skip to main content

What Employers are Looking For

What those who engage musicians are looking for. There is no statutory qualification for instrumental teachers in the UK.

Last updated: 11 October 2021

Music services and hubs

Music services need people who are confident at leading large groups, or willing to learn to do so. They look for both multi-instrumentalists and specialists with strong communication skills.

Music services may require people to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or a PGCE. Many expect teachers to have a music degree or diploma.


Schools will seek for music teachers who are music graduates who are accomplished musicians and performers. They may require teachers to be of at least grade 8 standard.

Schools may look for teachers with experience of group teaching, especially in primary school settings.

A career as a classroom music teacher in a secondary school will almost always require Qualified Teacher Status.

Community Music organisations

Community Music organisations need facilitators with a broad range of skills, and will accept applications from graduates and non-graduates.

They will be looking for effective communicators, who are confident working in challenging circumstances (such as Pupil Referral Units, schools and centres for those with Special Educational Needs).

Performing arts organisations (music venues, orchestras)

Many performing arts organisations run outreach programmes. They tend to look for music teachers with a creative approach who can work with large groups with very mixed prior musical experience.

Arts organisations need flexible musicians who are comfortable teaching more than one genre of music, and are comfortable without notation.They often need composers and performers who can improvise.

Top tips

  • Make sure your CV includes all appropriate experience, qualifications and skills. Engage in CPD opportunities which show that you are updating your skills.
  • Enrol on a course to get the Certificate for Music Educators 
  • Make sure you have a current disclosure (DBS) certificate.

Member services for teaching musicians

Be better represented

Join the Education Section

Sign up to news in music education, and be eligible to stand for the MU's Education Section Committee to help shape the MU's aims and initiatives for music teachers.

Read more about Join the Education Section