Are you passionate about music? Are you patient and a good communicator? Most importantly, do you enjoy teaching others? If so, you may be suited for a career as a music teacher. Working as a music teacher can permit you to pursue your artistic dreams while enjoying the stability of a teaching job.
As a music teacher, you could work with students of different ages, teaching them a variety of musical concepts. This might range from teaching students to play musical instruments like the piano or guitar to giving voice lessons or instructing students in music history. Music teachers typically are employed in public or private elementary or secondary schools, though they also may work in music conservatories or learning centers or give private lessons at students' homes. With advanced education, you also might find a position as a music professor at a college or university.
If you're interested in becoming an independent music teacher, now may be a favorable time to pursue the field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for self-enrichment teachers, which includes music teachers who work 1-on-1 with students, could grow by 32% over the 2008-2018 decade, which was much faster than average growth for other occupations (www.bls.gov). Employment for elementary, middle and secondary teachers was forecast to grow 13% over the same time period, while postsecondary teachers could see a 15% increase in jobs.
Among these workers, postsecondary teachers earned the highest annual salary. According to the BLS, art, drama and music teachers at colleges and universities earned a mean wage of $70,850 as of May 2010. At the same time, average salaries were $41,210 for self-enrichment teachers, $54,330 for elementary school teachers, $54,880 for middle school teachers and $55,990 for secondary school teachers.
A bachelor's degree in music education or a similar field is usually required to work as a music teacher. Accredited music programs may offer courses in music history, instrumental and vocal music, teaching skills, philosophy of education and educational psychology courses. However, some who become teachers major in music performance, specializing in voice or a specific instrument. Upon earning a degree, you must apply for a teaching license if you plan to teach at a public elementary, middle or secondary school.
Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in music can continue their education by earning a master's degree or doctorate in music education, concentrating in areas such as chamber music or private instruction. Programs at this level may include courses such as psychology of music teaching, history of music education, curriculum development, technological trends in music education and research in music education.