i didn't know that! Issue# 28- Music teaching

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I know many are keen on music education especially in the area of music teaching, here is a writeup taken from connexions-direct.com :) but do take into the context that this is written in the context of teaching in the UK.


There are three main types of work for music teachers. They can either be:

  • classroom teachers in a primary or secondary school - teaching all aspects of music, planning lessons, setting and marking work, and organising school choirs, orchestras and concerts
  • teachers/lecturers in further or higher education or specialist music colleges, teaching music at all levels, from GCSE and A level, to degrees
  • private or visiting teachers (often known as peripatetic music teachers), giving instrumental, theory or voice tuition to individuals or small groups, and often preparing pupils for music exams.

School music teachers may do extra work, such as tuition, rehearsals and concerts before and after school, or at weekends. They work mainly in classrooms and practice rooms. Private music teachers tend to work evenings and weekends, often in their own or pupils' homes. They may work school hours also, visiting local schools to teach music under an LEA contract.

Salaries for school music teachers may range from £20,627 to £34,768 a year. Private teachers agree their own rates with pupils. The Musicians' Union (MU) and the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) advise members on fee levels, taking into account a teacher's training, skills and experience. These can range from £20 to £50 an hour.

Music teachers should:

  • have a high level of personal musicianship
  • communicate well
  • be able to inspire and motivate pupils
  • be self-disciplined and organised
  • be passionate about music and have a strong desire to teach.

Music teachers work for state and independent schools, colleges and music services all over the UK. There are also opportunities with universities and specialist schools of music. Many private teachers are self-employed.

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of employment. Those wishing to teach in state schools need Qualified Teaching Status (QTS). A postgraduate level qualification is usually required to teach in a music college conservatoire. While a teaching qualification isn't a requirement for private work, a teaching or performance degree or diploma from a recognised music college, conservatoire or awarding body can increase the chances of finding work.

To work with children or vulnerable adults, music teachers would need to undergo checks through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

A mentor supports newly qualified school teachers during their induction year. Private teachers need to keep up to date with examination board syllabuses. The ISM, MU and Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) offer members access to professional development courses, including the Music Teaching in Professional Practice (Mtpp) distance-learning programme.

Experienced music teachers working in schools and further and higher education establishments may progress to subject leader or head of the music department. Some might find work in an advisory capacity as a teacher or LEA inspector. Private and visiting teachers may move into music board examining, performing, composing or directing choirs or orchestras