Elementary School Music

Licensing of Music Teachers

Posted in Certification, NYC DOE Resources, Prof. Development by P. Conrad on March 29, 2009

Every music teacher in a New York City public school should be certified to teach music grades PreK through 12. The NYC Department of Education seeks to have all arts teaching done by licensed arts educators, and requires the New York State Professional Certificate in Music as its license for music teachers.…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Requirements for a NYS K-12 Permanent Certification in Music

(from the NYS Department of Education)

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1)     Completion of a NYS-registered Program in Music

Requirement Description: “Registered program” means an education program that has been approved in advance by the New York State Education Department as containing the studies required for certification as a New York State educator.

3)    Content Specialty Test in Music (see links below)

Requirement Description: The Content Specialty Test is administered by the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE). Offered in specific subjects, the CST typically consists of multiple-choice questions and a written assignment. The CST in Music also includes taped listening components and a written assignment. The purpose of the test is to assess knowledge and skills in the subject of the certificate sought. (A description of the Content Specialty Test in Music can be downloaded. To register for the CST in Music go to the NYSTCE site.)

4)    Institutional Recommendation:

Requirement Description: A statement from a New York State institution of higher education that has an approved preparation program. Through its statement, the institution recommends a candidate for certification. Contact the certification officer at your institution to ensure the recommendation has been entered. The certification officer should also supply you with a Student Application Information Sheet with information required to complete the online application. (This requirement would not apply to a candidate who has simply accrued the 30 required credits without c0mpleting a degree program in Music.)

5)    Content Core – Music – 30 credits.

Requirement Description: “Content core” refers to coursework that instructs candidates in the specific subject matter of the certificate title sought (e.g., Music). It is the equivalent of a major in that subject area. Course content, rather than the name of the department through which a course is offered, determines the acceptability of a course to fulfill these requirements. Courses in the methods of teaching a subject are not acceptable as study in the content area.

Note: content core courses must be passed with a “C” or above at the undergraduate level or “B-” or above at the graduate level.

United Federation of Teachers certification specialists recommend that several of the required credits should be at the graduate level, although this is not explicitly required by the NY State or NY City Departments of Education.

The music certificate is valid for vocal and instrumental music. Acceptable studies include courses in music theory, performance, music history, instrument repair, and performance of instruments (whether or not one’s major instrument). Courses in methods of teaching children how to sing or how to play an instrument are not accepted toward the content area requirement. Instead, those courses may be applied to the professional education requirement.

In addition to the above requirements, candidates should have completed:

6)     ATS-W
7)     LAST
8)     2 years of paid, full-time classroom teaching experience
9)     U.S. Citizenship or INS Permanent Residence
10)    Fingerprint Clearance

To review and update your status online visit the NYSED system, you’ll need to set up a log-in account at the TEACH System, where you can update all your relevant information. When your requirements are complete you’ll use this system to complete your application on-line.

In addition, every newly-licensed teacher needs to complete 175 hours of professional development every five years. Requirements are available on a document you can download from the NYSED site.