Tom graduated from Newcastle University with BA (Hons) Music in 2008. He now works part time as a private music teacher for both Newcastle and Gateshead Music Services. He also spends up to six hours a week teaching privately.
I started teaching following some work experience with the local music service where I went around to schools with one of the teachers. I got a good insight into how the service works and the how the teachers structure their working week.
I was drawn to teaching because I find that no two days are the same. It is great to see the progress in the students you have been teaching. I teach brass (trumpets, coronet and trombone) mostly to small groups but occasionally to whole classes.
I secured both my jobs with Gateshead and Newcastle because of the contacts I had made during my degree. I knew a teacher working at the service and enquired if there was any work available. A music degree is desirable for a teaching position, but I think my experience of teaching was more important than my academic ability. I have gained experience over time and hope to increase the number of hours I teach. Progress is slow though. It may take several years to become a 'full-time employee' with the music service as I have to wait until other employees leave.
Much of the teaching I do is to beginners, so much of my degree hasn't been relevant. I did do a module about how young children learn through singing. This has helped me when I do whole class teaching.
If you are thinking of working as a music teacher, my advice would be to get involved with your local music service, even if it is not paid. This has worked for me. It showed I was eager to get involved and I was offered more work as a result of it.
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