New music education major becomes Lake Forest’s tenth teacher licensure program

Students interested in studying music education, look no further. Lake Forest’s newest major recently earned unanimous approval from the Illinois State Board of Education, which dubbed it a “model” program.Music Education video

Scott Edgar, assistant professor of music and music education coordinator, designed the curriculum for the major in collaboration with the departments of music and education. Edgar and Rachel Ragland, the chair of the Department of Education, presented to the State earlier this month, after having already received unanimous support from the College for their proposal.  

“We were thrilled by the strong positive reception and feedback we got from our colleagues at the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board, which includes representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education, as well as faculty and administrators from other colleges and school districts around the state,” Ragland said. “We are also looking forward to our closer collaboration with the Music Department, and we feel this program could become a signature program for teacher preparation and take its place among our other highly regarded programs.”

The State was impressed by the major’s incorporation of literacy, assessment, and special education as well as its “intentionally broad” design, Edgar said.

Students who enroll in music education will be exposed to a strong, flexible major they can complete in four years. Additionally, they will be equipped to teach a range of music classes — from band to choir to orchestra to general music — to students of all ages, K-12.

All of this and more is what makes Lake Forest’s program unique, said Edgar, who joined the faculty last fall with the purpose of establishing the College’s tenth teacher licensure program.

Now, Edgar is at work trying to spread awareness about the major. In addition to reaching out to area music educators, he presented at the Illinois Music Educators Association conference last weekend and manned a booth. He also is planning a joint concert with Pritzker Academy in April.

The former middle and high school music educator said he looks forward to teaching future teachers and welcomes visitors to observe his classes. He also has some advice to offer students pursuing a career in music education: learn an instrument, sing in the choir, and take piano lessons.