How to Become a Music Teacher in Maryland

If you're interested in becoming a music teacher in Maryland, you'll need to study both music and teaching to receive your certification. Learn more in this article. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Maryland Music Teacher Career Info

Any teacher in Maryland needs to receive a state certification, which qualifies them to teach certain subjects to certain grades. Music is considered a specialty area of certification in Maryland, and the certification will allow you to teach preschool through 12th grade. Teaching music in a school can range from educating students about music history to directing a band or orchestra.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree with music coursework; teacher preparation program
Exams Required Basic skills test
Praxis Subject Area Assessment in Music: Content & Instruction
License Validity Period 5 years
License Renewal Requirements 6 hours of credit or professional development in reading
Advancement Requirements 3 years of teaching experience
6 college credit hours
Professional development plan
Mean Salary (2018, for general teaching) $38,440 (preschool)
$67,170 (kindergarten)
$71,060 (elementary)
$69,710 (middle)
$72,610 (high school)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 10% (preschool)
7% (kindergarten and elementary)
8% (middle and high school)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Step 1: Meet the Education and Experience Requirements

Teaching music in Maryland requires a bachelor's degree with either a major in music or at least 30 hours of college coursework in music. For the latter requirement, half of those hours must have been completed at one school, and at least 12 hours need to be from upper-level coursework.

You're also required to have 21 credit hours of professional education classes, including at least 3 hours each in adolescent development, human learning, teaching methods, instructing special needs students and assessing students. This also needs to include 6 hours of coursework in reading methods and strategies.

Plus, you'll need to complete a supervised teaching experience in music, or have a year of experience teaching music full time.

Step 2: Pass the Certification Exams

First, you'll need to have your basic skills in reading, writing and math tested, which is a qualification for all Maryland teachers. You can submit SAT, ACT or GRE scores to meet this requirement. Or, you can take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Exams in those subject areas.

To teach music, you'll also need to pass the relevant Praxis Subject Area Assessment. This exam, Music: Content & Instruction (5114), requires a passing score of 162. The exam tests knowledge in areas including music history and theory, performance and teaching music.

Step 3: Submit Your Certification Application

Maryland asks its teaching certification candidates to submit an application form (with information about employment and education experience), test scores and an official transcript to the state department of education's certification office. You can send these by mail or by email. You do not need to pay a fee until your application for certification is approved. You'll also have to create an account in an online system so you can keep track of your application's status. Specific information about how to submit your application is available on the Maryland State Department of Education website.

Step 4: Advance Your Certification

Maryland teaching certificates have types and areas. Your teaching certificate area will be in Music PreK-12. Your initial certificate type depends on whether you are currently employed by a school district. You'll receive either a:

  • Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC) if you are not employed by a school district; or
  • Standard Professional Certificate I (SPC I) if you are employed.

You can also advance your certification to two higher levels.

  • Standard Professional Certificate II (SPC II): Requires 3 years of teaching experience, 6 college credit hours and a plan for professional development to get to the Advanced Professional Certificate (APC)
  • Advanced Professional Certificate (APC): Requires completion of a master's degree, 36 hours of coursework (including 21 at the graduate level) or a National Board Certification with graduate-level coursework

Step 5: Renew Your Certificate

All certificate types are valid for 5 years. To renew the certificate, you must complete 6 hours of professional development or reading coursework. Teachers who are employed by a school district can renew the certificate through their employers; those who aren't employed need to send the state a cover letter with proof of the coursework.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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