How to Become a Music Teacher

If you love music and play an instrument, you may want to know how to become a music teacher. It’s often the case that musicians love to share the beauty of music with others and help others develop a passion for it too.
Due to your love and enthusiasm for the subject, becoming an instructor might be right path for you. But of course, there are various music teacher requirements that are needed. Plus, you’re required to have essential qualifications as a music teacher to be able to teach in schools. 
Here, we’ll provide you with insights into a career as a music teacher and explain what music teaching entails.
young woman playing the piano

How to Become a Music Teacher: Music Teacher Job Description

Before focusing on how to become a music teacher, let’s learn what’s involved in teaching music.
A music teacher or instructor is someone who educates students about music or teaches them to play a specific instrument. The subjects range from general music, instrumental music, voice or choral, or a combination of these.
As a music teacher, you can teach one-on-one or in a group setting.  The method of the lessons can vary based on age, abilities, as well as grade levels.
Independent music teachers can provide music lessons either from their homes or private studios.
When you become a music teacher, its important to display considerable skill, patience, knowledge, and creativity. You need to teach students how to read music and technically play an instrument. You also need to have the ability to encourage music appreciation.

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violin instructor with her young girl student

Experience & Skills Needed on How to Become a Music Teacher

There are several music teacher requirements that are important to consider when looking at how to become a music teacher.
Having the skill to teach students how to play an instrument and how to sing is invaluable. It goes without saying that if you want to teach a specific instrument, you need to be a skillful player yourself. For example, having the ability to play the piano is vital for a piano teacher since they need to demonstrate keyboard proficiency.
For teaching within an an orchestra or band setting, it’s a must for the teacher to display mastery of their primary instruments. Other necessary skills that help in teaching include conducting skills, repertoire selection, and interpersonal skills.
It’s paramount to have these social skills, as well as the ability to work with teens, kids, and adults. Of course, the skill to lead a team, do curriculum planning, and articulate goals is also a huge benefit.
Its important to be able to relate to your students and focus on strategies to help them achieve their goals.

Qualifications for Getting Music Teacher Jobs

There are certain qualifications a music teacher may need to have before they can teach.  It all depends on where and who you want to teach.
You may choose to teach music at university or college level or you may wish to teach in schools. Alternatively, you may decide to offer private lessons by taking specialist courses. The latter are usually headed by professional bodies.
guitar instructor with her young girl student

How Can I Start Teaching Music Privately?

The field of music offers a variety of possible options for those interested in teaching music. Often, music educators opt to become private music teachers.
Becoming a private music instructor is a rewarding career. You can make a great living by teaching music privately. You will also influence your students in a positive way through music, which is something that will stay with them forever.
When it comes to private music teachers, they share a lot of the same responsibilities as other music instructors. Since they often work one-on-one with students, they can identify the best materials to use, and customize the lessons for each student. This can play a vital role in helping your student’s achieve their goals.
The journey to becoming a private music teacher is filled with personal satisfaction. Teachers have the opportunity to contribute to their students’ understanding of culture while establishing creativity and talent.
It can be a challenging task to determine where to begin. Each person’s route to a fulfilling and nurturing teaching career is different.
So, the very first steps to becoming a music teacher is to refine your passions. Then, determine how you want to grow professionally.

Network with People Working in Your Field of Interest

Spending time with other professionals with similar interests and skills can help you find new students while enhancing your teaching style. Also, you can find mentors who can guide you in setting personal goals and building a strong career foundation.
Technology has also opened new paths for finding peers and mentors who share the same interests and skills. Many online communities are available for you to find quick support in developing professional connections.
Another form of networking is attending music education conferences. Here, you can reach out to larger communities.

Determine the Most Suitable Skills for Your Career Goals

When becoming a music teacher, deciding which musical instruments and genres you want to pursue is a must. For example, do you want to concentrate on one specific style of music, or do you prefer teaching many? Do you want to focus on one instrument or several?
Networking and knowing exactly what you want to do can help lead you to more clients and opportunities.
Knowing which audience you can communicate with best is another important factor. Determine which age group and what skill level you prefer teaching and connect with them. If you enjoy working with children, you may focus on finding elementary-age students.

Identify Private Music Teacher Degree Requirements

Graduate music education programs offer opportunities for developing skill that help make private music teachers successful. Although it’s not a requirement, some people may prefer a teacher who hold a master’s degree from a well-known music institution. Completing a relevant program will help increase your credibility and build your reputation.
Pursuing a master’s degree can improve your teaching style and enhance your skills to provide better service for your clients. There are music education courses that delve into different teaching strategies and techniques to ensure you have all the knowledge needed to become an effective teacher.
However, if you are planning on teaching privately, remember that its more about being able to connect with your students and sharing your experience with them.

Find out the Best Environment for You

Once you have everything you need to become a music teacher, decide where you want to teach. Do you want to work at a music studio or start your own teaching business?
When working for a someone else, you probably won’t need to do a whole lot of management or admin. These are definitely your responsibility if you decide to teach privately on your own.  However, by being your own boss, you take control of your career, your time and your money.
You might also consider working in multiple environments. For example, you can continue teaching in a school while offering private lessons during specific hours of the day.

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Benefits of Becoming a Private Music Teacher

Music lessons can be taught in private or group settings. Both can be enjoyable for students and teachers, but private and group lessons come with their own unique advantages.
Group lessons are usually more affordable. These also allow students in the same class to socialize, encourage, and help each other in improving their skills.
Private lessons, on the other hand, offer one-on-one attention, which leads to improved overall skill and musical knowledge. In addition, private lessons are highly beneficial for the instructor.
Here are the advantages of becoming a private music teacher:

A Higher Music Teacher Salary – You Can Charge More for Lessons

A music teacher’s salary is another benefit when offering private lessons. You can charge between $50 to $90 dollars for a 1-hour session. For group lessons, the school or studio takes a large cut from the fee, so instructors receive less.

If you want to earn more as a music teacher, providing private lessons is the way. You will have more control over your teaching business and be able to determine how much you want to teach and how much to charge per lesson. 

We hope you find this article on how to become a music teacher helpful!