Music Education

Welcome to Music Education at UNC Charlotte!

The Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree at UNC Charlotte is comprised of a rigorous, research-based curriculum with two concentrations: Instrumental/General Music and Choral/General Music. Both concentrations prepare candidates for teaching general music, orchestra, band, and choir while leading to K-12 Music licensure in North Carolina. Our program provides in-the-field teaching opportunities beginning with the second semester of study. These experiences include community service, directed observations, lab teaching, and full-time student teaching and allow our students to gain experience teaching students of varying abilities and diversities. We sponsor a chapter of the Collegiate National Association for Music Education (CNAfME) for which professional development workshops and opportunities are realized throughout the academic year—including attending our state music education conference in Winston-Salem (NCMEA In-Service). To date, our job placement rate for graduating students who seek teaching positions is 100%. Others choose to pursue graduate-level degrees and have entered into graduate programs at prestigious Schools of Music.

Our program…

  • Prepares professionals to be knowledgeable, effective, reflective, collaborative, and responsive practitioners who are leaders in their fields.
  • Prepares highly effective and ethical professionals who have a positive impact on children, youth, families, communities, and schools.
  • Prepares professionals for success in diverse teaching situations including urban, suburban, and rural settings.
  • Believes that achieving equity broadly, first and foremost, involves an explicit commitment to antiracism, with the understanding that anything less than antiracism (i.e., racism and non-racism) is not an option.

Our Faculty’s Core Values

  • We are committed to providing our students with the highest quality of music teacher preparation through carefully sequenced, research-based curricula, projects, and authentic pedagogical experiences.
  • We are committed to the advancement of music through research and scholarly activity in order to implement best practices in all teaching/ensemble learning situations.
  • We value diversity, equity, and a strong sense of community among our students and faculty.
  • We believe in and are committed to antiracism in all of its forms. We value and practice diversity and inclusion, equal opportunity, and the promotion of academic endeavors that oppose systemic racism and injustice.
  • We are committed to establishing and developing professional relationships with our students as we guide them to become teachers, professionals, scholars, and leaders.

Our Concentrations & Music Education Faculty

  • Click here for the program in Choral/General Music
  • Click here for the program in Instrumental/General Music
  • For more information, please contact Dr. Fred Spano, Coordinator of Music Education or Ms. Tesh Ramey, Arts Education Specialist & Arts Education Advisor
  • Dr. Evelyn Orman, Professor of Music Education
    • MUED 2200 Foundations of Music Education
    • MUED 2141 Music Development & Learning
    • MUSC 2151 Introduction to Music Technology
    • MUSC 4094 Instrumental Ensemble Techniques
  • Dr. Fred Spano, Coordinator of Music Education
    • MUED 4190 Choral Methods
    • MUED 4190 Choral Methods Lab
    • MUED 4192 General Music Methods
    • MUED 4192 General Music Methods Lab
    • MUED 4467 Student Teaching in Music (General Music and Choral)
    • MUSC 4090 Choral Ensemble Techniques
  • Dr. Jennifer Whitaker, Professor of Music Education
    • MUED 2100 Introduction to Music Education
    • MUED 4194 Instrumental Methods
    • MUED 4194L Instrumental Methods Lab
    • MUED 4467 Student Teaching in Music (Instrumental)
    • MUPF 1117 Instrumental Lab Ensemble

Collegiate NAfME (CNAfME)

The Department of Music sponsors Chapter 891 of the Collegiate National Association for Music Education (CNAfME), the only professional organization that involves all types of music educators (i.e., general music, band, choir, orchestra). However, membership is open to all students in the Department. Each year collegiate members attend the annual North Carolina Music Educators Conference (NCMEA) in Winston-Salem at a reduced conference price. The NCMEA Conference is an exceptional music education event that includes high-quality honor ensembles; choir, band, and orchestra performances; along with a wealth of professional development workshops, research sessions, and music vendor exhibits addressing all aspects of music teaching. During the conference, collegiate members are able to network with NC teachers and assist with the Department of Music’s exhibitor booth. The next NCMEA Conference will be 6-9 November 2021 in Winton-Salem.

The CNAfME chapter at UNC Charlotte also sponsors events for members including on-campus workshops in music education and fundraisers for local school programs. Members also gain valuable experience working with the UNC Charlotte Invitational Honor Bands. Social events have included game nights, caroling, and informal dinners. For more information, email Makayla Belcher at Select this link to learn more about the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and its benefits for collegiate members.

Festivals & Community Outreach

  • UNC Charlotte Invitational Honor Bands
  • Charlotte Youth Wind Ensemble (CYWE)
  • UNC Charlotte’s Children’s Choir (as part of MUED 4192L)
  • UNC Charlotte’s Youth Choir (as part of MUED 4190L and MUSC 4090)

Awards and News of Graduates

reganRegan Sawyer Eudy, a 2020 graduate, is an elementary general music teacher at Mallard Creek STEM Academy. During her first year of teaching, Mrs. Eudy received the 2021 Rookie Teacher of the Year for the Mallard Creek STEM Academy Elementary School.

Laudatory remarks included, Mrs. Eudy “has brought so much joy to our school through music, including our very first choir, Treble Makers. She is passionate about music and does an exceptional job making music education fun and engaging for all learners.” Mrs. Eudy is a member of the National Association for Music Education and regularly attends the North Carolina Music Educators Association Conference.

maloneDareion Malone When Mr. Malone’s corporate job was eliminated in the 2008 economic downturn, he decided to return to school to pursue his first love, music. A baritone, he enrolled at UNC Charlotte and received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2013. In 2019, he received the College of Arts + Architecture Distinguished Alumni Award in Music.

Mr. Malone was the Union County Public Schools 2020-21 Teacher of the Year. Selected from among 10 finalists, he was praised by Union County Public Schools (UCPS) officials for his “ability to connect with all students, regardless of their background or musical abilities.”

“When faced with hard circumstances, I want them to always think of the best response to what they’re facing,” he said in an article on the UCPS website. “Not the best reaction, but the best response—I always want them to choose the best version of themselves.” A strong advocate for music education, Mr. Malone holds membership in the National Association for Music Education, American Choral Directors Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America Inc. He serves on the board of the Choral Section of the North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA) and is an active choral adjudicator for WorldStrides Heritage Festivals.

derek smithDerek Smith (pictured above, second from the right) earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2013. Mr. Smith currently teaches band at Hickory Ridge Middle School (Harrisburg, NC) and is a performing musician throughout the Charlotte area. Mr. Smith’s exceptional teaching has been recognized both locally and nationally. He received the Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year and the 2020 Stanly County Arts Educator of the Year Awards. He was recently selected as a quarter-finalist for the 2022 Music Education Award presented by the National Recording Academy® and Grammy Museum ®. This Music Educator Award recognizes current educators from kindergarten through college in public or private schools, honoring those teachers who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and demonstrated a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. 

Tucker Smith
Tucker Smith, a 2019 graduate, is currently the Assistant Director of Bands at Asheboro High School. During his first year of teaching, Mr. Smith
was named the 2019-2020 "Apple of Excellence" award winner for Outstanding First Year Teacher in the Asheboro City School District.  He is involved in teaching all of the AHS band ensembles and is the primary instructor for the Comet Blues Jazz Ensemble.

“I am certain I would not feel as prepared as I am to be a new teacher without the education, guidance, and support I have received from the UNC Charlotte Department of Music and the Music Education Faculty.” As a young music education advocate, Mr. Smith holds active memberships in the National Association for Music Education, North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA), Central District Bandmasters Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America Inc.