North Central College - Naperville, IL

Music Education

Why choose music education at North Central College?

You’ll combine your performance training with classroom teaching experience as early as your first year. And even with new licensure and teaching requirements, it is still possible to complete your degree within a four-year time frame (comparable programs require five).

You’ll also enjoy more face time in front of students—at least 180 field experience hours—than typically required. Why? Because we know the additional teaching and conducting experience will hone your skills, boost your confidence and help lead to competitive full-time teaching positions. Graduates of North Central have enjoyed a nearly 100 percent job placement rate in the past several years.

You can also:

  • Perform in a variety of campus venues and ensembles—our more than 20 student groups range from small to large instrumental ensembles and choral ensembles.
  • Be awarded vocal, instrumental or jazz performance scholarships as well as a Music Education scholarship, renewable for four years.
  • Student-teach in Naperville-area, high-performing school districts; you’ll use their new technologies, learn from their great teachers, and make valuable connections with their administrators.
  • Learn to teach in high-need areas through our partnerships with schools in Aurora and Chicago (scholarships and incentives are often available).
  • Attend the Chicago Symphony Orchestra or Lyric Opera every week, as some students have done—Chicago is just a short train ride away.


North Central College students showcase their talents in the musical comedy by Dolly Parton based on the 1970s hit movie “9 to 5.”
Assistant Professor of Theatre Jermaine Hill
North Central College’s theatre faculty set the stage for students’ futures with advancement of curriculum and experience from their own professional careers.
Laura Ebsworth ’17 as Emily Baker, Michael Frohling ’20 as Ted Baker
Inspired by the Ground Zero mosque controversy in New York City, this faculty-directed play engages a host of social issues on stage.



Music education graduates have found positions with:

  • Naperville/Aurora school districts 203 and 204, which includes Grammy Signature Schools (Gold Status)
  • Central Illinois districts such as Paxton and Gibson City
  • Plainfield, Aurora, Downers Grove and St. Charles schools
  • Community schools, churches and organizations such as The Young Naperville Singers, Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus (now Anima), Music Makers of Western Springs, Our Saviour’s Lutheran of Naperville and Visitation Church of Elmhurst
Music Education major

Kimberly can barely use her fingers to keep track of the music groups she’s involved with at North Central. At last count, she was up to eight.

“It sounds like a lot to handle, but each and every one of these groups has taught me countless valuable lessons about being a performer and educator,” Kimberly says. “There are too many opportunities within the music and education departments to name, which is exactly why there’s never a dull moment!”

As a choral and instrumental music education major, Kimberly knows almost everyone in the department. That’s not uncommon, she says, even for students who are majoring in one area or the...

Music Education major

Shelbi’s major in music education has a choral emphasis but she loves the fact that her music experiences go well beyond the choral track. “I play clarinet in Concert Winds, take lessons and play in the Clarinet Ensemble on campus.”

“One of the most powerful experiences I’ve had at North Central was performing an original composition for a main-stage concert. I’m known for playing my ukulele on campus wherever I go and I performed my composition during a ukulele clinic at the Illinois Music Educators Conference. I held auditions to find five other girls to sing the melody and harmony I arranged for the piece. I felt empowered as a musician and really had a chance to lead.”

Shelbi remembers coming...

Music Education major

Kateri considered large universities for studying music education but decided North Central was a perfect fit. “I loved the idea of a well-rounded, liberal arts education. Here you have the ability to gain leadership skills and study outside your major.”

In her music studies, Kateri pursued both choral and instrumental education and participated in choral, instrumental and jazz ensembles. “North Central is a place where I could dabble in an area like vocal jazz in addition to classical vocal. Gaining a wide variety of experiences prepares you better because you never know what you might end up doing in a school setting.”

In preparing for her student-teaching assignment at a middle and high school...

Music Education major

Eliseo received two job offers upon graduation and he accepted a position teaching music at an Aurora elementary school where he student-taught.

His story began with North Central's professors and teaching opportunities, which he describes as second to none. "Our teachers look for potential in you, not just musical expertise, and they give you one-on-one attention and freedom to design your own individual program," he says. "I set my own goals and studied voice, piano, clarinet and conducting. I also loaded all my music education classes and ensembles into my first couple years so I could decide where I wanted to focus. At larger schools with larger classes, you don’t get the chance to customize your...

Music Education major

Logan wants every child to be addicted to music.

“I want to be an elementary music teacher; that’s when you get kids hooked on music,” he says.

Logan is blending his love for music with his passion for education. During his sophomore year he began shadowing an elementary classroom, preparing for his student-teaching position during his fourth year.  He credits the North Central College faculty with guiding him through his training.

“They’re always around to help,” he says. “I’ve formed some great relationships with my professors.”

Although he loves music, Logan’s aspirations extend beyond teaching notes.

“I want to be an inspiration to children. I want to help mold them...