How to Be a Music Teacher in Connecticut

Music teachers help facilitate creative expression and musical ability in students, exposing them to different cultures through musical exploration. Find out how to become a music teacher in Connecticut! Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Music Teacher Career Overview

Music teachers are an essential part of the educational curriculum. Not only do music teachers help foster creativity and self-expression through singing and instrumentation, but they help expose students to different cultures and historical events. Connecticut music teachers must be endorsed both in music education and in the grade level they plan to teach. This involves obtaining a qualifying degree, completing an educator preparation program, and passing a series of rigorous exams for professional certification.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree with a major in music education and completion of educator preparation program from regionally accredited college or university
Exams Required Praxis I Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading
Praxis I Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing
Praxis I Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics
Praxis II Music: Content & Instruction
Praxis II Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects
Pearson Foundations of Reading Assessment
License Validity Period Initial license valid for three years;
Provisional license valid for eight years;
Professional license valid for five years
Certification Renewal Process Initial and provisional licenses nonrenewable;
Professional licenses renewable every five years
CEU Credits Required for Renewal 9 credits (or 90 hours of continuing education)
Average Salary (2018) $62,753 (elementary school);
$65,433 (high school)*
Estimated Job Growth 2016 – 2026 7% (elementary school);
8% (high school)**

Source: *Salary.com, salaries reflect data for elementary and high school teachers and not music teachers specifically; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth projections reflect national data

Special Skills & Characteristics

In order to become a certified music teacher, candidates must be highly skilled in both singing and playing an instrument. Not only this, but music teachers should possess additional skills and characteristics in order to experience the most success in their careers, including:

  • Knowledge of music from other cultures beyond the Western influence
  • Patience to work with students of varying skill levels and interest in music education
  • Ability to command classrooms of varying sizes and age groups in distracting environments

Additional qualities of successful music teachers include a positive attitude and creativity beyond musical applications.

Educational Requirements

All Connecticut instructors must earn at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. For those seeking certification in music education, candidates must earn their degree with a qualifying major in this content area. In addition, teachers must complete an educator preparation program approved by the Connecticut State Board of Education. Most programs require candidates to receive a GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, with some programs mandating at least a 3.0 GPA in order to successfully complete the program.

Exam Requirements

Aspiring music teachers must earn passing scores on all required exams mandated by the state of Connecticut. The following exams are required for music instructors planning to teach at the elementary level:

  • Praxis I Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading
  • Praxis I Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing
  • Praxis I Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics
  • Praxis II Music: Content & Instruction
  • Praxis II Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects
  • Pearson Foundations of Reading Assessment

Passing scores for the Praxis I Core Academic Skills Assessments are determined by the specific educator preparation program in which candidates are enrolled. Teachers must earn at least a 162 on the Praxis II Music: Content & Instruction assessment and a score of 240 on the Pearson Foundations of Reading Assessment. In order to pass the Praxis II Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects assessment, candidates must earn the following minimum scores in each subtest: Reading & Language Arts (157), Mathematics (157), Social Studies (155), Science (159).

Certification Requirements

In order to be certified as a music teacher in Connecticut, candidates must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in content area candidate wishes to teach
  • Earned required GPA in area of study
  • Completed a state-approved educator preparation program
  • Received a formal institutional recommendation for certification
  • Received passing scores on all required assessments for the endorsement area

Certifications are issued at three tier levels: initial, provisional, and professional. Initial licenses are valid for three years, during which time candidates must convert their licenses to provisional status. In order to qualify for provisional licensure, candidates must earn at least 10 months of successful appropriate teaching experience and pass Beginning Educator Support & Training (BEST). After eight years, provisional licenses must be converted to professional licenses, provided the candidate has at least 30 months of successful appropriate teaching experience under their provisional certification.

Certification Renewal

Initial licenses are valid for three years and provisional licenses are valid for eight years; both of which are nonrenewable. Rather, candidates are required to progress through the tier levels until they reach professional certification. Professional certifications are renewable once every five years provided that teachers earn at least nine continuing education units through one of the following state-approved methods:

  • Graduate-level courses from an accredited college or university
  • Participation in the BEST program or approved state service position
  • Board of Education-sponsored professional development activities
  • Connecticut State Department of Education-approved CEU Provider professional development activities

Renewal applications may be submitted either online or through the mail for processing.

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