Music Teacher Certification

(Non-Degree Seeking)

Students holding a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university may seek Music Teacher Certification (P-12) at Butler University as a non-degree seeking student.

As is required by the Indiana Department of Education, all Music Teacher Certification students must meet the standards for music teachers as outlined by the Indiana Department of Education website (see links below) as interpreted in coursework in the Music Education program at Butler University:

Vocal/General Music standards
Instrumental/General Music standards

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Step 1: Complete Application for Graduate Admission as a Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Student which should include the following:

  • A personal statement indicating your interest in the Music Teacher Certification program, including your particular area of interest (i.e. Choral/Instrumental/General Music Ed, k-12)
  • A current resume, including a list of any licensures currently held. Copies of licenses may be requested by the School of Music office.
  • Official transcripts or copies of official transcripts from all colleges and universities where candidates:
    • Earned a degree
    • Earned more than 15 credits (undergraduate and graduate)
    • Completed any program prerequisite (regardless of number of credit hours)
    • Completed courses for which candidates are applying for transfer credit
  • International applicants must take the TOEFL as well as submit additional financial documentation. See International Student Application process.

Copies of official transcripts may be uploaded in the online application for application review only. Applicants who receive an offer of admission will be required at that time to submit official final transcripts issued directly from the institution(s) for verification prior to enrollment. More information is available in the application for admission.

Step 2: Await your transcript evaluation, to be provided via email. Within 30 days of submitting a completed application, you will receive a transcript evaluation that will list all coursework that is required for certification and any additional competencies that are required. Note that persons with undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than music will have additional course requirements in music, such that they will complete the requirements for the BA in music degree at Butler University.

Step 3: Complete an interview with the Coordinator of Music Education. After receiving the transcript evaluation, you will be contacted to complete an interview with the Coordinator of Music Education to discuss the transcript evaluation and to develop a plan for completing the certification. Copies of this plan will be given to the Associate Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Music and to the appropriate office in the College of Education. You must pass the interview before being admitted to the program.

Step 4: Demonstrate Music Competencies and Field Experience Competencies as outlined below. Students who are admitted to the program will also be expected to demonstrate the Music Competencies as articulated below or they will be expected to complete additional coursework.

Proficiency on a major instrument:

  • If you have a Bachelor’s degree in music, you can demonstrate this competency by providing copies of recital programs/performances on your major instrument. Copies should be submitted as PDF or image files to Note: performances must be within 7 years of application date. or additional study may be required.
  • If you do NOT have a Bachelor’s degree in music, you must pass an Upper Divisional on your major instrument. This must be completed before the student may enroll in any upper level (300 and higher) music classes. Please consult with the appropriate applied faculty member for specific requirements for applied study.

Proficiency on keyboard and sight singing: Students are expected to pass a Keyboard and Aural Skills Proficiency for Music Education majors, the contents of which are outlined below. Those who do not pass will be required to take remedial coursework in keyboard and aural skills, then re-audition for the music education faculty. The Keyboard Skills Proficiency is divided into the following sections:

  1. Perform a patriotic song “America,” “America the Beautiful,” or the “Star Spangled Banner”  (prepared in advance).
  2. Read any two or three parts from a four part vocal score.
  3. Transpose a melody line on sight; up or down (up to a major third) as requested.
  4. Harmonize from a lead sheet on sight, using appropriate left-hand accompaniment patterns such as waltz, alberti, etc. NOTE: Simply blocking root position chords on downbeats is not appropriate
  5. Sight-read a simple piano accompaniment from a music textbook. Examples will be taken directly from a K-8 music textbook.
  6. Students will also be asked to sight sing simple songs from a music series textbook (specific materials and skills necessary for success in the public school music classroom today.)

Applicants should present documentation of successful field experiences involving children. This can include summer camp work or teaching experiences, field experiences connected with coursework at the undergraduate level, or other relevant experiences. Experiences should demonstrate your ability to communicate as a leader of a group – preferably in a teaching setting.

To demonstrate field experience competencies:

  1. Submit a written description of the work including the age of the students, the number of students involved, the number of hours spent with the students, and the type of activities you did with the students.
  2. Submit an evaluation of your work by a supervisor in each experience.

Each applicant’s coursework plan will be individualized based on transcript evaluation and the demonstration of music and field experience competencies. Within 30 days of submitting a completed Graduate Application AND Request for Evaluation form, applicants will receive a transcript evaluation that will list all coursework that is required for certification and any additional competencies that are required. Note: persons with undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than music will have additional course requirements in music, such that they will complete the requirements for the BA in music degree at Butler University.

Dr. Penny Dimmick, Coordinator of Music Education

For Music Teacher Certification questions, or to submit competency materials, contact Dr. Penny Dimmick ( or the School of Music Office (; 317-940-9065).