Maryland has demonstrated a strong commitment to arts education in public schools. The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) recognizes school districts that have music teachers with strong qualifications and in 2017 NAMM included four Maryland counties for their outstanding commitment to music education. As of 2016 Maryland had a shortage of qualified teachers in the arts, including music instruction, which means aspiring music teachers should enjoy strong job prospects in Maryland.
Maryland Music Teacher Requirements
|Average Salary for Teachers in Maryland (2016)*|| $58,930 (Kindergarten);
$64,970 (Elementary School);
$64,840 (Middle School);
$65,930 (High School)
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Music Education|
|Testing Requirements||Basic Skills and Content/Pedagogy|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete Education Requirements
Maryland has many programs that they classify as approved degree options for aspiring teachers. Those planning to teach music need to earn a bachelor's degree in music education. Postsecondary instruction includes courses in music theory and music history. They may also learn different instruments or study choral music.
As part of an approved, accredited undergraduate degree program students will also take education courses. Their education studies include completing internship assignments to gain practical experience teaching music.
Step 2: Pass Certification Tests
In Maryland, applicants for teacher certification must pass exams in two areas: Basic Skills and Content and Pedagogy.
Teaching candidates have four assessment options through which to show competency in basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics.
- Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: 156 or higher on Reading subtest; 162 or higher on Writing subtest; 150 or higher on Mathematics subtest
- SAT: combined score of 1100 or higher
- ACT: score of 24 or higher
- GRE: combined score of 297 or higher
Content and Pedagogy
To demonstrate their skills in music and music instruction, teaching applicants are required to pass the Praxis test titled Music: Content and Instruction. The two-hour exam consists of 84 selected-response questions and three constructed-response questions. Areas covered on the assessment include music history and theory, performance, technology and instructional activities. The minimum passing score on this exam is 162.
Step 3: Apply for PEC or SPC I
Once all of the academic and testing requirements have been met it is necessary to apply for a Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC) or Standard Professional Certificate I (SPC I). The PEC is granted to those who are not currently employed by a school in Maryland, while the SPC I is granted to those who are employed in an MD school.
Applying for the certificate involves filling out a form, providing proof of graduation from an approved postsecondary program and proof of your basic skills and content/pedagogy test scores. The Maryland Department of Education also requires applicants to provide a cover letter with identifying information, including the applicant's date of birth and last four digits of their social security number. The cover letter must indicate the type of certificate being applied for.
Teacher Certification Resources
To prepare to pass the three components of the basic skills tests, or Praxis I, use the links provided here. Study and practice guides covering mathematics, writing and reading will ensure you have covered the material needed to pass these certification tests.