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Become a Music Teacher in Oregon

If you're thinking about becoming a music teacher in Oregon, you should know what's required. Find out what kind of degree you should choose while attending a college or university and what exams you need to pass before earning your license.

Career Information for Music Teachers in Oregon

Oregon music teachers can instruct many different grades in various educational settings. You'll need a bachelor's degree that includes a teacher preparation practicum before passing a pair of standardized tests and earning your license.

Education/Experience RequiredBachelor's degree and teacher education program
Exams RequiredCivil Rights Exam and NES in Music
License ValidityThree years for a Preliminary Teaching License
License ExtensionContinuous three-year renewals until upgrading to a Professional Teaching License
Renewal Requirements 75 continuing professional development units
Average Oregon Salary (2018)*$67,910 for elementary school
$75,280 for middle school
$72,640 for high school
National Job Growth (2016-2026)*7% for elementary school
8% for middle school and high school

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

As a music teacher, you could put together the set list for the high school ensemble's winter concert or choose the formations when the marching band takes the field at a football game. For music teachers of younger students, you might introduce them to their first time playing an instrument or help them discover their voice through singing.

No matter which grade you teach, you'll create lesson plans to stick with a schedule throughout the year. You will give grades just like other classes, and if needed, issue disciplinary actions that include referrals to other teachers or administrative members. Typically, your work year will begin in late August or early September, finishing in June.

Education and Training Requirements

To become a music teacher for public schools in Oregon, you can earn a Bachelor of Music in Music Education or similar degree. Some universities let you choose from instrumental, choral, or general music education as a concentration. You may learn about many different instruments from diverse backgrounds and expand your knowledge of music theory and performance.

During the late portions of your degree and teacher preparation, you'll begin a student teaching session, which allows you to instruct a class of music students while under the supervision of a licensed teacher. This element is vital to your career and is required to get your own license.

Exam Requirements

Music teachers in Oregon must pass two exams through Pearson to apply for their first credential. The first exam is the Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment exam, which allows 90 minutes for you to answer 60 multiple choice questions. You can pass this test with a score of at least 240. You'll also take the NES Music exam, which is twice as long at three hours. You will need to score at least a 220 on this one, which contains 150 multiple choice questions. Both tests come with a $95 registration fee, and seats are available until each appointment is booked to capacity.

License Requirements

Passing a background check is required before you earn your license. When you have fulfilled all of your degree requirements, passed both exams, and completed the background check, you can put in your application for a Preliminary Teaching License in Oregon. The preliminary license is good for three years, and you can renew it for the same amount of time after earning 75 verified continuing education credits. After four years of full-time or six years of part-time teaching, you will be eligible to upgrade your credentials to a Professional Teaching License, which lasts for five years.