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Music Teacher

Working as a music teacher can permit you to pursue your artistic dreams while enjoying the stability of a teaching job. Read ahead to find out salary information, the career outlook and sample course topics.

Is Becoming a Music Teacher For Me?

Career Overview

As a music teacher, you could work with students of different ages, teaching them a variety of musical concepts. This might range from teaching students to play musical instruments, like the piano or guitar, to giving voice lessons or instructing students in music history. Music teachers typically are employed in public or private elementary or secondary schools, though they also may work in music conservatories or learning centers or give private lessons at students' homes. With advanced education, you also might find a position as a music professor at a college or university.

Employment Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for self-enrichment teachers, which includes music teachers who work 1-on-1 with students, could grow by 14% over the 2012-2022 decade, which was average growth for all occupations (www.bls.gov). Employment for elementary and middle school teachers was forecast to grow 12% over the same time period, while postsecondary teachers could see a 16% increase in jobs. High school was the only teaching level where slower than average growth was expected, with a projected 6% increase.

Among these workers, postsecondary teachers earned the highest annual salary. According to the BLS, art, drama and music teachers at colleges and universities earned a mean wage of $73,340 as of May 2012. At the same time, average salaries were $40,360 for self-enrichment teachers, $56,130 for elementary school teachers, $56,280 for middle school teachers and $57,770 for secondary school teachers.

How Can I Work as a Music Teacher?

Undergraduate Education and Licensing

A bachelor's degree in music education or a similar field is usually required in order to work as a music teacher. Accredited music programs may offer courses in music history, instrumental and vocal music, teaching skills, philosophy of education and educational psychology courses. However, some who become teachers major in music performance, specializing in voice or a specific instrument. Upon earning a degree, you must apply for a teaching license if you plan to teach at a public elementary, middle or secondary school.

Graduate Education

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in music can continue their education by earning a master's degree or doctorate in music education, concentrating in areas such as chamber music or private instruction. Programs at this level may include courses such as psychology of music teaching, history of music education, curriculum development, technological trends in music education and research in music education.