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Steps to Become a Music Teacher in New York

Discover how to become a music teacher in the state of New York. Learn about the different types of teaching certificates offered, educational and exam requirements, and renewal information.

Information for Music Teachers in New York

Music teachers educate students on the theory, cultural contexts, and practical applications surrounding musical performance and production. Applicants can become a practicing music teacher in the state of New York through two types of certifications: an initial or professional teaching certificate.

Education/Training Required Bachelor's degree
DASA training
Exam Requirements Educating All Students (EAS) test
Content Specialty Test (CST) in music
edTPA in K-12 performing arts
Certification Renewal Period 5 years
Credits Required for Renewal 100 hours of Continuing Teacher and Leader (CTLE) credits in music (professional certificate)
Average Annual Salary (2018)* $79,410 (kindergarten teachers)
$83,010 (elementary teachers)
$83,490 (middle school teachers)
$85,300 (secondary teachers)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 7% (kindergarten and elementary school teachers, all subjects, nationwide)
8% (high school teachers, all subjects, nationwide)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Fulfilling the Educational Requirements

Individuals looking to pursue the role of a music teacher in New York will require at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, and the completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program in music education. These programs come in the form of both undergraduate and graduate degrees, designed to develop a thorough understanding of musical theory, history, and performance - and developing effective teaching methods around this knowledge.

Applicants will also need to undergo DASA training; workshops in preventing and dealing with harassment, bullying, and discrimination in schools.

Step 2: Passing the Necessary Exams

Music teacher applicants must obtain qualifying scores in three exams: the Educating All Students (EAS) test, a Content Specialty Test (CST) in music, and the edTPA in K-12 performing arts.

Both the EAS and CST are computer-based, constructed of response questions. While the EAS assesses one's general understanding of teacher responsibilities and educating a diverse range of learners, the CST in music will focus on one's musical literacy, techniques, performance abilities, and understanding of historical and cultural contexts.

The edTPA in performing arts is a performance-based assessment, designed to measure one's effectiveness in teaching music education. Applicants will be required to submit video recordings of themselves teaching music, dance, or theatre lessons in a classroom environment, as well as developed student assessments and student work samples.

Step 3: Advancing from an Initial to a Professional Certificate

Once all the necessary educational and exam requirements are fulfilled, all new teachers in New York will be granted an initial, or 'entry-level' certificate that is valid for five years. Holders of this certificate will typically advance to a professional (or 'advanced level') certificate as the next step in their teaching career.

Renewal Information

Professional certificate holders must complete 100 CTLE hours every five years. Acceptable CTLE credits must be taken from a sponsored workshop or course approved by the New York State Education Department. A list of these can be found on their website. Such programs are designed to educate teachers in maintaining the best practices and quality in music education, furthering their skills in teaching musical application and theory.