Do you have musical talent? Do you want to teach students and guide them in their musical ability? Music allows students and teachers to engage in their creativity and discover talents they may never have known they even had until they explore. It is one of the world’s most interesting and popular industries.
There are a number of postgraduate courses you can choose from if music teaching is an area that interests you. Have a look below to see if it interests you.
Being a music teacher?
As a music teacher there is the option of becoming a secondary school music teacher, a freelance teacher or set up your own business of music teaching. There are many options of what direction you can go with it. Typically, your hours may vary from 35-40 hours a week.
As a music teacher in school you will teach different genres of music, teach music theory, prepare students for practical exams, plan and implement teaching programmes into lessons, liaise with students and their parents on students progress and teach singing to students from all levels – beginners to advanced.
If you’re working as a private teacher in your own business your tasks will include teaching musical instruments, planning classes ahead of time, teaching techniques, scales, music theory, preparing students for exams, preparing students for auditions and live performances and updating parents on their child’s progress.
There are quite a number of music courses to choose from across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study part time and full time and under current Covid-19 restriction, some universities may have their own plans. It is important to research a specific course in full.
PGCE Secondary Music
If you’re looking to go down the route of teaching then these courses are for you. Students will develop their own knowledge and skills in music in order to pass on their expertise to music students. Courses in this area prepare you to teach students from ages 11-18 and will usually include a school placement period. Modules include School-Based Learning: Reflections on Practice, Research informed practice, Active Inquiry and Intervention: impacting upon Pupil Progress, Developing subject expertise and subject specialism and Securing Pupil Progress.
Postgraduate courses in Music Education will give you the opportunity to carry out key research and practice issues in music teaching and learning. You study major issues in the UK system of music education and enhance your performance skills. Modules covered in this course include Researching Music, International Music Education – Psychology, Culture and Philosophy, Constructing Music Education in the UK as well as a research project.
This is perfect for those who hope to reach the highest level of music performance they can. Often in courses like this, students will receive one-to-one instrumental or vocal sessions. As well as improving their performance skills, those who take a course like this will also develop their research skills, collaborative skills, ensemble and publicity skills.
Other courses available include Music with Education, Museum Education, Music and Children with Special Needs: Sounds of Intent and Secondary Music with Specialist instrument Teaching with QTS to name a few.
Each course may differ in their specific entry requirements, however, most require an honours degree (2.2 or above). Some courses may prefer a 2.1 honours degree while others require a 2.1. Some will also request an honours degree in a relevant field such as Music while others will accept any form of an honours degree. In some cases, you may have to audition.
Your salary will depend on the direction you take as well as experience and the location you are working in. As a music teacher, you may earn around £34,400 annually. Entry level positions will start out closer to £30,000 and increase with experience. If you are a freelance teacher in secondary schools you will earn £17.67 hourly. In top London music schools, for example, you can earn close to £150-£235 daily. All figures are based on estimates and are intended to be used as a guide only.
- Freelance music teacher
- Secondary music teacher
- Music therapist
- Drama teaching
- Dance teaching
- Performing arts
Potential employers of music graduates include:
- Education – schools, colleges
- Music production companies
- Music retailers
- Summer camps
- Personal music career
- Wedding and event planners – singer/musician
Skills and requirements
- Confident in own ability
- Strong communication skills
- Strong concentration
- Good memory
- Self discipline
- Critical thinker
- Work well with others
- Good planning skills
- Organisation skills
- A love of music
- Relevant music skills
- Leadership skills