Job type

Music teacher

£23k - £47k

Typical salary

18 – 37

Hours per week

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

More info

  • Work as a self-employed music teacher or work in a permanent role in a school
  • You'll need patience and teaching skills as well as musical ability and knowledge
  • Opportunity to set your own hours and combine with performing and writing music

As a music teacher, you might work with individuals or small groups of people, either in your own home, in the pupil's home or at other venues. You'll work with people of all abilities.


  • 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, you'll:

  • Teach the history, theory and appreciation of all kinds of music, following the national curriculum
  • Set assignments and mark and assess pupils' work
  • Organise school choirs, orchestras or bands
  • Organise school concerts and musical performances


Many music teachers are self-employed, and often combine teaching privately with part-time or casual work for colleges and other organisations. As a private teacher, you'll work hours to suit your clients, and may spend time travelling between different teaching venues. In a school, you'll usually work normal school hours from Monday to Friday. You may also teach individual pupils, run rehearsals or music groups, and attend school concerts and musical performances after school, and occasionally at weekends.

You'll need

To be a music teacher, you'll need knowledge of the fine arts, teaching and English language, good initiative, excellent verbal communication skills, the ability to work well with others, and leadership skills.

Entry requirements depend on what kind of teacher you want to be.

To be a music teacher in a music college or conservatoire, you'll need a relevant music degree and postgraduate qualification. 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.

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

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

You'll need a level 3 college 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 relevant to the level of teaching responsibility you would have in your job.

You could also complete a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship if you have a relevant degree and want to teach 3 to 19 year olds.

Direct application may be possible if you want to work as a private music teacher with or without qualifications, if you have exceptional musical ability. A teaching qualification would be helpful but not essential.

Alternatively, you could take training accredited by professional bodies, like the Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators (ABRSM or Trinity College London).

To teach in a state school, you'll usually need qualified teacher status, and most employers will expect you to have a credit check and clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).


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.