If you have a genuine love of music, were born with natural musical ability, and can teach, then becoming a self-employed music teacher could be your dream job. There are lots of benefits to being a private music teacher from choosing the number of hours you work to making a bit of extra money on the side. Plus, teaching can be extremely rewarding if you’re lucky enough to have students who are enthusiastic and excited about learning.
What does a music teacher do?
There are different types of music teachers ranging from those choosing to teach in schools and colleges to those who prefer to provide children with extra music lessons after school.
Music teachers provide instrumental, vocal, and music training for children and adults of all ages. You’ll work at a variety of levels teaching different musical skills to individuals or groups. It’s possible to go self-employed as a private music teacher.
Teaching can take place in a school, college, university, conservatoire or a community-based setting. Alternatively, you may work in your own home, travel to various locations to teach students, be hired by a local authority music service or music education hub to teach in schools or be employed by a privately or publicly-funded music centre.
Many private music teachers and musicians combine a number of these roles. In this role, you may also be referred to as an instrumental or vocal music teacher, according to Prospects.
What qualifications do I need?
A music teacher must be able to communicate clearly, be patient, and most importantly be highly competent in their chosen musical instrument. While a university degree isn’t a necessity, professional experience and some sort of prior experience giving music lessons will obviously hold you in good stead, according to Music Industry How To.
The best known course in the UK, however, is said to be run by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM).
The Certificate for Music Educators (CME) qualification (also called a Level 4 qualification) is designed for everyone from teachers in school, private teachers, and any musicians who undertake community or educational work. There are no formal entry requirements beyond an assessment by course providers to see if applicants have musical competence and the skillset needed to teach.
The benefit of the Level 4 CME is that it is designed for teachers of all levels of experience and ability. It provides helpful advice and guidance to give young learners a first class musical education, by keeping lessons accessible, fun and full of learning. There are also modules on safeguarding and promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in music education. These skills are essential to good teaching practise and may already be in your skillset, but the ABRSM course is a fantastic way to lend professional credence to your work. The course is flexible around the time constraints of individuals, but typically takes a year to complete. Trinity College London are one of the main providers of the CME but there are others out there, and courses are priced from around £700.
Qualifications such as the Level 4 CME can be a great way to pick up some new knowledge or revitalise your teaching methods, and they also add a level of kudos to your teaching that may lead to more business. It also gives you a professional gateway into freelance work in schools, and could be a step towards another qualification. Like a degree in music, they may help you land certain work and they may give parents and young learners’ peace of mind when searching for a teacher, but it is important to remember that they are not essential. If you are already getting great reviews, happy students, and wonderful results without a music qualification, you may not need one after all, according to mgrmusic.com
Insurance for music teachers
If you’ve set up a small business as a private music teacher you’ll be meeting, interacting, and teaching people in their homes or from your home and this in itself poses a risk as you and your business have a general liability towards just about everyone – including those you go to meet in their home. If somebody is injured in their home or in your home you may be held negligent and liable to pay the injured party or parties’ compensation if an accident occurs.
What’s more, if you are teaching from your home, then music teachers’ insurance might be the appropriate protection you need. This type of insurance can help protect your reputation and gives your customers confidence that in the event of damage to their property or injury to themselves whilst on your property, you have the cover in place to protect them with your insurance.
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