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How to become a Music Teacher

music teacher careers

What does a Music Teacher do?

Music teachers may work in schools and colleges or as private or freelance teachers. Both types of work require both musical and teaching ability.

Private teachers teach on a one-to-one or small group basis, usually either from home or in the pupil's home. Their work may range from teaching beginners to giving refresher lessons to top performers, and involves planning lessons to suit the individual needs of each pupil. They often help pupils prepare for music examinations, competitions and performances. Many musicians combine musical performance with some kind of teaching, including being involved in musician-in- residence schemes.

Music is a compulsory subject in the UK for all pupils from 5 to 14 and secondary schools usually have at least one music specialist on the staff. In primary schools class teachers cover all curriculum subjects, but there will usually be a music specialist on the staff. Music teachers in schools are often supported by visiting teachers who give individual or group tuition.

See the Singing Teacher profile for more information on this role.

What's the working environment like working as a Music Teacher?

Music teachers in schools normally work school hours from Monday to Friday. They may also teach individual pupils or run rehearsals or music groups after school hours and occasionally at weekends. Private lessons may be at any time to suit the client group.

Freelance music teachers may spend time travelling between different teaching venues, so a driving licence is useful.

What does it take to become a Music Teacher?

To be a music teacher you should:

  • wish to share your enthusiasm for music
  • have a good knowledge of all types of music and its background
  • have musical skills in playing an instrument or singing
  • be patient and encouraging
  • have good communication skills
  • be self- motivated and well-organised.

Music Teacher Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Music Teacher that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)
24 Portland Place
Tel: 020 7636 5400

Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM)
10 Stratford Place
Tel: 020 7629 4413

Musicians Union
60-62 Clapham Road
Tel: 020 78405512

Training and Development Agency for Schools (Formerly Teacher Training Agency)
Portland House
Bressenden Place
Teaching Information Line: 0845 6000 991

Scottish Executive, Education Department
Area 2A North
Victoria Quay
Tel: 0845 345 4745

Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI)
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
Co Down
BT19 7PR
Tel: 028 9127 9279

Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 0800 093 0444

Facts and Stats:

    60 per cent of people remember a good teacher, compared to 75 per cent who remember a bad teacher. Sting used to be a teacher (be still your beating hearts, girls). An actual answer from a GCSE question paper read: "The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths, A myth is a female moth."

Courses to help you become a Music Teacher