How to become a music teacher
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
Most music teachers begin with a degree in music.
To teach music in a primary school, you could train to teach all subjects, and develop a subject specialism in music.
To work as a secondary school music teacher, you could train to teach music as a single subject or combine it with teaching another subject.
To teach in a music college, conservatoire or university you may also need to gain a postgraduate music qualification, have a recognised profile as a performer and have teaching experience.
When you apply for a music degree or postgraduate course, you'll usually be asked to attend an audition. You may be expected to have at least Grade 6 on a main instrument.
You'll usually need:
- 2 or 3 A levels including music, or equivalent qualifications
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You'll need a level 3 qualification or higher in music, if you want to be a music lecturer in a further education college.
You would also need a further education teaching qualification that is relevant to the level of teaching responsibility you would have in your job.
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You may be able to start by doing a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship, if you have a relevant degree and want to teach 3 to 19 year olds.
To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
- a degree for a teaching apprenticeship
You may be able to work as a private music teacher with or without qualifications, if you've got exceptional musical ability. A teaching qualification would also be helpful though not essential.
Many musicians combine performance and music teaching as a career.
You could take training accredited by professional bodies, like the Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators, offered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Trinity College London.
The certificate course is aimed at people who are new to teaching music to children, and covers the purpose of music education and promotes best practice. It has been developed for:
- instrumental and vocal teachers working privately with schools
- primary teachers
- community musicians
- professional musicians who do educational work
Other options include training like the Instrumental Teaching Diploma offered by Rock School.
- you'll usually need qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in a state school in England
You can search for jobs in schools through the Teaching Vacancies service.
You can find out more about becoming a music teacher from: