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Music teacher (private tuition)

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Summary of occupation

Music teachers help students to develop their theoretical music skills, as well as instructing them in singing or playing musical instruments. They plan lessons based around the skill level of their students and teach them how to read, play or sing music. They also introduce their students to different styles of music, teach them the different practical applications of music theory, and discuss key concepts of music history, musical form and musical analysis with their students. Music teachers may also prepare students for musical exams or assessments, record their progress, mark their students' work, and organise rehearsals and performances for schools bands and choirs. Music teachers work right round the state in our cities and towns.

ANZSCO description: Teaches students in the practice, theory and performance of music in private training establishments.
Alternative names: Music Teacher
Specialisations: Instrumental Teacher, Private Music Tutor, School Music Teacher, Singing Teacher (Private Tuition)
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A music teacher needs:

  • a love of and passion for music
  • musical abillity
  • a helpful and instructive manner
  • patience and an encouraging nature
  • organisational skills
  • communication skills
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Working conditions

Music teachers either work as classroom teachers who usually lead classes of students in weekly music lessons and group music activities, or as one-on-one tutors who teach students how to play one specific instrument. They may work in school classrooms and offices, from home, at their student's home, at a studio space or music school, or in rented public spaces such as a community hall or recreation centre. Classroom-based music teachers work regular school hours as well as longer hours to attend meetings, mark work and take care of administrative duties, whilst independent music teachers work irregular hours at times that are convenient for their students. They generally require quiet spaces to teach, and may need to organise for instruments such as pianos or drum kits to be available. They may need to travel to get to their lessons.

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Salary details

On average, music teachers (private tuition), classified under private tutors and teachers, can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

Many private music teachers run their own small business. Earnings will depend on the level of demand for their services, as well as their level of skill and experience.

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Tools and technologies

Music teachers use a range of musical instruments, as well as music reference books, sheet music, music stands and other musical equipment. They may use music recording equipment and audio-visual devices as teaching aids, and may also use computers and specialist musical software to teach the theoretical or practical aspects of music.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a private music teacher without any formal qualifications. However, you are more likely to improve your employment prospects if you have formal qualifications in music, or have a high level of musical ability and experience in teaching music.

VET courses in music are offered at TAFE colleges, and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can also complete a degree majoring in music or music studies.

Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Most courses require an audition and you may be required to demonstrate a high level of musical proficiency.

To work with children in Western Australia, you must obtain a Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Community Services

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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