Singing teachers teach vocal skills, singing, music theory and musical appreciation to individuals and groups.
Salary range: Variable
How to become a singing teacher
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
You could do a degree course at a conservatoire, music college or university. Subjects include:
- popular music
- performing arts and musical theatre
- creative musicianship – vocals
- vocal teaching
You should choose a course which concentrates on performance rather than theory.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
- 2 or 3 A levels including music, or equivalent qualifications
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- search for conservatoire courses
- university courses and entry requirements
You may be able to work as a private music teacher with or without qualifications, if you’ve got exceptional vocal ability. A teaching qualification would also be helpful though not essential.
You can take graded singing exams and qualifications, like the Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators, offered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Trinity College London.
The certificate course is aimed at people who are new to teaching music to children, and covers the purpose of music education and promotes best practice. It has been developed for:
- instrumental and vocal teachers working privately with schools
- primary teachers
- community musicians
- professional musicians who do educational work
- you’ll usually need qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in a state school in England
You should get as much experience of singing a wide range of music as possible. Joining singing groups or choirs can help with this.
You’ll also find it useful if you can play a musical instrument, preferably a piano or guitar.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Association of Teachers of Singing for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about singing as a career through Creative Choices.
You can also search for jobs in schools through the Teaching Vacancies service.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of the fine arts
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- knowledge of English language
- the ability to use your initiative
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to work well with others
- leadership skills
- the ability to teach pupils how to do something
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- coaching individuals for a particular role in a play or musical
- planning lessons and organising resources
- teaching vocal and breathing exercises and techniques
- instructing in melody, harmony and improvisation
- helping students to prepare for music exams
- organising performances
- practising, to keep up your own ability
- keeping accounts, if self-employed
You could work at a client’s home, in the community, at a college, from home or at a school.
Career path and progression
You could run your own singing or voice coaching business.
You could also combine private teaching with part-time or casual work for colleges, schools and other organisations.