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Master of Arts in Music Education (Online Program)
Frequently Asked Questions


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ADMISSION

How do I register for a course?

Out-of-state students will register for ALL online classes through the UH Outreach College using the EXTENSION SEMESTER each term. Please watch your registration carefully. Only the extension semester will not charge you out-of-state tuition for online classes. Also note that the UH tuition rate websites will not mention that you will be exempt from out-of-state tuition. This is because some departments choose to charge more to non-residents. The music department is committed to helping our busy music teachers with an affordable program. You will not be charged out-of-state tuition for online courses in music taken through the Extension Semester.

Do I have to apply to the degree program to take a course?

If you wish to register for one or two online courses only, you need not go through a formal Graduate School application process. However, if you have not registered through Outreach College in the last 6 months, you do need to submit a new Outreach College Application Form.

Allow 3-4 days for processing of your application. To determine if your application form has been processed, contact the “Banner” online registration system, called "MyUH" which can be accessed online or by phone at (808) 296-6723. If you have any questions about your application, call Outreach College at (808) 956-7221 or toll free 1-800-862-6628, or email help@outreach.hawaii.edu.

Permission to Register

Some courses may require instructor approval if you have not been admitted to the degree program. Seats may be available for “Unclassified Graduate” students. Send your name and UH student ID# to the online course instructor with a request for a seat in a specific class. an online course. Once the instructor enters your permission code, you can easily register online.

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What's Outreach College? Why am I registering there?

Outreach College is a unit within the University of Hawaii, that is designed for special programs. Your M.A. degree diploma will be issued from the University of Hawaii Graduate School. All faculty are currently employed by the fully accredited University of Hawaii Music Department.

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My undergraduate degree is not in music, do I qualify for this degree program?

No. The Master of Arts degree requires entrance examinations in Music Theory and Music History and one year of music teaching experience. Feel free to take courses as a Graduate Unclassifi ed student.

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My undergraduate degree is not in music, do I qualify for this degree program?

Yes. The entrance examinations are challenging. The exam in Music Theory and Aural Skills/Sightsinging covers music fundamentals from second year courses. Review the materials from your undergraduate coursework in theory, and also visit the links suggested on the “Online MA Examination” page from the menu at the left. The Music History examination will cover basic aspects of your undergraduate coursework, including describing and identifying common features of music history eras and prominent composers.

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What will the entrance exams in music theory and history be like? Should I study?

Yes. The entrance examinations in Music Theory cover music fundamentals from “Second Year Theory” courses. Review the materials from your undergraduate coursework in theory, and also visit the links suggested on the “Online MA Examination” page from the menu at the left. The Music History examination will cover basic aspects of your undergraduate coursework including describing common features of music history eras and prominent composers.

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I'm not very good with computers. Can I still take an online class?

You do not have to be a computer genius to be successful in online classes. You do need very basic computer and internet skills including:

  1. Typing. Your discussion contributions and most assignments you submit must be typed.
  2. Computer savvy. Using a mouse to select icons on a screen. Opening a web browser and connecting to the internet. Clicking and double-clicking your mouse. Printing a page or document. Downloading and installing software. Uploading photographs, embedding youtube videos, creating slide presentations, attaching documents are all common skills in our online courses.
  3. Internet skills. Basic browsing ability. Open page…Save page…Back…Forward….Clicking on links to open. Completing online forms.
  4. Email. You should be reasonably comfortable using electronic mail. You will need to learn how to attach word processing documents to an email message in order to submit your assignments.

All courses will include a syllabus outlining specific skills or software needed for the course.

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What is Laulima?

Laulima is the University of Hawaii’s "Learning Management System" for online class materials. Many instructors use this tool to organize and present digital content, and communicate with students.

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What equipment do I need?

You must have a:

Note: Students are also required to have a "backup" computer in mind should personal or school equipment be unavailable for any length of time. Internet cafes, printing companies, public libraries, relatives, or other school sites could serve as your "backup."

