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Music teacher

Alternative titles for this job include

Music teachers give music lessons to people of all ages and abilities. They work in schools and colleges, and with individuals and community groups.

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

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become 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.

In a music college, conservatoire or university, you may also need 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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels including music, or equivalent qualifications
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


You'll need a level 3 qualification or higher in music or performing arts, 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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information


You may be able to start by doing a Teacher Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship, if you have a relevant degree and want to teach students aged 3 to 19.

This takes 12 months to complete and involves training while you work.

Entry requirements

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

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 be helpful though not essential.

Many musicians combine performance and music teaching as a career.

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 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 the Professional Diploma (Teaching) 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

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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 use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Depending on where you work, you could:

  • plan lessons to suit the individual needs of a student or group
  • teach students to play an instrument and to read and understand music
  • prepare students for music exams, competitions and performances
  • set assignments and mark and assess students' work
  • organise school choirs, orchestras, bands and musical performances

Working environment

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

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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

With further training you could qualify as a music therapist.

You might also work freelance, teaching students in person and online.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Secondary School Maths Teacher

  • Wage: £20,598 a year Annually
  • Location: Stoke-On-Trent, Satffordshire

Apprentice Secondary School Humanities Teacher

  • Wage: £22,961 a year Annually
  • Location: Cheadle, Staffordshire

Courses In England

Access to HE Diploma (Teaching)

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: WIDNES

Access to HE Diploma in Primary Teaching

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: BROCKENHURST

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