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Welcome to Music Education @ The Beach!

Learn about Music Education @ The Beach!

About Our Program

Studying music education at The Beach means joining an energetic community of future teachers who are committed to positively impacting the lives of children and young adults through music. As a member of our family, you will acquire skills and knowledge to teach and direct band, orchestra, choir, and general music while engaging with techniques that embrace progressive approaches and ensembles that include, but are not limited to, digital music making, mariachi, pop/rock ensembles, steel drum, and hip-hop.

During your time in the music education program, you will have many opportunities to observe and work with high-quality music teachers in the field, several of whom are graduates from this program. Our expanding partnerships have led to our music education students acquiring internships with Long Beach Symphony’s Music Education department, the Young Musicians Foundation, and the Harmony Project in addition to paid teaching assistantships in several school districts and non-profits. Because our students are versatile musicians and teachers, they are in demand for established band, orchestra, and choir programs as well as new programs that may incorporate additional musical genres like mariachi or pop/rock ensembles.

"Our priority is to help you become a collaborative, creative, and culturally responsive music teacher-leader who can adapt to any K-12 music education setting."

Who are the students at The Beach?

Music Education students demonstrate culturally responsive pedagogy in action by performing personal Orff arrangements based on songs from their own childhood inspiration. (CASMEC, 2018)
Music Education students demonstrate culturally responsive pedagogy in action by performing personal Orff arrangements based on songs from their own childhood inspiration. (CASMEC, 2018)

The strength of our program is our students. Our music education program attracts and invites diverse populations of students who have traditional and non-traditional backgrounds. This diversity opens pathways for our students to learn from each other in significant ways. We share our backgrounds and cultures through course assignments and challenging discourse while developing teaching skills and dispositions in the classroom and during fieldwork. By learning about each other and our backgrounds, our future music teachers have a significant advantage in developing skill sets indicative of the populations in which they will be working. The music education program values caring and empathy while building the needed teacher dispositions for becoming a quality music educator.

"The education I received from CSULB prepared me to make a difference in the world. Throughout my time at CSULB, Equity, Equality, Excellence, and Heart have been at the center of the process transforming students into passionate music educators."—Brian McDaniel, Ed.D., Global Teacher Prize Top 50 Finalist, 2019 California Teacher of the Year, 2018, Director of Bands & Instrumental Music, Rancho Mirage HS

What makes The Beach  different from other music education programs?

Music Education @ the Beach values our quality performance traditions in band, orchestra, and choir while embracing the future of music education through progressive and innovative teaching techniques as well as ensembles. The emerging methods and techniques courses introduce music education students to vernacular forms of music making that include mariachi, pop/rock ensembles, steel pan, hip-hop, and digital. These educational opportunities not only validate students’ cultural backgrounds and experiences, they open pathways of belonging.

ConneXions Ensemble
The ConneXions Ensemble.

Music Education @ the Beach is committed to validating, empowering, and creating musical spaces for students to expand their interests. By embracing music of student interest, a new ensemble—ConneXions—formed in the Fall of 2019. ConneXions is a Music Education Ensemble grounded in culturally responsive and sustaining practices. This student-centered ensemble encourages connections among students’ formal music training, informal interests, and student backgrounds. Open to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students as well as music majors and non-majors, members of this ensemble arrange, compose, and perform music that fuses acoustic, digital, and electronic options into cohesive performances. Through the ConneXions ensemble, students apply their formal and informal learnings from studio, ensemble, educational, and creative spaces in ways that will benefit their future students in music education.

We invite you to become a music educator who will make a difference.


Tamara Thies headshot and signature.

Dr. Tamara Thies
Area Director, Music Education
Bob Cole Conservatory of Music

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  • California State University, Long Beach
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