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Music Teacher Job Description, Career as a Music Teacher, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

teachers time private school

Education and Training: Varies—see profile

Salary: Varies—see profile

Employment Outlook: Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Music teachers instruct individuals or groups in vocal or instrumental music and foster music appreciation. They may work full time or part time at home, in a studio, or in an elementary or secondary school, college, university, or music conservatory.

The specific nature of a music teacher's work depends on the type of position they hold. Private music teachers instruct a wide variety of students from young children to adults. Some of their clients pursue music for enjoyment, whereas others are preparing for a career in music.

Elementary and secondary school music teachers often direct the school chorus, choir, orchestra, or marching band, as well as give group and private lessons. They instruct students in the technical aspects of music, conduct rehearsals, and evaluate student performance. School music teachers sometimes take students on field trips to musical presentations, or the students may perform off campus under the direction of the teacher.

Education and Training Requirements

Although the education and training requirements vary according to the type of position, all music teachers must have a complete mastery of their specific field and general knowledge of other instruments and music areas. In addition, they must have good communication skills and be able to establish a rapport with their students.

No formal education or licenses are needed to be a private teacher. However, most instructors have spent years performing and studying in schools, conservatories, or privately with experienced musicians. Elementary and secondary school music teachers need a bachelor's degree in music education and state certification. Part-time work is a good alternative for many music teachers, since schools have cut many full-time positions in music. (© Ariel Skelley/Corbis.) Colleges and universities and most conservatories require an advanced degree.

Getting the Job

Private music teachers may establish their business by advertising in newspapers or contacting music departments of local schools. Those seeking employment in schools or universities should speak to a placement officer at the school from which they are graduating.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Increased student enrollment and enhanced reputation as a teacher help advance the careers of private music teachers. Elementary and secondary school teachers can become college professors by obtaining additional degrees and experience. College professors may move into administrative positions after gaining experience and recognition.

The job outlook for all types of music teachers is good through the year 2014. Because of budget restraints, many colleges and universities are hiring more part-time or adjunct faculty members instead of full-time teachers. To cut costs, some school districts are hiring only one music teacher to travel between two or more schools. The best opportunities for music teachers in the early 2000s were in part-time positions. In addition, an increased interest in self-enrichment classes, including music, suggested a pattern of growth in opportunities for music teachers.

Working Conditions

Private music teachers often work either in their own homes or in the homes of their students. They set their own hours but frequently work evenings to accommodate their students. Teachers in elementary and secondary schools follow set schedules, must adhere to established policies, and may have non-teaching duties, such as monitoring study halls. They often have rehearsals and performances in the evenings or on weekends.

College teachers usually have flexible schedules, teaching about twelve to sixteen hours per week. They also spend time preparing lessons, rehearsing, writing, performing, and attending conferences.

Earnings and Benefits

Earnings for music teachers vary greatly depending on the type of teaching, the number of hours worked, and the teacher's level of experience. According to MENC: The National Association for Music Education, private teachers typically set their own rates between $15 and $60 per hour. Certified teachers of music in public elementary and secondary schools have a median annual salary of $44,500. Full-time music faculty at colleges, universities, and conservatories can earn much more, sometimes up to $70,000 a year.

Where to Go for More Information

MENC: The National Association for Music Education
1806 Robert Fulton Dr.
Reston, VA 20191
(800) 336-3768
http://www.menc.org/

Music Teachers National Association
The Carew Tower
441 Vine St., Ste. 505
Cincinnati, OH 45202-2811
(888) 512-5278
http://www.mtna.org/

Elementary, secondary, and college teachers usually receive health insurance and retirement plan benefits. Private teachers must provide their own benefits.

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about 9 years ago

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about 9 years ago

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over 6 years ago

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over 6 years ago

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about 8 years ago

thank you for the information. But, my one question is what will become of a music teacher when the job outlook is not exactly great? basically... then what?

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almost 7 years ago

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over 9 years ago

I'm an 8th grader at Riverside Middle School in Pennsylvania. I write my own music, learn multiple instruments, and are currently learning Music History. I can't wait to start my training to be a Music Teacher.

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over 6 years ago

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about 8 years ago

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over 8 years ago

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about 9 years ago

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over 9 years ago

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over 9 years ago

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almost 7 years ago

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over 9 years ago

Thanks for this article! I'm and eighth grader at Bluffton Middle School in Ohio and we have career projects where we had to chose a career and write a research paper on it including salary, job outlook, etc. This article helped so much! Thanks again!

-Zachary

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almost 9 years ago

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about 9 years ago

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about 9 years ago

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almost 7 years ago

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almost 7 years ago

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about 5 years ago

Being a music teacher is a wonderful thing. I couldn't believe that for the first 3 years, I got paid to teach kids to play instruments. Unfortunately, with everything being science and technology focused, it has become a little less important in the eyes of many schools. With budget cuts and down turn of the economy, music teachers face a lot of shared classrooms, "cart" teaching, and having to do the job in several schools. Or worse, they get laid off due to those cuts. Jobs aren't exactly EASY to find. For every school district, there MIGHT be 2-5 music teachers. In the meantime, there are probably 10-20 math teachers, 10-20 English teachers, etc depending on the district's size. Salary isn't terrible but don't expect to feed a family of 4 with it alone, especially in the first 5-6 years. Most people who do land a nice music position stay there for a very long time. So the jobs that come up often are usually places with high turnover, where it is difficult to enjoy the profession completely. The best things besides the music and teaching it are the benefits (decent health insurance), state pension (partial after 10 years, full after 25-30 years, at least in NJ)and holiday and summer breaks. You get about 6 weeks completely off in the summer. June is pack up month, July is off, and August is getting ready to start the new year again.

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about 9 years ago

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about 9 years ago

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about 9 years ago

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almost 6 years ago

I just have a few questions.

How much do you make when you start if you are a secondary school teacher?

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about 6 years ago

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about 2 years ago

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about 3 years ago

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