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What software will I have to buy?

You will need a recently updated version of a web browser (Firefox, Google Chrome are recommended) to access the course website. You will need word processing software to prepare some course assignments. Typically, students need to have a pdf reader (e.g. Adobe Acrobat or Apple Preview), Video player plugins (Quicktime, Flash, or RealPlayer) to utilize audio and video files. Other equipment and software needed for a specific course will be detailed in the syllabus within each course website.

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What happens if my computer or internet service crashes during a course?

Computer crashes should only be a problem if you are in the middle of taking a timed examination or have a required online chat session at a specific time. Contact your instructor immediately. Online students are required to have a "back-up computer" available to handle extended hardware or internet problems. Students typically use a home computer and designate a school computer as their "backup" or vice versa. Our courses are internet-based and therefore are available from anywhere in the world that has internet access. If necessary, you can visit a public library, local internet café, or use a friend’s computer until your equipment or service is restored. Computer or service malfunctions are not accepted as an excuse for missing course assignment or exam deadlines. Work ahead of deadlines and always have a "backup" plan ready.

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Do I have to login to the course website at a specific time?

This will be decided by each course instructor and detailed in the syllabus. Most of the courses in this program will be “asynchronous” and will not require a specifi c time to login to the course website. Some courses may require a class chat room interaction session at a specifi c time during the week. In addition, instructors are required to provide online offi ce hours in the course chat room periodically during the semester to assist students with questions. These times will be posted or announced in your course website.

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CLASSES

I already took some graduate classes at another school. Will they count?

They may count depending on how the courses you took elsewhere meet the requirements for the degree at the University of Hawaii. The online Master of Arts degree in music education allows for a maximum of 12 transfer credits. Send in a request for transfer credit consideration to the Music Department Graduate Chair when you submit your application to the degree program. Attach a copy of the course description or syllabus if possible, to improve your chances of receiving transfer credit. Also check out the UH Graduate School information concerning transfer credits.

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Will these courses transfer to another school?

Perhaps. That is completely at the discretion of the other school. Submit a request to them and include the syllabus for the course. Our courses are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

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I already have a Master's degree. Can I still take these classes?

Yes. You can take as many courses as you like as a Post Baccalaurate Unclassified (PBU) student. Please note that you cannot transfer PBU credits into the PhD program. All PhD students wishing to count online courses toward their degree, must be fully admitted, and attend UH on campus for a minimum residency of 3 semesters.

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How many classes should I take each semester?

You may register for a maximum of three online courses (9 credits) each semester. Keep in mind that each 3 credit graduate course assumes a commitment of about 9 - 10 hours per week to complete assignments and projects. The time you will need to spend on each course will depend on your reading and typing skill, and your ability to understand course concepts. Some students, such as those working FT, may be able to handle only one course per semester. Others may enroll for two or three courses. We recommend that you concentrate on success, not speed, in completing this program.

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MANAGEMENT

How much time will each course require each week?

Graduate courses assume a minimum of two hours of preparation for each hour of class. Since there is not the usual three hour class session, that time is transferred to your preparation. This means that a 3 credit class should take you a minimum of 9 hours per week. This is just a minimum. Some students may need to devote more time than others. You will have the flexibility to spread your time across the entire week.

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Do I have to come to Hawaii to take exams?

No. All course examinations will be incorporated into the course website. For non-residents, diagnostic and exit examinations for the Master of Arts degree may be taken at a location near your home, utilizing an approved "proctor." These arrangements will be made after you are accepted into the degree program.

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How many other students will there be in my class?

This depends on the course. The Music Department is committed to quality over quantity and for this reason, most courses will have small enrollments. Typically 6 - 15 students per course.

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How do I get answers to my questions when I'm taking a class?

