How Long Does It Take To Become A Music Teacher?

How Long Does It Take To Become A Music Teacher?

Here at Community Music, we often get asked this question: How Long Does It Take To Become A Music Teacher?

So we're here today to give you that answer in as simple form as possible. 

There often never seems to be a straight answer to this question, simply because there are many different types of music teacher. This means that there are different timeframes for the different types of music teacher.

Let's list the different types of music teacher and see what category you would potentially want to pursue as a career.

1) Private Tutor

2) Guest Lecturer

3) Teaching Assistant

4) Primary & Secondary School Teacher

5) Further Education (FE) Teacher

6) Higher Education (HE) Teacher

Let’s establish what each of these music teachers do.

A Private Tutor offers tuition on a subject of their own choosing, often teaching in either their own home, their students home or community centres. Student ability level can range from beginner to advanced.

Private tutors can also teach in schools on a freelance basis.


Guest Lecturers go into either schools, colleges or universities on a freelance basis to pass on some real world experiences and give insight into the working world of music.

Teaching Assistants work alongside the main teacher in schools to maximise student learning. 

Primary & Secondary School Teachers teach according to a curriculum set by the government. 

Further Education (FE) Teachers teach in post compulsory 16+ education including A Levels, NVQ, City & Guilds, Higher National Certificates, Higher National Diplomas and Foundation Degrees.

Higher Education (HE) Teachers teach 18+ education from Degree level upwards. 

Let’s have a look at the requirements and how long it takes to become a music teacher in each field. 

Private Tutor 

No specific teaching qualifications needed but a high knowledge and experience of instrument or select topic is required. 

Estimated time: 5 years experience

Guest Lecturer 

No formal qualifications but experience in that field is essential. 

Estimated time: 5 Years experience

Teaching Assistant 

GCSE in English & Maths + experience working with children. 

Estimated time: 1 Year 

Primary & Secondary School Teacher 

A Degree (or equivalent) and a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) 

Estimated time: 4 Years - 3 years degree, 1 year PGCE

Further Education (FE) Teacher 

Formal qualifications not always required but a level 3, 4 or 5 city & guilds in Education & Training (EaT) will make you more employable and may be required by some institutions.

Estimated Time: 5 Years Experience + 6 months teacher training at level 3

Higher Education (HE) Teacher 

A Masters or PhD qualification in the specialist subject area you want to teach. 

Estimated time: 4 -6 Years

I hope we have answered the question “How long does it take to become a music teacher?” 

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We offer a Level 3 qualification in education & training (EaT) here at Community Music. On completion, you will be able to teach at 'Further Education (FE) colleges and have a wealth of knowledge to take into your teaching career.

Check out the course details here.

or email for more information.

We have many more posts around the subject area of teaching music, check them out here:

I Want To Be A Music Teacher

How To Become A Guitar Teacher

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