A Guide to Success in Music Education

For students pursuing the music education major, the classroom, testing, and fieldwork requirements can seem like a lot to balance and still graduate on time. This simple guide can help remain on track to graduate with your bachelor's degree and teaching license by suggesting exactly which requirements you should be fulfilling each semester. 

Freshman Year

First Semester

  • Come to the Music Education meeting.
  • Familiarize yourself with your "advising grid" and other materials on the Department website (http://www.uww.edu/cac/music/).
  • Get to know your academic advisor.
  • Be successful in all classes, including studio.
  • Join professional organizations—particularly CMENC (Collegiate Music Education Organization — a.k.a. NAfME Collegiate), but also consider groups that relate to your future work as a music educator: ASTA (American String Teachers Association), NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), and JEN (Jazz Educators Network). There are active student chapters of most of these groups at UWW. It’s never too early to start thinking like a professional!
  • Attend Wisconsin Music Education Association Conference in Madison. Check the date of the conference on the WMEA website.

Start volunteer work in music educational settings to satisfy requirements "Experience with Learners" for admission to Professional Education. (Verification of experience with learners and professional service in music a context)

Second Semester

  • BE CERTAIN to register for MUSED 160 Introduction to Teaching Music. Make sure acquire your observation hours during that class.
  • Maintain your GPA. You will need a minimum 2.75 GPA to apply for Professional Education program!

Sophomore Year

First Semester

  • Take and pass COMM 110 Fundamentals of Speech. To be eligible for admission to Professional Education, students must pass that course.
  • Take and pass the PPST during this semester.

    The PPST (Pre-Professional Skills Test) is required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and is part of the Praxis I Series. It is an academic skills (reading, writing, mathematical) assessment designed to be taken early in your college career to measure the basic academic skills vital to all teacher candidates. You can find information about the PPST on the following website: http://www.uww.edu/coeps/academics/licensure/tests

    How to prepare for the PPST? Copies of the test manuals and a previous test are on reserve in the lower level of the library. Books of sample tests are available for purchase at the University Bookstore or online. Academic Support Services (262-472-1114) and the Minority Teacher Preparation Program (262-472-3216) administer practice tests at the beginning of each semester and offer test preparation services.

    To register for the PPST go to https://www.ets.org/portal/site/iserpraxis/

    The paper-based tests are administered on selected Saturday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. by the UWW Testing Center (262-472-5613) at least four times each year (requires one month advance reservation). To check the schedule of the tests go to: http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/PRAXIS/lists/praxis_tc_domestic_WI.html
    • Students are required to pay "ETS-Praxis I Series" for the tests (this is done online during the registration process). Information about registering for the paper-based test is available in the Testing Center, which is located in Roseman 2042 or at the Winther Hall Information Desk.
    • If you missed the deadline for paper-based PPST, you can still take the computer-based test at selected testing sites (not at UWW). The closest testing sites are in Brookfield, but to see the closest site to wherever you are, go to http://etsis4.ets.org/tcenter/ The computer-delivered tests are given year-round by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call Prometric Candidate Services at 1-800-853-6773.
    • What if you fail a section? Arrange to retake that section as soon as possible! You will either need to pass all three sections before applying to Professional Education, or make at least two attempts to pass failed sections before applying for an exception.
  • Attend Phase 1 meeting at College of Education—see: http://www.uww.edu/coeps/advising-admissions/admissions/phase_meetings
  • Renew your CMENC membership and other professional memberships
  • Attend the WMEA conference.
  • Maintain your GPA. You will need a minimum 2.75 GPA to apply for the Professional Education program!

Second Semester

  • Attend (or watch the video on line) a Phase 2 Professional Education orientation meeting. http://www.uww.edu/coeps/advising-admissions/admissions/phase-meetings/phase1and2
  • Pass your piano proficiency.
  • Pass your upper division jury.
  • Maintain your GPA.
  • Keep volunteering and working in educational settings. You will need 250 hours of verified experiences to be able to apply for admission to Professional Education. You can find information about "verification of experience with learners and professional service in musical context" and forms on music department website.

