What does a Music Teacher do?
Music teachers are responsible for teaching people instrumental techniques, scales, sight reading, and music theory. The majority of music teachers help students prepare for music examinations, auditions, and live performances. Music teachers can work in schools, community centers, music shops, people's homes and public institutions, such as hospitals and prisons. They may even work on a freelance basis which can offer more freedom.
A bachelor's degree in Music Education along with high musical competence and proficiency of a musical instrument is required for music teacher positions. Successful music teachers are passionate and possess excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills.
- Plan and prepare lessons in relation to individual students' needs and examination syllabuses
- Teach music theory, aural skills and practical techniques to pupils entering and preparing pupils for examinations
- Acquire appropriate teaching materials and resources
- Motivate pupils and encourage progress
- Create and maintain a network of contacts to ensure work continuity
- Communicate with academic staff and parents
- Ensure up-to-date knowledge and awareness of examination requirements
- Assess pupils' abilities, providing feedback and writing reports
- Evidence of enrollment in an accredited college/university in completing a state-approved teacher preparation program within 3 years of the date of hire or in the field experience
- Demonstrable knowledge of music curriculum and the ability to implement it
- Ability to interact collaboratively with students, parents, and administration
- Excellent oral and written skills
- Confident in leading a classroom of students
- Able to pass a drug test, fingerprints, and local background check
- Strong organizational skills
- Able to lift 25-50 pounds multiple times a day
- Able to thrive working in a team environment
Music Teacher Salaries
Average Base Pay
Music Teacher Career Path
Learn how to become a Music Teacher, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
Music Teacher Insights
“There are many classes and resources to use to better your skillsets both professional and personal.”
“Being an instructor here is a very satisfying and fulfilling career because I get to practice my love for music while earning a good salary.”
“Overall i would like to sat that it is the best place to work and learn if you have the true passion for teaching.”
“Great place to work and friendly”
“Well mannered staff and honest .”
“district communication was inconsistent and difficult.”
“They really don't have any office supplies and you really need your own computer and printer to work here.”
“I am supported in my activities but I am also independent and feel "my own boss."”
Music Teacher Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of music teachers
Music teachers may instruct individual students in singing or playing instruments, or they may teach classes at the primary or secondary level. A typical day of a music teacher might also involve spending time teaching theory, composition, and music history.
An advantage of working as a music teacher is the variety of opportunities in a teaching environment, student ability, and place of employment. Some music teachers are able to set their own hours and teach out of their homes or studio space, allowing them to set their own schedules.
The average salary for a music teacher in the U.S. is $61,699 per year, and pay can range from $33,043 per year to $115,203 per year. Salary can vary depending on the type of music taught, the institution, and the experience level of the teacher.
As with any job, there are some difficult aspects about being a music teacher. In school environments they spend long hours on their feet. Becoming a music teacher on a freelance basis can offer freedom but also job and pay uncertainty. These professionals may also need to meet with parents and students after school hours.