Music teacher

Music teachers give music lessons to people of all ages and abilities.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

35 to 37 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

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


You'll need a relevant music degree and postgraduate qualification to be a music teacher in a music college or conservatoire.

As a primary school teacher, you would be trained to teach all subjects, and develop a subject specialism in music. At secondary level, you may get the opportunity to teach music as a single subject or combine it with another subject.

You'll need a postgraduate qualification or a recognised profile as a professional performer, with teaching experience, to be a lecturer in a university.

When you apply for a course, you'll usually attend an audition, and many institutions will expect you to have at least Grade 6 on a main instrument.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above and 2 A levels including music
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information


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 teaching qualification that is relevant to the level of teaching responsibility you would have in your job.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information


You may be able to start by doing one of a small number of postgraduate teaching apprenticeships, if you have a relevant degree and want to teach 3 to 19 year olds.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths
  • a degree

More information

Direct application

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.

Other routes

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.

More information


Career tips

You can search for jobs in schools through the Teaching Vacancies service.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a music teacher from:

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Depending on where you work, your day-to-day duties may include:

  • planning lessons to suit the individual needs of a group or pupil
  • teaching pupils to play an instrument and to read and understand music
  • helping pupils prepare for music exams, competitions and performances
  • in schools, teaching the history, theory and appreciation of all kinds of music, following the national curriculum
  • setting assignments and marking and assessing pupils' work
  • helping to organise school choirs, orchestras or bands
  • organising school concerts and musical performances

Working environment

You could work at a college, at a university, from home or at a school.

Career path and progression

As a qualified and experienced music teacher in a school, you could become head of the music department.

You could also become an advisory teacher, or inspector employed by a local education authority or independent agency.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a music teacher right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

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JobsIn the United Kingdom

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