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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: 20 January 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.
  • They look for people 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 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.
  • 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).
  • They will accept applications from graduates and non-graduates.

Performing arts organisations (music venues, orchestras)

  • Many performing arts organisations run outreach programmes. They tend to look for musicians with a creative approach.
  • They employ creative people who can work with large groups with very mixed prior musical experience.
  • They 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 C.V. 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.