Music Teacher

Job Description:

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

Job Category:

What you will do:

Depending on where you work, in your day-to-day duties you could:

  • plan lessons to suit the individual needs of a group or pupil
  • teach pupils to play an instrument and to read and understand music
  • help pupils prepare for music exams, competitions and performances
  • teach the history, theory and appreciation of all kinds of music, following the national curriculum in schools
  • set assignments and mark and assess pupils’ work
  • help to organise school choirs, orchestras or bands
  • organise school concerts and musical performances


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Music Teacher, you will need a combination of formal education, relevant qualifications, and practical experience. While specific qualifications may not be as critical as higher-level qualifications, they can provide a strong foundation for your future studies and career. Here’s a list of subjects that can help you prepare for this career:

  1. English: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial for teaching. English will help you convey musical concepts effectively.
  2. Mathematics: While not directly related to music, math skills can be beneficial for understanding musical notation and rhythms.
  3. Music: If your school offers Music, taking this subject can be highly beneficial. It will provide you with a solid understanding of music theory, history, and performance.

Post School

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 need a qualification 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 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.

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.

Many musicians combine performance and music teaching as a career.

Other Routes

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

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 35-37 hours of work. You could be required to work freelance/be self-employed managing your own hours.

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

Career Path & 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.