Music Teacher

Music teachers give instruction in instrumental and/or vocal music to people of all ages. Music teachers may teach popular or classical music to serious students and those who are studying music as a hobby. Private music teachers provide music lessons about how to sing or play a musical instrument to pupils (adults and children) within home or school or college settings.

Typical responsibilities of the job include planning and preparing lessons in relation to individual pupils' needs and examination syllabuses, acquiring appropriate teaching materials / resources, teaching music theory, aural skills and practical techniques to pupils, entering and preparing pupils for examinations, motivating pupils and encouraging progress, liaising with academic staff and/or parents, creating and maintaining a network of contacts to ensure work continuity, ensuring up-to-date knowledge and awareness of examination requirements, assessing pupils abilities, providing feedback and writing reports, arranging recitals/concerts for pupils' families and friends, keeping financial, administrative and business records and advertising or publicising the business.

Because many people take music lessons as a hobby in their spare time, the job commonly requires working evenings and weekends. In this respect it may be possible to make it work around a day job.

In addition to teaching students to play certain instruments or to sing, music teachers may teach the various theoretical components: Rudiments of Music, Harmony, Counterpoint, Musical Form, History of Music, Instrumentation and Orchestration.

Music teachers in schools may also conduct choirs, school bands and orchestras. As schoolteachers, they may be required to attend staff meetings and perhaps parent-teacher meetings in the evenings and may be expected to teach another school subject in addition to music. They may also be required to help with other school activities such as sports and educational tours.

Important skills for music teachers are the ability to motivate others, determination and perseverance, enthusiasm, imagination, commitment, passion, excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills and patience.


  • public and private schools

  • colleges, universities of technology and universities

  • independent music conservatories

  • self-employment (giving private lessons)

  • television

  • press

  • performing art councils

Getting Started

  • perform in public as often as you can

  • form a musical group or get together with other musicians

  • get as much leadership experience as you can

  • take in pupils for private tuition while you are still studying music yourself

  • make an appointment to speak to a music teacher about this type of career


Africa Digital Media Institute, Kabarak University, Kenyatta University, Kyambogo University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Mahatma Gandhi Institute and Rabindranath Tagore Institute, Makerere University, Methodist University College Ghana, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, North-West University, Rhodes University, Rusangu University, Tumaini University Makumira, University of Cape Coast, University of Cape Town, University of Eastern Africa Baraton, University of Education Winneba, University of Fort Hare, University of Ghana, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Nairobi, University of Namibia, University of Pretoria, University of Rwanda, University of Stellenbosch, University of the Free State, University of the Witwatersrand, Walter Sisulu University

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