By University of Phoenix
If you are passionate about music, one career option that may interest you is to become a music teacher. In addition to sharing your enthusiasm for playing, composing or performing, you experience the rewards of helping others discover a love of music and hone their skills.
Teaching allows you to help others, but it also makes it possible to spend your entire day working with a subject and “specials” that interest you, whether it’s music, math, history or science. Education is a good way to merge your job with your passion.
You may be excited about embarking on this rewarding career, but also wondering if a degree or licensing requirements will put this dream out of reach.
The qualifications for a music teacher can vary depending on the location, school level and employer. While you will always need the ability to communicate the nuances of your subject, in some cases skill and knowledge are enough to find employment. However, advanced degrees may be necessary for more formal settings, such as high schools or universities.
Here is a closer look at what it takes to become a teacher who has a passion to go further.
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Music education is a broad field that includes everything from private piano teachers to high school music instructors to directors of a music program at a major performing arts college. In all these cases, music teachers are expected to have an expert understanding of the subject or instrument they teach. If they teach a specific instrument, the teacher is typically expected to play it themselves at a very high level.
Even though every music teacher needs to provide basic lesson plans and instruction just like every other teacher, there are significant differences between those who offer private lessons and those who work in schools.
Regardless of whether they give private lessons or work for a school, music teachers need to complete the same basic duties. All teachers need to be able to assess their students’ ability and plan lessons that improve and understanding. They also need a high level of knowledge of their instrument or musical subject to convey information to students.
Since most music students make incremental improvements, these positions also require an abundance of compassion, patience and the ability to provide encouragement.
This is where the similarities between different music teaching jobs end, however. Those who work for private music schools or companies providing music lessons, or as music tutors, usually work one-on-one with students or in small groups. The focus is on developing skills in a specific instrument and the lessons focus on playing that instrument.
Many private teachers choose to work part time or are self-employed, so they typically do not receive employment benefits or work under a contract.
Teaching in a school is different from private teaching. Firstly, school jobs are typically full time and offer employee benefits, and some could have contracts that measure job stability. Though school teachers can sometimes provide one-on-one instruction, they usually teach in a classroom, working with groups of students.
Though the teaching profession is broad, a specials teacher, such as in music, can be broken down into three distinct categories: elementary and high school (K-12) music teachers, university and college instructors and private music teachers. Becoming a music teacher depends on the requirements of your chosen career path and your skill and experience. However, there are specific steps every teacher needs to follow for this career path.
The education requirements vary between the three types of music education. And not all music teachers may even need a degree. However, most music teachers who work in a school will need at least a bachelor’s degree, and college-level instructors may need a graduate degree. Once you have earned the required degree, it is typical to apply to your state for a teaching certificate.
Here is a look at the educational requirements for a music teaching job:
University of Phoenix (UOPX) does not teach music or provide a specific aligning degree that leads to a career as a music teacher. However, UOPX’s online education degrees lead to teaching careers in certain states, and starting there can potentially help musicians develop skills to lead a classroom, develop lesson plans and maintain general educational standards in the classroom.
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