is designed for individuals who wish to gain specialized knowledge, skills, and experience in teaching music to students with autism, but do not wish to pursue a graduate degree. This program features innovative training both in and out of the classroom, including focused classroom learning experiences, hands-on teaching opportunities in the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, and a community of educators and scholars committed to providing quality music education to all students.

Students will be guided in their autism-focused studies by leaders in the field who are dedicated to making music accessible to all individuals. Additionally, many faculty members hold prominent positions in state and national music education organizations, and are passionate about helping students become the best musicians and music educators they can be.

Berklee College of Music features groundbreaking arts education programs for people with special needs, including private music lessons, music classes for young children, Inner Harmony Chorus, an iPad Ensemble, and Autism-Friendly Performances. These programs present unique and incredible opportunities for music education students to gain practical experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum in variety of settings.

Note: This is a non-licensure program. Students who start this program prior to summer 2022 will graduate from Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Students starting this program in summer 2022 or later will graduate from Berklee College of Music. 

Our Students

Students in this program understand that the population of individuals with autism spectrum disorder continues to grow at a rapid pace. They believe today’s music educators must be prepared to teach all of their students effectively and are passionate about creating musical experiences for students on the autism spectrum and their loved ones. Additionally, they are organized in their efforts to stay ahead of their demanding schedules and enjoy collaborating with colleagues to set and reach shared goals.

A bachelor's degree and proficiency in one or more instrument(s) are required for admission. The bachelor's degree does not need to be in music or music education.

Core Curriculum

The highlight of the certificate program is the intense focus on specialized courses with topics in special needs and autism-related studies, including Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs with distinguished guest artist Alice Hammel, Special Needs and the Gifted Child, Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders, Practicum in Music Education and Autism, and Autism, Music, and Behavioral Teaching Methods.

The program is designed to accommodate a working teacher’s schedule by offering evening courses in the fall and spring semesters, as well as two full-time summer sessions.

Please note that this program does not offer an initial licensure to teach music education in the state of Massachusetts.

Your Future

Graduates of the certificate program will be prepared for music teaching positions at public and private schools, including those for individuals with special needs. They will also be ready to teach in a wide range of settings, such as integrated classrooms, sub-separate classrooms, one-on-one private lessons or tutoring, private teaching studios, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals.

How to Apply

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