Graduate Certificate in Music Education and Autism

Department

Program Description

Berklee’s Graduate Certificate in Music Education and Autism, part of the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs (BIAESN), is designed for individuals who wish to gain specialized knowledge, skills, and experience in teaching music to students with autism and other disabilities, 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 BIAESN, and a community of educators and scholars committed to providing quality music education to all students.

Students will be guided in their studies by leaders in the field who are dedicated to making music accessible to all individuals. Berklee is a pioneer in the field of music education for students with disabilities. In addition to being the first conservatory to offer specialized educator training programs in this area, it was also the first to launch an institute devoted to this area. 

The BIAESN includes three main areas of work:

Students in this program will have the opportunity to teach in and observe the work of BIAESN's arts education programs, gaining valuable hands-on experience. They will also participate in a wide range of professional development offerings, including an annual conference. Additionally, they have the opportunity to engage with distinguished guest scholars and practitioners within courses and other program-related activities. 

The program’s schedule includes three semesters of coursework: Summer Session I, the fall semester, and the spring semester. This schedule is designed to accommodate music educators who may be on a K–12 teaching calendar by offering evening courses in the fall and spring semesters, and a full-time summer semester.

Entrance Requirements
  • A bachelor’s degree in music, music education, or music pedagogy is preferred. Those with a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the intersection of arts education and special education (e.g., expressive arts therapy, music therapy, speech language pathology, special education, music psychology) will also be considered.
  • An audition on a musical instrument or voice.
  • An admissions interview with music education representatives.

 

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • construct music education curricular modifications that meet the needs of students with autism and other disabilities;
  • execute adaptive pedagogical strategies in music education that meet the needs of students with autism and other disabilities;
  • integrate evidence-based pedagogical strategies from special education into their music education pedagogy;
  • evaluate teaching practices in music education for students with autism and other disabilities;
  • design assessments that provide valuable information about student learning and progress for students with autism and other disabilities in music education settings;
  • employ technology to promote student learning for students with autism and other disabilities in music education settings; and
  • execute original research in the field of music education for students with disabilities.

 

Curriculum and Courses

The highlight of the Graduate Certificate in Music Education and Autism is specialized curriculum in special needs and autism.

During the fall and spring semesters, students have the opportunity to create a meaningful bridge between their graduate studies and their teaching practice. The academic year courses consist of practicum courses in which students apply what they are learning to the classroom through observations and action research. 

Required Courses (15 credits)

  • Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 credits)
  • Special Needs and the Gifted Child (3 credits)
  • Autism, Music, and Behavioral Teaching Methods (3 credits)
  • Directed Study: Music Education and Autism Practicum (3 credits)
  • Directed Study: Music Education and Autism Practicum (3 credits)

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