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Music Teacher


Piano lessons are perhaps one of the most popular extracurricular activities in North America. Countless children have spent hours and hours at the piano, trying to coax out tunes from those ivories. Many children go on to play music throughout their lives, while others spend their adult lives shuddering when ever they hear "Heart and Soul".

Music teachers are the people behind these lessons. But music teachers do not only teach children, and they do not only teach the piano. Music teachers can specialize in any number of instruments, and may teach a whole range of songs, styles, and people. Music teachers can have independent practices, visiting with students in their homes, or they can teach in community centers and religious halls. Music teachers also work in public schools and music conservatories.

Music teachers arrange for recitals, solo performances, and showcases for their students. They help the students choose songs to practice, in an effort to develop their abilities. Music teachers are patient, calm, and dedicated people who believe that everyone should be exposed to music. They spend time with all students, encouraging those who are especially talented, as well as working closely with those who may have little talent, but still love to play.
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  Interests and Skills  
It takes a lot of talent, patience, and energy to work as a music teacher. These individuals are dedicated to and interested in many types of music. They should be creative, persistent, confident, and an inspiration to others. They should be flexible, sensitive, and caring. Music teachers should be able to play a number of instruments, and able to read complicated music.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Meet with students regularly
  • Arrange for concerts and recitals
  • Organize and stick to a schedule of lessons
  • Search for music for students to play
  • Demonstrate correct posture, stance, and finger and mouth positioning
  • Promote business
  • Music teachers spend most of each day working closely with students, giving one-on-one instruction. They also search their library of music for appropriate pieces for each student. They arrange for showcases of their students, including solo recitals and group performances. Music teachers may teach in a school setting, which means they do not have to worry about administrative duties, but independent teachers must maintain good records, keep track of finances, and look after promoting and advertising their services.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Music teachers conduct classes with individual students, or with small groups. They use community centers, religious centers, their own homes, or the homes of their students for their lessons. Some music teachers work at music schools, conservatories, or public schools, and may have larger classes and more professional studio space in which to teach. Music teachers can set their own hours, or follow a school schedule. Private music teachers will teach after school, in the evenings, and on weekends.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Music teachers can work on expanding their business, hiring new staff and developing it into a franchise of schools. They can begin playing professionally, and play in back up bands, or with orchestras, jazz bands and ensembles. They can become conductors, arrangers, or composers. They may decide to start a recording label, open their own recording studio, or open up a club or a concert hall. They can also become managers, talent scouts, or become administrators for an orchestra. If they work in schools, they may become head of the music department.

  Educational Paths  
Music teachers need quite a few skills. They should be able to read music. They should understand the standard repertoire of great composers. Usually, music teachers obtain this knowledge in university, although it is possible to attend a conservatory, or become a teacher after years of independent study. Music teachers who wish to work in the school system need to also complete teacher training. These students may complete their education degree alongside their music degree, or after their music degree, or may choose to only get their education degree, but specialize in music.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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