Many of the states require that you pass certain tests in order to qualify as a music teacher, such as the Praxis tests, which will show that you possess the knowledge necessary to teach this subject. You can specialize in a certain instrument, but as a teacher of Music you will be responsible for the band and the choir of the school. You will also have to teach individual classes in the primary grades, which often require play so that the students can understand the concepts. An in-depth knowledge of the theory of music is essential for this teaching position.
Once you obtain a position as a Music teacher and gain experience in the field, you can become certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This certification will give you the credentials you need to obtain a position in any state. There are several certificates you can receive from this organization, which is responsible for developing the standards for music teachers throughout the country. It also offers two music certificates for teachers – The Early Childhood and Middle Childhood Music certificate and the Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood Music certificate.
You achieve national certification as a music teacher by participating in a teacher certification program in which you will take a critical look at your teaching practices and measure them against rigorous teaching standards. You will develop a portfolio of yourself as a teacher and meet with other music teachers throughout the country. Participation in this program is voluntary and expensive, but there is funding in place to help you with the costs. In addition, many states also offer incentives for teachers to participate by offering annual bonuses once they complete the program.
As a music teacher, you will be the person in the school responsible for arranging concerts, for taking students to music festivals and for arranging music competitions. You will have the same responsibilities as other teachers in planning lessons, teaching the mandated outcomes of the curriculum and for assigning work and grading students. Most of your after school time will be involved in practice for musical events. However, music is one area of the teaching profession where many states are experiencing a critical shortage of qualified teachers. The job market is extremely good for this type of teaching position. You can also teach private lessons in playing instruments or in voice to students outside the school and receive extra pay. If you decide to do this, you will have to hold the lessons at your home or in a location outside the school.