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Music Education


The Master of Music degree in Music Education is designed to meet the needs of practicing music educators. A personalized course of study based on academic background and professional interests is selected in consultation with the student’s advisor. Music Education master's courses.

The faculty of the School of Music believes that strong teachers are first of all strong performers or strong composers. We view music educators as those who must be competent subject matter specialists and competent specialists in educational practice. This philosophy was superbly articulated.

“To be the best teachers possible, we need to be the best musicians we can be, not teachers who happen to be teaching music, but musicians who specialize in the art of teaching.”
- Leonard Bernstein



For further information regarding the Master of Music in Music Education, please refer to the Music Education Master's Program Booklet.


Academic Overview

The degree requirements for the Master of Music in Music Education consist of five Music Education core courses, as well as additional music courses and electives that are selected by the graduate student and their advisors.

Incoming graduate students are first given competency tests to determine if remedial work is needed. All competency examinations must be completed before the end of the second semester.

A wide range of electives are available to meet the diverse career needs of the graduate student. Some students elect courses outside the school. Others prefer to do the majority of their elective work in the School of Music and explore in greater depth such areas as music history, theory, pedagogy, chamber music, computer music, recording technology and accompanying.

General Requirements

Students who are accepted to begin work in the master’s program are not automatically candidates for the degree. They must complete 36 units of graduate courses with an average of “B” or better before they can be considered as candidates for the degree.

Furthermore, the grade of at least a “B” must be earned each semester in the student’s major area. Graduate students may be dropped from the program if they fail to maintain the professional standards of the school or fail to make sufficient progress during any semester.

All candidates for the Master of Music degree must also pass a comprehensive review in their major area. Successful completion of this review is a requirement for graduation. The comprehensive review for Music Education consists of both a written examination and an oral examination covering all Music Education coursework.

Effective in Fall 2012, all candidates for the master of music in the School of Music must complete the master of music program within a period of seven years from original matriculation as a master’s student. Once this time-to-degree limit has lapsed, the person may resume work towards a master’s degree only if newly admitted to a currently offered master’s degree program under criteria determined by that program. Under extenuating circumstances, students may appeal for extension of the time to degree limit.

Community Outreach

All the skills needed to present classical and/or contemporary music to the public are absolutely essential for tomorrow’s musician. While the core of each student’s educational program is performance, composition, conducting, or music education, every Carnegie Mellon student is expected to develop the communication skills necessary to engage tomorrow’s audiences in their artistic work.

Therefore, all master’s degree students are required to present at least one outreach activity during their two years of study in the graduate program. This activity can be any musical presentation with an emphasis on education. Each student makes all the arrangements necessary to present his/her program out in the community, with an emphasis on interacting with audience, helping them to understand and appreciate the music being shared.

For further information regarding the Master of Music in Music Education, please refer to the Music Education Master's Program Booklet.  
Carnegie Mellon courses are measured in units rather than credits or credit hours, with three units equaling a standard credit. More information here

Robert Dell

Artist Lecturer in Music Education

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Robert Dell is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music with both a BFA in Music Education and BA in Clarinet Performance while studying under Louis Paul.  His significant influences in music education were  Dr. Oleta Benn, Dr. Carolyn Kennedy, Dr. Richard Strange. Dr. Frederick Dorian and Dr. Nokolai Lapotnikoff. In addition, he earned both a M.Ed. and an Ed.D.  in Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Dr. Dell has been an educator and administrator in the PA public school system for over 40 years and has been honored on numerous occasions as a Teacher of Excellence by the Teacher Excellence Foundation.  His diverse background includes teaching assignments at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  Those assignments have included middle school general music, AP music theory, comprehensive musicianship, concert band, wind symphony, jazz band and marching band. 

He has conducted seminars on the topics of effective lesson design, rehearsal techniques, ensemble adjudication, curriculum integration, school spirit, school climate, and student leadership.  As an administrator, he was responsible for curriculum development, student achievement, staff development, teacher evaluations, and the general administration of a junior-senior high school in Western Pennsylvania.  For many years Dr. Dell served as a cooperating teacher for aspiring music educators in the CMU music department.

Presently, Dr. Dell volunteers in the Music Therapy Department of a local nursing home, serves as a guest conductor and adjudicator for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), and participates in the Washington Jazz Orchestra.


Paul Gerlach

Artist Lecturer in Music Education, Director of Kiltie Band

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In addition to leading Carnegie Mellon's legendary Kiltie Band, the university's marching and concert ensemble for non-majors, Paul Gerlach brings a unique and varied background to his position as artist-lecturer in music education. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon, he holds a bachelor of fine arts degrees in applied music (trumpet) and music education, a master of fine arts degree in applied music (trumpet) and another master of fine arts in musicology (thesis topic: The Influence of Politics in Russian-Soviet Music.) He studied trumpet with Anthony L. Pasquarelli, conducting with Richard Strange and musicology with Frederick Dorian. 

As an instructor at Carnegie Mellon, Gerlach has taught methods courses in brass, woodwind, percussion and marching band techniques. Concurrently, he worked 32 years in the public schools teaching instrumental music at the elementary, junior and senior high levels, and general music grades K-8. Gerlach devotes considerable time to conducting. Conducting experiences include guest, rehearsal and substitute assignment with the Pennsylvania Music Educators' Honors Band, Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble, Carnegie Mellon Pre-college Wind Ensemble and Trumpet Ensembles, Carnegie Mellon Youth Brass Band, River City Youth Brass Band, and the Lock Haven University Symphonic Band. He is currently music director of the Allegheny Brass Band.


John McCarthy

Artist Lecturer in String Methods

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John McCarthy has played viola in orchestras of the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre at the Benedum Center for 25 years. He has also played for the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Chatauqua Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Moscow Festival Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Moiseyev Ballet. Conductors that Mr. McCarthy as worked with include Joseph Silverstein, Eiji Oue, Robert Page and Lorin Maazel. His chamber music teachers were Eugene Phillips, Josef Gingold and Jascha Brodsky. Mr. McCarthy has also participated in the St. Barths Chamber Music Festival in the French West Indies and Haiti. 

Mr. McCarthy has taught for over 20 years in the Trinity Area School District in Washington, PA and is the founder of the orchestra program in the district. He holds a BFA in viola performance from Carnegie Mellon University as well as a music education certification. His viola was made in Milan by Leandro Bisiach in 1899.

Dr. Natalie Ozeas

Professor of Music Education, Director of Graduate Studies

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Natalie Ozeas holds a B.F.A. in Music Education, a B.F.A. in Applied Music (clarinet), an elementary certificate in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, an M.F.A in Music Education, all from Carnegie Mellon, and an Ed.D. in Humanities from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Dr. Ozeas taught preschool through high school for over 20 years. Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, she was Professor of Music and conductor of the choir at California University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ozeas is currently a Professor in the School of Music and Director of Graduate Studies. She appears frequently as an adjudicator and guest conductor for junior and senior high school choral festivals, and has directed workshops in Dalcroze Eurhythmics throughout the United States in Europe and in Asia. 

She is a past President of the Dalcroze Society of America, past President of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, past President of the Music Educators Association, Eastern Division and immediate past National Chair of the Urban Music Leadership Conference. She chaired the development of a Pennsylvania Arts Curriculum. As a member of the National Executive Board of MENC, she acted as liaison to the National Research Society and served on its editorial board. For the past fourteen years, Dr. Ozeas has directed the Urban Music Education Project with the Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg School Districts. Dr. Ozeas was inducted into the PMEA Hall of Fame in 2011.