10 Credits in 3 Weeks: Rowan’s M.M.Ed. Summer Intensive

10 Credits in 3 Weeks: Rowan’s M.M.Ed. Summer Intensive


This summer, students in Rowan’s Master of Music Education (M.M.Ed.) program participated in a summer intensive; three weeks of pedagogies, projects, classes and collaboration, culminating in up to 10 credits toward their Master’s degree.

“Everyday when I wake up, I realize I’m setting myself up for success,” said Darrah McCreath, music educator and M.M.Ed. student of her time spent arriving early to campus this summer for a full day of learning and development.

McCreath, who graduated from Rowan in 2016, opted to take the summer intensive in full, which included two seminars and two, one-week workshops. Topics covered ranged from community engagement and grant writing, 21st century learning skills, different types of pedagogies, culturally responsive teaching and the basics of brain anatomy and how it connects to music. 

“Everything we’ve done has been new and interesting and is delivered in interesting ways,” says McCreath, now heading into her third of four consecutive semesters. “It’s not just sitting and listening to someone talk at you.”

Rowan’s M.M.Ed. program is an accelerated, asynchronous program designed for working music educators looking to advance their approach in the classroom, refine and hone their skills and explore new trends through courses in philosophy, curricular innovation and research.

“Students experience new strategies for music teaching and learning and are able to try on those strategies with peers before implementing them in the classroom,” said Dr. Vanessa L. Bond, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Graduate Music Education.

According to Bond, the structure of the program and the summer intensive bring together the best of both worlds, uniting the flexibility of online instruction during the academic year with the hands-on, face-to-face experience many music teachers crave during the summer. By completing the full summer intensive, students will complete 30 percent of their degree requirements in just three weeks. For McCreath, that means she is more than halfway through the program after just two semesters and this summer.

While it is possible to complete in 22 months, the program is designed to be flexible and accommodating, something Rachel Henry, an M.M.Ed. student from Oxford, Ohio, says is hard to come by.

“I was really drawn to this program because of all the ways it makes it possible for me - physically and financially,” says Henry.

After wanting to pursue her Master’s degree for several years, she had trouble finding the right fit, looking for a program where she could create her own schedule to accommodate her two-full time jobs as a mom of two and a K-6 music educator. The flexibility, paired with the program’s emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion and access made Rowan the best choice for her.

“Being intentional about it and focusing on that through the lens of music is something I am really passionate about,” says Henry of incorporating DEIA into music education.

Though Henry plans to complete the program in four years by stretching the coursework to fit her schedule, she did travel to campus this summer for “Neuroscience and Music Education,” led by Dr. Missy Strong. Henry, who has followed Strong’s work and professional platforms for years, says she’s a “big name” in music education and wanted to take her class. Strong is also the one who introduced Henry to Rowan’s program. Rowan’s M.M.Ed. facilitates connections by regularly inviting other music education scholars, like Strong, to guest teach various classes based on their expertise.

As some of the first students in the program, both McCreath and Henry say they have already integrated some of what they’ve learned into their classrooms.

“I’m learning ways to better myself and give back to my students,” said Henry of the culturally responsive teaching strategies she’s learned and the philosophy course that helped her formulate her own teaching beliefs.

“There have been immediate takeaways,” said McCreath, “I could take something I learned the night before and implement it the next day.” McCreath walked away from the summer intensive with practical knowledge of grant writing and a proposal she can present to her district paired with real-time feedback from other educators on her teaching strategies.

Rowan’s Master of Music Education program will celebrate its first graduating class in Spring 2024. For more information, visit global.rowan.edu or contact Dr. Bond at bondv@rowan.edu