Music Teacher Advancement Opportunities

Career Growth Opportunities for Music Teachers

Music teachers play an important role in the lives of children. Those who work in schools teach general music classes and may conduct a choir or band. Other music teachers provide private lessons for students wishing to pursue an extra education in an instrument or vocal performance. After working as a music teacher, professionals may wish to focus exclusively on music; or may wish to obtain different positions working in schools.

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Education or Experience
Composers (Music Directors and Composers) $50,590 6% Bachelor's degree
Speech-Language Pathologists $76,610 18% Master's degree
Musicians $26.96/hour 6% Performing experience
Directors (Producers and Directors) $71,620 12% Bachelor's degree

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information


Music teachers frequently write or arrange music for the students they are teaching. A career as a composer might be a great way to utilize this skill. These talented professionals write music which can be performed by a range of instrumental or vocal ensembles. They may also write the lyrics, or work to set these words to music. Sometimes, composers arrange works of music to best fit the ensemble with whom they are working. A strong understanding of music theory and how to create various sounds is a necessity. They frequently use computer programs to help them hear what a piece would sound like. While there are no formal educational requirements, many employers do prefer to hire those with a bachelor's degree in music or music theory.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Music teachers are very familiar with the functions of the human voice. As such, studying to advance as a speech-language pathologist working in a school might be a great move. Speech pathologists work with children or adults who have a diagnosed deficit in communications. They evaluate the nature of the speech or language deficit and create a therapy program that will address the concern. When working in schools, services are administered under individualized education program (IEP). Those who wish to become speech-language pathologists must complete a master's degree program and supervised clinical work. Licensure with the state is then required.


Ultimately, many individuals become music teachers because of their love of making music. One potential career path could be to become a full-time musician. This is a highly competitive career path. Musicians spend their time making music. Sometimes, they perform live, and other times they might make recordings for future use. They must rehearse to improve their skills, and audition for gigs or parts. Some musicians specialize in one genre of music. There are no specific educational requirements to become a popular musician. Most musicians who play classical music in orchestras do have bachelor's degrees.


Many music teachers, particularly those in schools, are very involved in producing and directing yearly concerts and musical theater performances. Therefore, moving into a full-time role as a director may be a logical step. Directors act as the decision-makers for the creative aspects of stage plays and other types of performances. Directors cast the actors, and then help the actors make the characters come to life. They may consult with other artistic personnel, such as costumers and set designers. While some directors enter the field with a bachelor's degree, earning a Master's of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) would be one way to stand out in this competitive field.

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