Experienced music teacher discovers a passion for research through online program

Music educator, Kristen Lynch, taught elementary music for 18 years before pursuing a graduate degree in the Online Master of Music Education program. Benefits Lynch experienced from the program included improved teaching skills, expanded field knowledge, and a newfound interest in research.

Kristen Lynch, Master of Music EducationLynch chose the University of Georgia because of its reputation as a top music program. As a full-time music educator in Clarke County School District, Lynch decided to pursue the Online MMEd, which allowed her the ability to complete the program while teaching.

“When I heard about the online program that could be completed in a little over a year, I was very excited! I knew it would be intense and the expectations would be high, but I knew I could commit to being online. It was really a perfect option for me at the time,” said Lynch.

Although Lynch was already an experienced teacher, she learned methods and philosophies that improved her instruction in the classroom. Additionally, she found that the study of research and statistics strengthened her approaches and perspectives in the field.

“That was something I hadn’t really been exposed to before. I enjoyed the introduction to this part of music education,” said Lynch.

Lynch found the instructors were supportive to students in the program. “The administrators and professors in the program were sensitive to the fact that almost all of us were still working in our teaching jobs. That was also very helpful and encouraging to me. I could tell they wanted me to succeed,” said Lynch. She also mentioned the course schedule worked well with her full-time teaching position. 

Lynch stated that this program is an excellent fit for music educators who wish to improve teaching methods, enhance critical thinking skills, and broaden perspectives within the music education field. “I won’t say it’s easy work because it isn’t.” Lynch stated the program is designed to promote student success while maintaining rigorous standards and quality coursework. Lynch added, “The professors are friendly and responsive any time you reach out. They clearly want to help you and see you succeed.” 

Following successful completion of the Online Master of Music Education in Summer 2021, Lynch is now a graduate teaching assistant in the University of Georgia Ph.D. in Music Education program.