Illinois Music Teacher Certification Requirements

Prospective music teachers can become licensed to teach music at all grade levels. Discover more about the requirements needed to be certified as a music teacher in Illinois, including degree information and exams. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Illinois Music Teacher Career Information

Music teachers instruct students on how to appreciate and understand music, including music listening and reading skills. Classes can range from general music knowledge to band and orchestra, choir, or music technology. Illinois music teachers can receive a Professional Educator License in the music specialization for grades k-12. This license can be renewed every five years. Continue reading below to learn more about the specific requirements for this license.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree and state-approved teacher preparation program; approved coursework in four content areas
Exam Requirements Basic skills exam; edTPA; ILTS music content exam
License Renewal Period Five years
Requirements for Renewal 120 hours of professional development
Average Salary (2018) $55,660 (kindergarten teachers); $62,140 (elementary school teachers) $63,860 (middle school teachers); $72,370 (high school teachers)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 3.9% (kindergarten teachers); 3.7% (elementary school teachers); 3.8% (middle and high school teachers)**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **Illinois Department of Employment Security

Education Requirements

Those wishing to become a licensed music teacher must possess at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university or college and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. Students will generally major in music education, and may choose to concentrate in elementary general music, instrumental music, choral music, or music technology. Examples of coursework topics covered in the major include music theory and practice, history of music, performance studies, musicianship, and music instruction.

The Illinois State Board of Education requires all prospective teachers to complete coursework that includes instruction in four specific content areas: reading in the content area, cross-categorical special education methods, ESL/bilingual methods, and reading methods.

Required Experience

Prospective teachers must complete a student teaching experience, which is typically done through the teacher preparation program. The student teaching fieldwork gives students a chance to work alongside experienced teacher mentors in a local music classroom. Students also develop their skills by student teaching in a music classroom.

Required Exams

Prospective music teachers must take and pass three exams. The first is a basic skills test, and applicants have the option to submit scores from either the SAT (1110 minimum, writing score of 26) or ACT (22 minimum, writing score of 6).

Once they complete their student teaching experience, all prospective teachers must take the edTPA teaching assessment exam in K-12 Performing Arts; this exam's minimum passing score is 39.

Prospective music teachers must also take the ILTS music content exam, which contains 100 multiple-choice questions and includes a listening component. The questions cover topics in five subareas: music theory, listening skills, creating and performing music, music history and culture, and music education. The minimum score to pass this exam is 240.

Renewal Requirements

Once a teacher receives the Professional Educator License, it is valid for five years. To renew this license, teachers must fulfill 120 professional development hours from a provider approved by the state's Board of Education. teachers can go to the state's Board of Education website to find an updated list of approved providers.

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