Music technology teachers in the further education (FE) sector will “be responsible for unlocking your pupils’ creativity and developing their passion for music”. You’ll need to be interested in educating students in subjects that cover general music, choral or voice, instrumental music, or a mixture of these topics.
FE music teachers will be expected to support students on their learning journey, helping them develop their breadth of musical knowledge, nurture their enthusiasm for the subject and ensure they make music accessible and enjoyable for the students.
Dan Morgan, music technology lecturer at West Herts College, explains that the course specifications are demanding, which requires a keen eye for detail. He adds “it’s also about putting your students first and yourself last, showing the unflagging enthusiasm and energy you also want to instill into them”.
There are a few routes available to you if you are wishing to become an FE music teacher.
These are through:
· A university course
· A college course
· An apprenticeship
· Applying directly
· Specialist courses run by professional bodies
To follow the university route, you’ll be required to hold a relevant music degree for postgraduate study. To get to this point, you’ll normally need two or three A levels, including one in music. You may be given the opportunity to teach music as a single subject or combine it with another subject at sixth form level.
The college route requires at least a level 3 qualification in music and you’ll need a teaching qualification relevant to the level of teaching responsibility you would have in the music teacher role. In terms of entry requirements, you’ll usually need four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course.
For the apprenticeship route, you “may be able to start by doing a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship, if you have a relevant degree and want to teach 3 to 19 year olds”. In terms of entry requirements, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including maths and English; a degree to do a teaching apprenticeship.
The other route available is the work experience route. Through past work experience, you’ll be able to show your credentials to the role. For instance, Dan explains that his “social work background has given me a real empathy with the students and an ability to get on with people. It all helped me land my college job”.
Once you have become a qualified and experienced FE music teacher, you could progress to becoming head of the music department at a college. The government’s careers website explains that “you could also become an advisory teacher, or inspector employed by a local education authority or independent agency”.
Once you become a qualified music teacher, you’ll start on a salary of at least £25,714, rising to £32,157 in inner London.
FE music teachers can take advantage of the government’s tuition fee loan and maintenance loan, which are the designed to cover your tuition fees and help out with living costs. There is also extra financial support available to parents and those with a disability.