Contact the course instructor through your course tools or by course email, regular email or telephone. If you have not been able to reach your instructor for seven (7) days, contact the online Program Administrator, Dr. Barbara McLain. You can also contact other students in the class using the course email system or the bulletin board.

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How will I get to know my professors and other students if everything is online?

Online courses do not need to sacrifice interaction. All courses will require some interaction between students. You will have several tools on your course website to allow you the opportunity to get to know your fellow students and your instructor. These include email, online bulletin board discussions, chat rooms, video conferencing, and presentations. "You will reap what you sow…" in online learning. If you make the effort to participate fully in the course, you will get to know everyone. Many online courses provide for much improved discussions and interaction since there is no longer a time limit from scheduled course hours.

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Will I have a faculty advisor?

Yes, but only if you are accepted into the Master of Arts degree program. Your faculty advisor will be responsible for communicating the program requirements and helping you through the paperwork and exams. They can also serve as an advocate should you have problems with another faculty member. If you have problems with your advisor, contact the online program administrator.

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How long will it take me to finish the online Master's degree?

The degree is a minimum of 30 credits. How long that takes will depend on how many courses you can handle per semester and summer. If you complete 6 credits a semester, this is a minimum of five semesters or 2 years and 2 summers.

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I live far away from a major city. Where can I buy textbooks?

Many books are available from Amazon.com. You may also order books directly from the UH Manoa Online Bookstore and have them shipped to you. For details regarding the online ordering information as well as shipping rates, visit the UH Bookstore. If you encounter problems ordering books online, you can call UH Bookstore toll-free at 1-800-UHBOOKS. You may call in your charge card information at the same time you order your books or mail in your check to the UH Bookstore. (Note that if you pay by check your book order will not be processed until the Bookstore receives your check.) For any questions regarding online orders, you can also send an e-mail to book@hawaii.edu

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How will I get to a library to complete required research papers?

If you are currently a registered UH student enrolled in an online course or degree program, you have access to UH Manoa’s libraries, including various electronic library resources and networked databases. Visit the UH Manoa library website for assistance in accessing the extensive online database. It may be necessary for you to travel to a university library near your home for some course research assignments or to complete the degree.

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Won't it be easy to "cheat" in an online class?

Not necessarily. All course examinations are considered “open book exams.” Your instructors know that you have the book and online lecture materials. Graduate assessment tools will emphasize more than simple recall of facts and concepts. Critical thinking questions will require that you can synthesize and apply course concepts and knowledge. Online courses frequently emphasize projects and interaction rather than rote memorization. In addition, examinations may be timed. You will not have time to look up every answer needed on exams. Course projects will be subject to submission to commercial plagiarism software which checks each paper for copyright infringement and internet plagiarism, informing the professor of the precise source of the submission. Exit examinations will be proctored. If you have not done the work yourself during all online courses, you will not be able to pass the exit examination for your degree program.

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Are online classes easier?

No. Online courses are not easier. Some students find them more challenging because it takes more self-discipline. You do not have an instructor glaring at you each week to turn in assignments and projects. Online courses require significant independent learning. The UH Music Department strives to provide challenging and rigorous graduate courses that fulfill our mission, and meet our professional responsibilities. Online courses are, however, more convenient. You do not need to find parking. You do not need to rush away from school or miss sectionals in order to take a class. You do not even need to dress for class. You can eat in class. You can leave the classroom anytime you desire. You can listen to music during class or even watch TV during class. No one will know except you!

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OTHER

What happens if I'm accepted into the degree program but need to take a Fall or Spring semester off?

Students admitted to the Master of Arts program must register for a minimum of one (1) credit each Fall and Spring semester. If you cannot take classes during a specific Fall or Spring semester, you will need to apply for a "leave of absence" for one semester. If approved, you can take either Fall or Spring semester off without needing to re-apply to the program. You MUST remember however, to apply to take a semester away from coursework. You must also register for at least 1 credit during the semester in which you graduate.

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