How to Start a Career as a Music Teacher

A music teacher instructs learners in music concepts and leads musical activities like playing instruments, listening, singing, and analyzing artistic works. There are several music teaching jobs available in a variety of settings.

As a music teacher, you can work either full-time or part-time. You can work in a private school, university or college, music conservatory, or even in a private setting.

Let’s delve deeper and find out more about how to become a music teacher, the job’s expected salary, the everyday associated tasks, plus the job outlook.

This is a guide to help you become a music teacher.

Job Description of a Music Teacher

As a music teacher, you will instruct your students in voice, choral, and general music, instrumental music, or a combination of all these. You will teach in both one-on-one and class settings and at varying competency levels. If you are an independent teacher, you will be required to teach both at home and in private studios offering services even to adult pupils.

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You might also be required to direct a marching band, orchestra, or a school choir. Music teachers develop their curricula, conduct rehearsals, and assess student performance. You must be able to exhibit patience, be creative, encourage learning, and instruct students in the technical aspects of music and performance.

How to Become a Music Teacher

Just like any other teacher who works at a public school, you must have a bachelor’s degree and an approved teacher preparation program to meet your state’s certification requirements. In your degree course, you must cover music in early childhood, musical theory, and choral conducting. The following are the steps required to become a music teacher.

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in music education and a teacher preparation program
  • Complete a student music teaching internship
  • Complete your state’s required tests
  • Apply for a teaching certificate
  • Begin applying for music teacher jobs

With private schools, you might or might not be necessary to have a teaching license, although you might need a relevant bachelor’s degree. Again, the type of music teaching job you seek will determine what’s required of you in terms of skills, education, and experience. 

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Expected Salary of a Music Teacher

As of 2015, elementary and kindergarten teachers earned an annual salary of $54,550, whereas high school teachers earned a yearly salary of $57,200. Postsecondary school teachers earned an average salary of $76,710 per year, as of 2015.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase in teacher employment to 6% for both elementary and high school teachers and 13% for postsecondary teachers. Your expected pay will vary based on whether you have years of experience behind you and the geographical location of your workplace. 

Required Skills and Experience for a Music Teacher

Experience or knowledge with music, plus the ability to play several musical instruments, will make you stand out among the crowd. You might also look into getting a master’s degree to build your portfolio. As a music teacher, you must exhibit excellent communication skills, organizational skills, outstanding presentation skills, and sound decision-making skills.

When working specifically with children or youth, it will be absolutely essential for you to hold skills in patience, understanding, and the ability to convey thoughts in an easy-to-understand manner for young minds.

Also, if you are considering working with children, you should be calm and always ensure fairness. Being kind and having a love for children will also be helpful in your career, and to apply for certain jobs, you may need to pass necessary clearances for working with children and background checks.

Conclusion

If you have a passion for singing, you might have to consider music teaching as your next career. Follow the above steps, and you will have yourself to thank. It is such a rewarding job worth experiencing.

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