Junior Year

First Semester

  • Make sure to have your 250 hours.
  • Take and pass the three "Pre-Block" courses and Phase 2 portfolio:
    • EDFOUND 212 Educational Psychology
    • EDFOUND 243 Education in a Pluralistic Society – This will include your Phase 2 portfolio.
    • EDFNDPRC 210 Observation & Participation
  • Apply and be admitted to the Professional Education Program. http://www.uww.edu/coeps/advising-admissions/admissions/prof-ed-admin
  • Renew your CMENC membership and other professional memberships
  • Attend the WMEA conference.

Second Semester

  • Keep maintaining your 2.75 GPA!
  • Schedule an appointment with Dr. Allsen to check your Advising Report.

Senior Year

First Semester

  • Pass the Phase 3 portfolio (either first or second semester). Passing the Phase 3 Portfolio is a prerequisite for student teaching. Information about Phase 3 portfolios will be available during your music methods courses. Your methods instructors will score your narratives and artifacts, but the complete portfolio must be submitted to Dr. Holmes. Deadline for Phase 3 portfolios will be announced (usually at the end of the semester before the exam week). Portfolio scores are displayed in View Test Results section of WINS. Evidence of passing Phase 3 Portfolio must be on your AR.
  • Take and pass the Praxis II test.
  • The Praxis II Content Test is developed by Educational Testing Services (ETS). The website for ETS is http://www.ets.org. Unlike the Praxis I / PPST test, the Praxis II test is NOT available in a computer-based format.
  • UW-Whitewater requires successful completion of Praxis II before a student teaching or practicum placement will not be made.
  • The official source of information about Praxis II test is the College of Education Winther Hall Information Window (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Telephone: 472-1184, Email: education@uww.edu.
  • Be sure you know the Praxis II deadline for your projected student teaching semester and for test registration. The test deadlines are posted outside of Dr. Holmes’s office door (CA 2011) and also available on the College of Education website
  • Make sure to take the correct Praxis II test: "Music 0113." In order to obtain a copy of the "Test At A Glance" for your discipline, go to the (ETS website). Under "For Test Takers" click on "Prepare for a Test."
    • Where are Praxis II test results posted on your records?
      • Log on to your WINS account.
      • Click on Student Center.
      • Click on View Test Results-located under "other academic"
  • The content of the test:
  • Music


    MUSIC 0113

    MUS 1

    Music History and Literature

    21 %

    MUS 2

    Music Theory

    21 %

    MUS 3


    21 %

    MUS 4

    Music Learning, K-12

    31 %

    MUS 5

    Professional Practices

    6 %


    Overall (Passing = 150)

  • This is also the preferred semester for your senior recital and your last semester of Recital Attendance. Note that no student teacher placement will be made until after successful completion of your senior recital.
  • E-mail or contact Dr. Holmes one year in advance of your student teaching.
  • Renew CMENC membership and attend WMEA conference.

Second Semester

  • Apply for graduation! You must apply for graduation on-line through the Registrar’s Office a full semester beforehand.
  • Finish Phase 3 portfolio (if you did not do it during first semester).
  • E-mail or contact Dr. Holmes one year in advance of your student teaching.
  • Pass your student teaching interview with Dr. Holmes one semester before your student teaching.
  • Attend Phase 3 Meeting at the College of Education. You will receive e-mail from the Office of Field Experiences regarding the meeting time/place.

Year 5

  • Come to the student teaching meeting at College of Education.
  • Complete Directed Student Teaching. If you are instrumental/general music education major, you might student teach in the Spring.
  • Pass Phase 4 Portfolio. Passing the Phase 4 Portfolio is a requirement for graduation and recommendation for licensure. You will get all information about your student teaching and phase 4 portfolio during special meetings and student teaching seminars.


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