There are two main types of work for music teachers. They can either be:
Classroom music teachers:
Private and visiting teachers:
School hours vary, but are usually between 8.45am and 3.45pm. Music teachers may do extra work such as tuition, rehearsals and concerts before and after school, or at weekends. Part-time work is possible.
Private music teachers often work evenings and weekends. Visiting teachers may offer lessons before school and at lunchtimes. Part-time work is common.
Music teachers work mainly indoors, in classrooms and practice rooms. Private teachers often work in their own or pupils' homes. Some work in youth and community settings such as youth centres or care homes.
There may be lifting and carrying of musical equipment and some travelling, especially for private teachers.
State school music teachers in England and Wales may start on £20,133 to £24,168 a year. In Scotland, starting salaries may be between £19,878 and £21,888.
Private teachers agree their own rates with pupils. The Musicians' Union recommends a teaching rate of £25.40 an hour.
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. Employment opportunities are good, with a current shortage of qualified music teachers.
Jobs are advertised in The Times Educational Supplement, national and local newspapers, local authority websites and music magazines.
Private or visiting teachers are not required to have a teaching qualification. However, they must be qualified in the instruments they teach to become members of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and be listed in their Register of Professional Private Music Teachers.
State school teachers must have a degree and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). For general information on becoming a school teacher, see School Teacher. Along with the general requirements to be accepted onto a teacher training course, music applicants usually need at least A level/H grade music (equivalent qualifications may be accepted) and often instrumental, singing or theory qualifications at a high grade.
Newly-qualified school teachers are supported by a mentor during their induction year.
Private teachers need to keep up to date with examination board syllabuses. The ISM offers part-time professional development courses, including the Music Teaching in Professional Practice distance-learning programme. A number of other colleges and organisations offer qualifications in music teaching.
A Professional Development Award in Music Tuition (Certificate) is available in Scotland.
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Music teachers should:
Classroom teachers may be promoted to subject leader, head of department, head of year, deputy head or headteacher.
Private and visiting teachers may move into music board examining, performing, composing, directing choirs or orchestras, or accompanying at examinations and recitals.
Creative and Cultural Skills,
4th Floor, Lafone House,
The Leathermarket, Weston Street,
London SE1 3HN
Tel: 020 7015 1800
Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM),
10 Stratford Place, London W1C 1AA
Tel: 020 7629 4413
Musicians' Union, 60-62 Clapham Road,
London SW9 0JJ
Tel: 020 7840 5558
Hear the Music Play - helps you play at the highest level
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.