Whether in school districts or private instruction, Music Teachers have many opportunities to help students develop their musical skills. However, finding those opportunities can be difficult.
Some music instructor jobs begin with full-time positions in the district of their choice, but that often doesn’t come immediately. Instead, many Music Teachers work as part-time teachers or substitutes before landing their dream gig.
Find Your Niche
There are many music genres these days, and it’s easy to get cynical about some of the names, but finding your niche is vital for success. It allows you to market your music to fans who understand your vibe and evoke a similar emotional response to what you’re doing, creating a loyal fan base.
You can start by dissecting other artists to see how they’ve nailed their niche. Look at their branding, social media activity, and events they host. Examine the culture of their audience – what jargon, slang, or inside jokes do they use? This is a key part of in-group signaling and can be a big indicator of their interests. If you can find a niche that appeals to your audience, then this will be the foundation of your musical career. Then, you can build on it and see what further opportunities arise.
Build Your Network
Starting a career as a Music Teacher often involves completing a teaching internship as part of college coursework or working as an assistant teacher, substitute, or part-time music teacher. Websites like Create More Music can provide more information about music teacher job opportunities. To succeed in this field, it is crucial to combine this experience with an advanced degree in the chosen musical specialty and obtain state certification as a Teacher.
Those who decide to work as self-employed music instructors must recruit their students by distributing flyers and cards in local instrument shops, offering referral discounts, or forming professional partnerships with other teachers. These instructors will also need to spend time each week maintaining or upgrading their musical skills and researching new pedagogical methods.
Ultimately, it’s important for Music Instructors to be skilled performers, patient and inspiring instructors, and have excellent people skills to be successful in this field. It’s also vital to continually seek new knowledge and information about your niche market to stay ahead.
Develop Your Skills
In addition to having superior musical skills, Music Teachers must possess excellent communication and class management abilities. They must be able to convey verbal information clearly, and they should be able to motivate their students.
Many new Music Teachers seek a mentor, or “apprentice” teacher, to help them establish themselves in their community and learn how to be effective professionals. These relationships can be richly rewarding for both the mentor and the student-teacher, and they can give the new Music Teacher a framework of best practices to follow in their teaching career.
Developing the business side of their profession is another crucial element for new Music Teachers to consider. This includes understanding rates and billing, curriculum planning, and other administrative tasks that can challenge those who wish to focus solely on teaching music lessons. A good place to start is by working with a company that supports its teachers and helps them build their client roster.
Music Teachers work directly with students to help them develop their musical skills. They also collaborate with their student’s parents and other teachers to share their knowledge of music education. They may also need to stay current on school district policies and curriculum requirements and pursue continuing education courses.
Aspiring music instructors often begin their careers after college with a teaching internship, sometimes known as a practicum or practice teaching experience. In this role, they are observed and critiqued by a qualified teacher before applying for their state certification. They can then work as a Teaching Assistant, Substitute Teacher, or part-time Music Teacher while they wait for full-time teaching positions.
Finding your niche is essential to succeeding in the music industry. It’s easy to get cynical about the proliferation of music genres today. Still, a small market allows you to develop a strong community of fans who can understand your music and evoke a specific emotional response.