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Music Education Certification


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 by Leonard Bernstein: “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.” Thus, all undergraduate students seeking certification in music education must also be a major in either the Performance or Composition option. This means that music education is a viable career option for all music majors.

The K-12 Music Education certification program can be completed in two ways:

  1. The K-12 Music Education certification is available as a three-semester post graduate program. Candidates must already hold an undergraduate degree in music in order to apply. Download the Curriculum Planning Sheet.
  2. At Carnegie Mellon, undergraduates who wish to earn a K-12 certification do so as a performance or composition major who adds the Music Education certification program. If you are an undergraduate seeking a Music Education certification, apply and audition as a music performance major, and, if accepted, express interest in pursuing the Music Education certificate, which you would begin in your sophomore year of your performance degree study. Download the Curriculum Planning Sheet.

Graduates of the certificate program are eligible for licensure to teach instrumental, vocal, and general music (K-12) in the public schools of Pennsylvania and reciprocating states. The placement record of Carnegie Mellon certificate graduates is outstanding. Our graduates are teaching in elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and in private studios across the nation and in several foreign countries. Pennsylvania certification is currently honored in many other states.

Download the Music Education Certification Program Booklet.

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.