I'm interested in both teaching classroom music and collaborative piano. I don't really want to major in performance (I'm a second-year music major at a community college and will be transfering in two years). Would a music education degree, with piano as primary instrument, be of much value to a collaborative pianist? Thanks.
My feeling is that a Music Education degree generally won't hinder one's ability to continue in a collaborative piano degree at the post-graduate level, as long as you keep up a high level of playing and keep on acquiring more playing experiences in both the vocal and instrumental fields.
Being able to teach at the K-12 level is not a bad career outcome, and often enables one to get higher pay, benefits, and professional development opportunities than teaching at the collegiate level (unfortunate, but all too true these days). Having a music education degree can give you a head-start on the pedagogy end of the collaborative piano field, especially if you have a love of classroom teaching. Ideally, combining collaborative piano with K-12 music education is best achieved in school districts that have either a serious music curriculum or a dedicated arts school. In fact, I often am brought in to do master classes at a school in north Toronto that actually has a high-school-level voice/piano class for art song, musical theatre, and opera projects(!).
Does anyone have any experience with or opinions about music education degrees within the framework of a career in collaborative piano? If so, it would be great to hear your comments.