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School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Master of Music Education

The Master of Music Education at Anderson University is designed for the practicing music educator who has one or more years of experience as a music teacher. The 32-hour degree is a hybrid program with courses completed online, at a distance through Skype or similar platforms, and in residence. Most courses can be completed during summer sessions (six weeks of coursework each summer), though a limited number of evening classes during the academic year may be required. Separate tracks of study are available for instrumental, choral, and general music specialists. Students may also pursue three levels of Orff Schulwerk Certification as part of this degree program or other courses from the Summer Studies in Music Education program. The MME program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

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Admission Requirements

Student Requirements for Admission

  1. A completed Master of Music Education application
  2. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  3. Valid teacher’s license
  4. Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  5. Two recommendations related to teaching and musical abilities (form below)
  6. Writing sample
  7. Interview with music education faculty

For more information, contact the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at (765) 641-4544; toll-free (800) 619-3047; fax (765) 641-3809.

MME Recommendation Form

MME Recommendation

Degree Requirements

Core Courses 18-20 hours 

  • Philosophy and History of Music Education 3 hrs.
  • Bibliography and Research 3 hrs.
  • Psychology of Music 3 hrs.
  • Graduate Music Theory 3 hrs.
  • Music History 3 hrs.
  • World Music 2 hrs.
  • Thesis in Music Education 3 hrs. OR Professional Project in Music Education 1 hr.

Music Education Elective Courses 12-14 hours

  • Level I Orff Certification 3 hrs.
  • Level II Orff Certification 3 hrs.
  • Level III Orff Certification 3 hrs.
  • Orff Curriculum 2 hrs.
  • Orff Technology 1 hr
  • Dalcroze Eurhythmics — Beginning and Intermediate 2 hrs.
  • Percussion (Drumming) in the General Music Classroom 1-2 hrs.
  • Conversational Solfege 2 hrs.
  • First Steps in Music 2 hrs.
  • Selected Topics in Music Education 1-3 hrs.

Other Music Theory, Private Lessons, and Conducting electives are available.

For full requirements and additional program information, view the Graduate Catalog.

Master of Music Education Costs
  • Per semester hour: $400
  • Some courses are also offered for no credit at a lower rate. 


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Joani Brandon

Dr. Joani Brandon

Professor of Music Education; Women's Chorus

Joani Brandon
Dr. Joani Brandon

Dr. Joani Somppi Brandon serves as a professor of music, teaching music education general/choral methods and Women’s Chorus. Joani is the former director of the Anderson Area Children’s Choir Chorale (1999-2011). The nine years prior, Joani taught music at Clay Middle School in Carmel, Indiana. She previously served as a middle school choral director for three years in Wilmington, Ohio where she received the Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year award and was in top ten first-year teachers in the state of Ohio.

Joani completed her bachelor of arts degree in music education and piano performance, with honors in music and education, from Anderson University in 1987. In 1995, she completed her master’s of music education from Butler University where she studied conducting and children’s choir methods with Henry Leck, director emeritus of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. Joani has also studied conducting with at the Choral Music Institute with Doreen Rao and Barbara Tagg. Joani has Kodaly Certification from the Hartt School, University of Hartford (Connecticut), Orff Schulwerk Certification, and Dalcroze training from Anderson University, where she also serves as the program director for the Summer Studies in Music Education program featuring Orff Schulwerk, Feierabend, and Dalcroze summer courses.

She completed her doctor of musical arts degree in 2013 from Boston University, and her research interests include teacher training in elementary music education methodologies. She has worked with all ages of singers from early elementary to adults and is a frequent clinician and guest conductor. Joani is a member of the national and state chapters of the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, American Orff-Schulwerk Association, and is past repertoire chair of the Elementary and Middle School Divisions for the Indiana School Music Association. She is a former national president of the Feierabend Association for Music Education. She is actively involved in church music at Park Place Church of God, where she serves as Sanctuary Choir director. Joani is married to Chris Luekenga, AU Dean of Students, and has two grown sons: Jonathon and James.

Joani Brandon has been at Anderson University since 1999.

B.A., Anderson University
M.M., Butler University
D.M.A., Boston University

Richard Sowers

Dr. Richard Sowers

Professor of Music; Director of Chorale, Symphonic Choir, Valley Voices

Richard Sowers
Dr. Richard Sowers

Dr. Richard Sowers is a Professor of Music and serves as the Director of Choirs in the Anderson University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Currently he is the conductor of the Anderson University Chorale, Anderson Symphonic Choir, and Men's Choir, and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting and music education classes.

Under Dr. Sowers' direction the Anderson University Chorale has visited almost every geographic region of the United States during spring tours. The Chorale has performed in a number of prestigious concert venues including Lincoln Center's Aver Fisher Hall, the Riverside Church, and St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City, and the Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, California for the Hour of Power that was broadcast nationally and internationally, and the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., representing the state of Indiana for "Indiana Day." Each Christmas the Chorale, Men's Choir and other Anderson University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance ensembles present the Emmy award-winning Candles and Carols program which is broadcast throughout the United States and on two global networks.

