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Private Music Teacher

Private music teachers provide personalized instrumental, singing and music theory lessons for individuals or select groups of children or adults.

Also Known As

Music Instructor, Music Teacher

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Teachers of Music or Voice (5133.3) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Musicians and Singers (F033) 
  • 2011 NOC: Musicians and singers (5133) 
  • 2016 NOC: Musicians and singers (5133) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Teachers of Music or Voice

2006 NOC: 5133.3

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
DIRECTIVE

Interest in instructing students in reading music, technique, interpretation and music theory through private and group lessons

METHODICAL

Interest in precision working to demonstrate techniques of playing musical instruments, breath control and singing voice; and in assigning exercises for the development of students' musical ability and for language articulation in singing voice

innovative

Interest in co-ordinating programs of study of instrumental music or vocal music according to students' interests and abilities

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Duties
Updated May 19, 2021

Private music teachers may specialize in:

  • Voice
  • Piano
  • Stringed instruments, such as the violin
  • Wind instruments, such as the clarinet
  • Brass instruments, such as the trumpet
  • Percussion instruments, such as drums

They teach technique, interpretation, performance skills and music theory through private lessons rather than traditional classroom instructions.

Duties may vary somewhat depending on their specialization but, in general, private music teachers:

  • Plan lessons and select music pieces and exercises appropriate to the student’s age, skill level, interests and goals
  • Teach students to sing or play an instrument, and read and interpret music
  • Teach theoretical aspects of music
  • Help students select music pieces and prepare for performances, exams, auditions and concerts
  • Arrange lesson schedules, collect fees, and register students for exams and festival performances
  • Communicate with parents about children’s progress
  • Network and collaborate with others in the music education field to generate work opportunities
  • Perform administrative tasks associated with being self-employed
  • Teach students to compose or improvise

Some private music teachers attend seminars, workshops, performances, master classes and conferences. They may also volunteer on the boards of professional associations, arts organizations and with churches.

Working Conditions
Updated May 19, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Private music teachers may work in their own homes, in their students’ homes, or in music centres. As a result, the amount of travelling required varies for each teacher. Hours of work typically include evenings and weekends and may be irregular. Some music teachers routinely lift or move heavy instruments.

Traits & Skills
Updated May 19, 2021

Private music teachers need:

  • A good ear for tone and rhythm
  • An understanding of musicality and techniques
  • Patience
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • The ability to inspire and motivate students
  • The ability to market their services

They should enjoy working with people, demonstrating techniques, selecting exercises for student development and coordinating programs of study.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Musicians and singers

2011 NOC: 5133

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 17 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 30, 2021 and Sep 19, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Teaching Specialization: Instrumental
Musical Genre: Traditional folk
Musical Genre: Classical or chamber
Musical Instruments: Piano
Teaching Specialization: Vocal
Teaching Specialization: Music theory
Musical Genre: Popular
Musical Genre: Native, ethnic or cultural
Musical Instruments: Drums
Musical Instruments: Harmonica
Educational Requirements
Updated May 19, 2021
  • Minimum Education Varies

There are no set qualification requirements for private music teachers. However, most people prefer to hire teachers who have a degree, diploma or other credential from a recognized music program, conservatory or awarding body. Prospective music teachers may gain recognition and exposure by entering competitions or giving other performances. They also may gain recognition when their students perform well in exams and competitions.


To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 19, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

Voluntary certification and professional development opportunities are available to qualified individuals from the:

Also, full members of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ARMTA) are given the Registered Music Teacher (RMT) designation. For details, visit the ARMTA website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 19, 2021

Most private music teachers are self-employed. Many work part-time as teachers and additionally work as performers, conductors or composers. In addition to providing lessons for individuals, teachers may be contracted by privately or publicly funded organizations that offer individuals or group instruction. As in any small business, private music teachers must find enough customers (students) to make a profit.

Advancement in this occupation generally takes the form of acquiring more students, attracting students in higher musical grades or specializing in a particular type of music, such as jazz. Some experienced music teachers add to their teaching income by judging at festivals, conducting music exams, offering workshops or instructing at summer camps.

A few move into leadership positions in arts organizations or teaching positions in schools. However, these positions generally require related education in addition to music qualifications. For more information, see the Elementary School Teacher, Secondary School Teacher, College, Technical or Vocational Instructor, and University Professor occupational profiles.

Private music teachers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5133: Musicians and singers. In Alberta, 93% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 5133: Musicians and singers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 58 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated May 19, 2021

Incomes in this field vary considerably from one position to another and from one year to another. Hourly fees vary depending on the teacher’s training, skills, experience, reputation and location in the province.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 19, 2021

Alberta Music Academy website: albertamusicacademy.com

Alberta Music Education Foundation website: www.amef.ca

Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ARMTA) website: armta.ca

Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations (CFMTA) website: www.cfmta.org

The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) website: www.rcmusic.com

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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