Master of string pedagogy

June 14, 2020, 8:40 PM · I've been thinking about doing a master's in string pedagogy for a while. My main questions are, is it worth doing and if it is where is best to go to study?

Replies (5)

June 15, 2020, 11:42 AM · Sorry, but the question is a little vague. Do you want to know if it is worth the money you'll pay or the time spent on the degree? I think it depends on what your goals are.
June 15, 2020, 1:49 PM · Depends on where you see yourself after that. Will you be a Violin teacher with supplemental playing income, or a player with supplemental teaching income? In either case you want a large, prominent music department. Some schools will use grad. students to teach some of the private lessons, as part of their pedagogy training.
Edited: June 15, 2020, 2:58 PM · I agree with Rebecca about the vagueness of your question, but I think it's still basically answerable. You do a master's degree if it's going to bring joy to your life (by allowing you to do a deeper dive into an academic subject that you love) or if it's going to increase your earning power. Either of those objectives can make it worth the time and expense, but if you're after the earning potential then you need to calculate that as dispassionately and realistically as possible.

I wouldn't really say the same about the PhD, which is mostly intended as a portal to a career in research (with notable exceptions like clinical psychology). There are other degrees such as EdD which seem to be more about prestige (having your colleagues call you "doctor") or earning a notch higher salary according to negotiated union contracts. Every educational product has its place and purpose.

Edited: June 15, 2020, 3:37 PM · If you want to give yourself an excellent foundation as a private teacher in a structured setting, then possibly yes depending on who the professors are in the program you choose.

If you are a public school orchestra teacher and getting a master's will increase your salary, then probably yes. I don't think the nature of the master's matters. I was astonished to learn back when I was taking classes to become certified to teach math 8-12 (spoiler alert, I never followed through) that my MM in violin performance would count in getting a higher salary to teach math.

If your goal is to be able to charge higher fees as a private teacher, don't bother; your fees will be largely determined by the local going rate and by how you compare with the competition in terms of a prominent performance career (professional orchestra violinists can usually charge more than freelancers) and/or a history of successful students.

If you would have to go into debt to finance this degree, then absolutely not. You can improve your educational foundation as a teacher by reading books and online articles, observing other teachers, and attending master classes, all of which are either low cost or free.

June 15, 2020, 7:05 PM · One thing you can do is to find a great program and try to get the reading lists for those courses. Then you can consider buying those books (previous editions which are cheap as used books will probably do just fine) and getting a lot of knowledge that way.


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