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Private Music Teacher

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

  • Avg. Salary $23,244.00
  • Avg. Wage $40.26
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 2,900
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

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) 
Interest Codes
The Private Music Teacher is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Teachers of Music or Voice

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


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


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

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 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 More

Updated Dec 19, 2016

Private music teachers usually specialize in one or more of the following:

  • voice 
  • piano
  • stringed instruments (violin, for example)
  • wind instruments (clarinet, for example)
  • percussion instruments (drums, for example).

They teach technique, interpretation, performance skills and music theory through private lessons.

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 festivals 
  • arrange lesson schedules, collect fees, 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
  • may teach students to compose or improvise.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Private music teachers may work in their own homes or travel to teach students in their homes or in music centres. Hours of work typically include evenings and weekends and may be irregular. Some music teachers routinely lift or move heavy instruments.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Private music teachers need the following characteristics:

  • a good ear for tone
  • good understanding of musicality and techniques 
  • patience
  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to inspire and motivate students
  • time management and organization skills
  • the ability to market their services.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

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 themselves, or from how their students perform in exams and competitions.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grande Prairie Regional College

Prairie Bible Institute

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Most private music teachers are self-employed. Many work part-time as teachers and part-time as performers, conductors or composers. In addition to providing lessons for individuals, teachers may be contracted by privately or publicly funded organizations that offer group instruction. As in any small business, 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 (for example, jazz). Some experienced music teachers augment their teaching income by adjudicating 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 or post-secondary institutions. 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 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 (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 3,000 Albertans are employed in the Musicians and singers occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.3% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 39 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As private music teachers form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for private music teachers. 

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Hourly fees vary depending on the teacher's training, skills, experience, reputation and location in the province but typically range from $30 to $100 an hour (2013 estimate).

According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Musicians and Singers occupational group earned on average $18.13 to $26.71 an hour. The overall average wage was $20.19 an hour. More recent data is not available.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Alberta Registered Music Teachers' Association (ARMTA) website:

Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Association (CFMTA) website:

St. Alberta and Area Piano Teachers Association website:

Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) website:

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

Updated Feb 11, 2013. 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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