Dr. Sowers has led eight European tours, performances in Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Russia. Most recently, thirty-five singers performed nine concerts during a 16-day concert tour of Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, including several performances at the Vaasa International Choir Festival. The Chorale was chosen to perform in concert for several division and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Additionally, the Chorale has performed in concert and as a demonstration choir for many music education events and conventions in which Dr. Sowers served as a clinician.

During a 2007 sabbatical leave, Dr. Sowers was resident guest conductor of the EMO Ensemble in Helsinki, Finland, and presented a concert of music by all American composers written since 2000. Sowers also served as a guest conducting teacher at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and guest conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Choir. Dr. Sowers is active in the International Federation of Choral Music, and served as a delegate to the 8th World Choral Symposium in Copenhagen, Denmark in July, 2008.

Following his graduation from the Indiana University School of Music, Dr. Sowers taught junior and senior high school choral music for several years in Indiana. He holds a Master of Music degree from Colorado State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University. In 1994, Dr. Sowers was selected the outstanding music alumnus from Colorado State University. His conducting teachers have included Jan Harrington, Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Edward Anderson, Douglas McEwen, and Kenneth Kiesler.

In 1989 Richard Sowers was appointed music director and conductor of the Anderson (City) Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Carmel Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Youth Orchestras of Indianapolis. For ten years Sowers served on the staff of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak, a 17-day retreat for conductors held each July near Camden, Maine. Sowers served as interim conductor of the Anderson Area Children's Choir and has conducted almost every other kind of choir including church choirs, men's and women's choirs, community choirs, and a professional level chamber choir. Dr. Sowers is active as a guest conductor, clinician, and free-lance orchestral conductor.

Richard Sowers has been at Anderson University since 1984.

Contact Richard:
Professor of Music
Chorale, Symphonic Choir, Valley Voices, conducting
B.M., Indiana University
M.M., Colorado State University
D.M.A., Arizona State University

Adam Waller

Adam Waller

Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music Education: Director of Bands

Adam Waller
Adam Waller

Adam Waller is the Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music Education at Anderson University. Prior to his appointment at Anderson, he was the Wind Ensemble Director at the Johns Hopkins University and Assistant Conductor of the Wind Ensemble and Modern Orchestra at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Recent performances of the Peabody Wind Ensemble under his baton have earned the conductor “Honorable Mention: Finalist” designation in the 2017 American Prize in Conducting - College Wind Ensemble category, and “Semi-finalist” in the American Music category. Mr. Waller also served on the music faculty of the Peabody Conservatory and Towson University where he taught undergraduate level conducting courses.

From 2005-2015 Waller was the Director of Bands at Tabb High School in Yorktown, VA. Under his direction ensembles at Tabb consistently received Superior Ratings and were awarded the Virginia Honor Band and Blue Ribbon Awards. In addition to public school teaching commitments, he served as Music Director of the North Riverside Baptist Church Choir and Orchestra Director at the Liberty Academy of the Arts. He was a regular adjudicator and clinician for instrumental and choral ensembles in Music Showcase Festivals: Busch Gardens competitions in Williamsburg, Virginia was frequently called on to adjudicate state and local assessments in Virginia and Maryland.

Waller is a current Doctoral Candidate and holds an Undergraduate Degree in Music Education and a Masters Degree in Wind Conducting both from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Additional studies in advanced conducting include workshops at the Eastman School of Music, Michigan State University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Hart School of Music and the Inaugural United States Army Band’s “Pershing’s Own” conducting workshop.

Adam Waller has been at Anderson University since 2018.

Contact Adam:
Assistant Professor of Music
BM, MM, DMA candidate, Peabody Conservatory

Dr. Jeffrey Wright

Dean, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Dr. Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright is Dean of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Anderson University. Dr. Wright is an active music educator and church musician. As a researcher, writer and conference speaker, he examines the intersection of aesthetics, worship traditions, and cultural beliefs and expectations. Since coming to Anderson University in 1995, the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance has expanded significantly and now includes a vibrant summer studies program for music educators, a Master's Degree in Music Education, three undergraduate degree programs in dance, and a variety of summer experiences for high school music students. In 2007, he was named the Outstanding University Administrator of the Year by the Indiana Music Educators Association. Prior to coming to Anderson University, Dr. Wright was an administrator and faculty member in the School of Music at Northwestern University. He is co-editor of and contributor to the book On the Nature of Musical Experience published by the University Press of Colorado.

Jeffrey Wright has been at Anderson University since 1995.

Contact Jeffrey:
Dean, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Professor of Music
Teaches: Music education, church music
B.M., Georgia State University
M.M., Ph.D., Northwestern University