Music Teacher Job Outlook

Music teachers show students how to sing, play instruments and appreciate the art of music in classrooms from kindergarten to colleges. From a careers education standpoint, potential music teachers can consider specializing in a style of music or an instrument (or both, such as jazz trumpet). Music teachers can can work in in drums, guitar, opera, rock, jazz and other instruments or music styles.

Education Requirements for a Music Teacher

Prospective music teachers need to earn a bachelor degree in music education. They can take introductory courses at a community college if it grants an associate degree in music education. Those who hope to teach at the college level need to pursue graduate-level options such as master’s degrees and doctorates in music education and music performance.

Typically, those who hope to become music teachers will need four to five years to complete their education before teaching. Their college courses will include liberal arts studies along with in-depth instruction in music and educational methods. Teachers in public schools will need to pass a test to become certified and licensed to teach.

In most cases, states require all teachers to obtain and maintain, a license to teach music, with some offering different types of licenses, applicable to various situations. Though many states require exams such as the Praxis Series tests, the educational requirements, specific tests, and test scores needed to obtain a license vary greatly.

Career Options: What You Can Do As a Music Teacher

Music teachers can find work at the preschool, elementary, secondary and college levels. Those who teach at the college level perform a wide variety of instruction depending on their musical specialty.

In addition to teaching in a school, music teachers can offer private lessons to students and adults, providing more flexibility and opportunity.

What to Consider if you Become a Music Teacher

Growth is expected to be about average for music teachers at all levels in the coming decade. Salaries vary widely, but according to the Bureau of Labors Statistics (BLS), the median pay for college music teachers is about $62,330 and the median pay for elementary and secondary school teachers is approximately $51,380.

According to the National Association for Music Education, The national averages for music teachers show that there appears to be a balanced supply and demand in this field. This may not be the case on a regional level, however; differences in population demographics and regional economics skew the need for music teachers in different areas of the country.

When considering whether to become a music teacher, the National Association for Music Education says that it is a logical career choice if;

  • you have been attracted to and involved in making music
  • you seek opportunities to become actively involved with music individually and in groups
  • you have been encouraged by family, friends, and teachers to pursue the serious study of music
  • you enjoy sharing your musical ability with others in formal and informal settings
  • you genuinely like being with people
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