Music Professor

Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Music Professor is a professional who teaches music in various educational settings, including universities, colleges, and conservatories. This position requires extensive knowledge and experience in music theory, performance, and history. A Music Professor job description typically involves creating lesson plans, designing curricula, and grading student work. Professors also engage in research and scholarship, publish academic articles and books, and participate in professional conferences and organizations. As educators, they work to inspire and challenge their students, encouraging them to improve their musical abilities and develop their own unique style. Music Professors may also conduct ensembles or orchestras and participate in community outreach programs. This type of position typically requires a degree in music or a related field and several years of teaching experience. Music Professors play a vital role in cultivating cultural and artistic appreciation in the next generation.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teach college level courses in music theory, history, performance, and composition.
  • Develop curriculum and lesson plans for each course taught.
  • Grade and provide feedback on student assignments, exams, and performances.
  • Advise and mentor students on educational and career goals.
  • Conduct research and publish scholarly articles in music journals.
  • Participate in faculty committees and undertake administrative responsibilities (e.g., admissions, accreditation).
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to stay current with teaching and music trends.
  • Collaborate with other faculty members and departments to provide interdisciplinary experiences for students.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a music professor in education, you usually need a whole bunch of education and experience. First and foremost, you'll need a master's degree in music or a related field, and a PhD can be a plus. It's also important to have experience teaching music at educational institutions. Some universities hire professors based solely on their academic credentials, while others prioritize applicants with both academic and practical experience.

In addition to education and experience, it's essential to have a passion for teaching and a deep knowledge of music theory and history. Music professors are responsible for instructing students in various aspects of music, such as composition and performance techniques, so they must be skilled communicators and have excellent listening and feedback-giving abilities.

Overall, being a music professor requires a lot of education and experience to excel, as well as a genuine love for music and teaching.

Salary Range

Music Professor salary range in the U.S. can vary widely depending on factors like experience and location. According to, the average salary of a Music Professor in the U.S. is about $66,000 per year, with a range of $39,000 to $124,000 depending on the years of experience, location and institution type. Music Professors who have extensive experience can earn up to $124,000 annually. In other countries, Music Professor salary ranges may also vary like in the UK, where the average Music Professor salary is £44,000 per year, according to Salary ranges may also vary by institution type and location. 


Career Outlook

Music professors have a promising career outlook in the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for postsecondary teachers, including music professors, is projected to grow by 9% from 2019 to 2029. This growth is due to an increase in student enrollment at colleges and universities. Additionally, music professors can expect to have job opportunities in private music schools, music conservatories, and community colleges.

As technology advances, more universities are offering online music programs, which creates more opportunities for music professors to teach in a virtual setting. This can also lead to more job flexibility.

In summary, the career outlook for music professors is growing, with various job opportunities in higher education and private institutions. As the demand for music education increases, there will be a need for qualified music professors to teach the next generation of musicians.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What exactly does a Music Professor do?

A: A Music Professor teaches students the theory, history, composition, and performance of music.

Q: What kind of education and experience do I need to become a Music Professor?

A: To become a Music Professor, you typically need a master's or doctoral degree in music and years of experience as a performer, composer, or teacher.

Q: What are some typical daily tasks of a Music Professor?

A: A Music Professor's daily tasks may include teaching undergraduate or graduate classes, grading assignments and exams, conducting research, mentoring students, and preparing for classes.

Q: Do Music Professors work in a specific setting or location?

A: Music Professors may work in colleges, universities, music conservatories, or high schools. They may also work online or as private instructors.

Q: What is the job outlook for Music Professors?

A: The job outlook for Music Professors is positive, with employment opportunities growing at an average rate. However, competition for tenured positions is fierce, so obtaining a doctoral degree is often necessary to secure employment.

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