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By Thea Theresa English

Things you need for teaching music

Teaching music is rewarding because music teachers are doing more than just sharing music theory. They are also sharing their passion and expertise with students on a regular basis. Music education is taught at various academic levels, and requirements are different for each level. Here are some qualifications for becoming a music teacher.

An understanding of music is important

The most important qualification for teaching music is having a background in music, because this gives the teacher credibility in the eyes of his students. If someone plans to teach piano to elementary students, it would be best if they had previous experience playing this instrument. If they do not have a musical background, they can teach another aspect of music, such as music history.

College is not always required

Many music teachers will not need a college degree in order to enter the profession. However, it is sometimes beneficial for aspiring music teachers to receive a bachelors degree in education or music education if they want leadership roles within this field. Those wanting to teach music at the collegiate level might need at least a masters degree, and some colleges require a doctoral degree. Many music teachers are longtime musicians who want to share their expertise with others. Others started out as teachers' aides and they have a strong passion for music and helping others appreciate it.

Tests are necessary

Depending on the state a person lives in, he or she will need to take a certification exam before receiving a license to teach music in elementary and secondary schools. The exam will not only cover the basics of music education but other subjects such as writing, English and mathematics. Test takers can get the study guide from their state department of education's website.

Tips on breaking into music education after qualifications are met

New music education graduates who have not found teaching jobs yet can use this time to become appealing to employers. One idea is to build their careers as musicians, then slowly transition to teaching. Another idea is to start a home-based business where the person offers private music lessons to clients. Or they can start a blog about music history and theory and gain a strong readership.

Continuing education for music teachers

After the person has taught music for a while, he or she will need continuing education to ensure that the teaching methods and lesson plans are in line with state requirements for teachers. They can take courses at a community college or online, or by attending local teachers' workshops.

Additional qualities music teachers should have

Education trends and state requirements change every few years, and music teachers must be willing to adapt to those changes. They should also be able to get creative and engage their students. Patience is important when teaching music, and teachers should believe in their students' abilities. Research different genres to share with students and be open to students' suggestions.

With the above-mentioned steps, someone can become a music teacher in a matter of years. The person who wants to teach music should network with established teachers, join professional organizations, and subscribe to academic journals designed for teachers.

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