Private music teachers provide instrumental, vocal and music training for children and adults of all ages. They may work at a variety of levels teaching different musical skills to either individuals or groups.
Teaching may take place in a school, college or a community-based setting. Private music teachers may travel to various locations to teach students (may be called peripatetic music teachers) or may work in their own home.
Teachers may be hired by a local authority music service to teach in schools or be employed by a privately or publicly funded music centre. It is also possible to be self-employed. Many private music teachers undertake a combination of these roles.
Typical work activities
Typical work activities may vary depending on the type of work, client and setting but are likely to include:
planning individual lessons and overall schemes of work for pupils;
developing knowledge of materials and repertoire for students at different stages of their musical development;
teaching individual and/or group lessons lasting from 15 minutes to an hour or longer, usually incorporating elements of general musicianship, such as ear training and theory, as well as instrumental technique and interpretation;
preparing pupils for performances, examinations, auditions and festivals;
arranging lesson schedules, collecting fees and entering students for examinations;
negotiating time and accommodation slots for school-based music lessons and working alongside classroom teachers on music activities;
extending your own musical experience by becoming familiar with the music your pupils listen to, by learning another instrument, by becoming familiar with other musical styles and by developing your improvisation or vocal skills;
communicating with parents about their child's lessons and progress;
developing relationships with schools, local authority music services and others who may be able to offer you work as well as developing networks and establishing collaborations with others working in music education in your area;
arranging performance opportunities for your pupils, such as concerts for friends and relatives;
working with groups of musicians such as choirs, ceilidh and jazz bands, wind or string ensembles and drumming groups;
supporting students in their use of music technology, keeping up to date with major software tools such as Sibelius and making use of recording and other technology;
planning and working on your professional development by gaining further teaching or performance qualifications and continuing your own performance activity;
ensuring that you adhere to health and safety standards, are adequately insured and work in line with child protection legislation;
managing the administrative tasks associated with running a small business including tax and finance issues and marketing your teaching practice.
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