The Glauser School of Music has offered the Ph.D. in Music Education for more than 40 years.

Founded on the principles of sociocultural and multicultural studies, our newly revised contemporary program was designed to meets the needs of music teachers and learners in the 21st century within a supportive and engaging environment.


The purpose of doctoral study in music education at Kent State is to integrate teaching, theory, and research with inquiry about music teaching and learning. Emerging scholars will engage in activities that connect musical and educational pedagogies in preparation to work with pre-service music teachers at higher learning institutions, engagement in arts education enterprises, and the exploration of emerging practices in curriculum, artistic instruction and educational thought.  

A Strong and Supportive Learning Community

The School of Music boasts a diverse and growing community of students and faculty engaged in the study of music education. Consisting of over 90 undergraduate students and over 150 graduate students in the online master’s program – the largest of its kind in the country – you’ll be joining one of the premier Music Education programs in Ohio.

The Music Education Ph.D. program at Kent State has a global reach with meaningful impact. Using a student-centered approach, faculty mentors will guide you through your pedagogical and professional development. Candidates will work with faculty and colleagues in instrumental, choral, general music, technology, contemporary curricula, foundational studies, curriculum and instruction, sociocultural and multicultural studies, social justice and democracy, culturally relevant pedagogy, and more.

A Curriculum for the 21st Century and Beyond

Kent State University offers a curriculum designed to meet the needs of today’s educator and gives our students the skills to adapt to a changing landscape from the first day of classes to the dissertation.

  • Preparation for advanced study
  • Career guidance
  • Specialty seminars for students from diverse backgrounds
  • Unique educational experiences

Designed for the doctoral candidate on the go, the curriculum is specifically crafted for the teacher currently out in the field. There’s no need to give up your passion for teaching or your connection to your students to complete your doctoral work! However, students are welcome to enroll full-time, with many current and past candidates choosing to focus exclusively on their doctoral work. 

Graduate Assistantships

The School of Music offers a limited number of Graduate Assistantships to qualified candidates enrolled in the Ph.D. program. These assistantships often involve significant time in the classroom, assisting or teaching undergraduate music education classes. Other duties, including administrative work, are assigned to meet the needs of the Music Education division and to match the student’s interests. Assistantships carry a stipend and a tuition waiver awarded as nine-month contracts.

Meet the Graduate Faculty

Kent State University boasts an impressive faculty of music education scholars with ample experience in the public school system.

Jay Dorfman, Ph.D. - Dr. Jay Dorfman is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of Music Education. He holds bachelor and master of music degrees in music education from the University of Miami (FL) and the doctor of philosophy degree from Northwestern University (IL). Dr. Dorfman was a high school instrumental and technology-based music teacher in Broward County, Florida. Click here to read his full biography.

Butch Marshall, Ph.D. - Dr. Marshall joined the Kent State University Music Education faculty in 2019 as a specialist in early childhood and general music teacher education. He holds degrees from Michigan State University, Syracuse University, and Temple University, and taught for 11 years in upstate New York. He has completed teacher education courses in Orff-Schulwerk, Music Learning Theory, Weikart, and Laban. He is the author of Strategies for Success in Musical Theatre, and serves on Music Educators Journal’s advisory board. Click here to read his full biography.

Wendy K. Matthews, Ph.D. - Dr. Wendy Matthews joined the Kent State University Music Education in the Fall Semester of 2018 and holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland-College Park, and George Mason University. At Kent State, she teaches courses in instrumental music and directs the University Band. Click here to read her full biography

Craig Resta, Ph.D. - Dr. Craig Resta earned degrees from the University of Maryland College Park (Ph.D.), Indiana University (M.M.), and Baylor University (B.M.E.). His teaching experience has encompassed rural, urban, and suburban settings in each geographical region of the United States having worked in Texas, Indiana, California, New Jersey, Maryland, Georgia, and Ohio. Click here to read his full biography.


If you have questions to need any additional information, please contact

Admission requirements and general degree information.