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How to become a Singing Teacher

singing teacher careers

What does a Singing Teacher do?

Singing teachers, sometimes known as vocal coaches, work with individuals and groups, teaching vocal skills, singing and music theory, composition and musical appreciation. Singing teachers may also specialise in a particular singing style, for instance choral, opera, rhythm and blues, or pop.

Singing teachers often have several different roles: helping students to prepare for examinations; assisting students in building up a repertoire of sheet music and backing tracks; working with groups in rehearsals prior to public performance; they can be involved in coaching individuals for a particular role in a play or musical.

Teachers work in a wide range of settings including primary and secondary schools, rehearsal studios, music colleges, and on a one-to-one private tuition basis. Singing teachers may be employed by one institution or they may work on a peripatetic basis, travelling between organisations to set up and run classes.

Singing teachers are also increasingly contracted by commercial firms to design training programmes that offer alternative ways of developing professional and interpersonal skills such as teamwork, presentation, creativity and confidence building.

Typical day- to-day duties may include:

  • planning lessons and organising resources
  • coaching in particular vocal/breathing exercises and techniques
  • instruction in melody, harmony and improvisation
  • teaching specific areas relating to exam syllabuses
  • administration of student examinations
  • organising performances
  • practice sessions to maintain high levels in their own performance.
Private tutors may also have to deal with marketing and business accounts if self- employed.

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

In schools, singing teachers work normal school hours, Monday to Friday. Often, teachers divide their time between part-time work in schools and private tuition. They may also teach individual pupils or run rehearsal or music groups after school hours and occasionally at weekends. For performances outside school hours, attendance would be required.

Private singing teachers’ hours can vary widely and are normally fitted around the students' needs.

Music teachers may work in schools, colleges, arts centres, company training centres, public venues or in their own or client’s home. Freelance music teachers spend time travelling between different teaching venues, so a driving licence is useful.

What does it take to become a Singing Teacher?

To be a singing teacher you should:

  • have excellent vocal and aural skills
  • have a good knowledge of all singing styles
  • be patient and enthusiastic
  • have good communication skills
  • be self-motivated and well-organised
  • be aware of health and safety issues
  • have good business skills, especially if working in private tuition.
In addition to singing skills, the ability to play one or more musical instruments is a distinct advantage.

Singing Teacher Career Opportunities

Competition for jobs is fierce for those who want to work in specialist music schools or colleges.

In schools and colleges there may be opportunities for promotion to head of department.

Local authorities may have positions available for experienced singing and music teachers to act as coordinators of music teaching services within the local or regional area. There may also be wider arts development and administration roles available through local authorities or community and regional arts bodies.

Many singing teachers work on a freelance basis. Freelance teachers usually combine teaching privately with part- time or casual work for colleges and other organisations.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Singing 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

Trinity College London
89 Albert Embankment
Tel: 020 7820 6100

Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 0800 093 0444

Creative and Cultural Skills
11 Southwark St