Learn to Teach Music as a Second Language

Develop a music curriculum that inspires and engages your students with songs they hear on Pandora and Spotify. 

The coursework in LVC's modern band certificate program uses the Music as a Second Language (MSL) method. We emphasize performance, composition, and improvisation as key teaching and learning tools for students of all ages. 

Modern band is a 12-credit graduate music certificate program delivered online and through a two-week residency. Take method courses in guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, and contemporary vocal styles. Learn pedagogy, instrumentation, and creative strategies you'll need to incorporate popular music styles into your classroom, church, ensemble, or after-school program.

Discover Your Degree Pathway

Modern Band Reaches All Students

Our hybrid music certificate program in modern band emphasizes that all humans are natural music makers with the ability to play, improvise, and compose their own music. By teaching your students using the Music as a Second Language method, you can reach everyone in your classroom—even students who struggle or seem disengaged. 

The modern band curriculum works outside K–12 settings, too. Many of our graduate students use the methods learned in our music certificate program to teach music at private schools, churches, and after-school programs. The modern band method also strengthens the ensemble experience for contemporary, studio, and church musicians.

Stay Ahead of the Curve in Music Education

In 2020, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association will hold a series of professional development workshops in modern band throughout the state, with support from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 

LVC is proud to be the first-ever college to offer a graduate-level certificate in modern band—using an increasingly popular method. The modern band curriculum is inexpensive for school districts to implement, and it instantly enhances a teacher's classroom practice.

What is Modern Band?

  • Modern band is a teaching practice based on the Music as a Second Language (MSL) method.
  • The MSL method believes that individuals acquire music the same way they acquire a spoken second language.
  • Students learn to play contemporary musical styles, as well as improvise and compose their own music.
  • Students make and see progress quickly.

Why Teach Modern Band?

  • The modern band method complements existing classroom practices and is easy to incorporate into lesson plans.
  • Familiar music helps students learn how to play instruments quickly and hear their own progress.
  • Modern band is inclusive and reaches all students, instead of only those students who selectively join ensembles or take lessons.
  • Because it draws on popular music, modern band capitalizes on the music students already know and love to engage them in the process of learning and making music.

What Makes the Modern Band Certificate at LVC Special?

  • Learn how to teach from our award-winning faculty, who specialize in modern band pedagogy and orchestration. 
  • Dive into a popular pedagogical method you can use instantly in your classroom or ensemble.
  • Take courses online and in person, and apply your modern band credits toward a master's degree.

For more information on the College’s Modern Band Certificate program, please call 717-867-6089 or email graduateadmission@lvc.edu.

How to Apply:

  • Complete the LVC Graduate Studies application
  • All candidates must submit an official undergraduate transcript from a regionally accredited college or university, a current resume, and a personal written statement (one page) indicating why they wish to pursue this degree with the application form.
  • If you do not have a bachelor’s degree in music, you must complete an online assessment to accompany the application.

As a band director, I love incorporating aural and informal learning to instruments that are traditionally printed-music centered. I wish this method was around when I was a kid.

Band Director, Palmyra Middle School

Dean Howey '16