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How to Become a Music Teacher in Oregon

Music can stir emotions and passions in students that other classes may not. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a music teacher in Oregon, read on.

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According to the NAMM Foundation, schools that encourage music programs have a higher graduation rate versus those that do not: 90.2% vs. 72.9%. This shows how much music can help with learning. If you'd like to be a part of the music program as a teacher in Oregon, we'll look at the process below.

Requirements for Oregon Music Teachers

Average Salary for Teachers in Oregon (2017)* $65,640 (Elementary School), $73,630 (Middle School), $69,660 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Music Education
Testing Requirements ORLEA Music and ORLEA Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Education Environment

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

To become a music teacher in Oregon, you'll need to meet certain educational requirements. A bachelor's degree in music or music education would be a good choice to give you the background knowledge you need to be a successful teacher. If you should choose a typical music program, you'll likely need to continue your education so that you can meet any teaching education requirements necessary. Your music program should include courses that teach you about music expression, music history, instruments, rhythm, and vocals. After you have completed the program, you should be able to complete a number of music teacher activities, such as teaching instruments, running band or chorus, or putting on a musical.

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Step 2: Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) has approved several teacher preparation programs for the state of Oregon. As mentioned before, taking teacher education courses is essential to gain the skills and knowledge to work with students of multiple ages. If you took a music program in college, you may not have taken many of the pedagogical courses needed to train you as an educator. On the flip side, a music education program may have already included these courses. These standalone programs can be taken as graduate certificate or master's degree programs. Be sure to look for a TSPC-approved program and one that includes a student-teaching component.

Step 3: Complete Required Exams

All teachers are required to take the Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment exam. This is often referred to as the Civil Rights exam in TSPC reading materials. This exam is 90-minutes-long, and it includes 60 questions. It looks at topics like legal foundations and equity in the school setting. In order to pass this exam, you must earn a score of 240.

The NES-based ORELA Music exam costs $95 to take, and you must pass with 220 or higher. There are roughly 150 multiple-choice questions on four areas: aural analysis, music theory and composition, music history, and music performance. You'll have up to three hours to complete the exam.

Step 4: Have a Background Check

The final step for preliminary licensing is to have a background check run. To do this, you'll need to go to FieldPrint location to be fingerprinted. The fee for fingerprinting is $12.50. This will be done digitally for a quick turnaround time on the background check. The fee for the criminal check is $57.

Certification Resources for Oregon Music Teachers

The ORELA exams may seem a bit overwhelming at times. To help you study for these exams, we've provided the following links to study guides.

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