Acting & Singing Teacher: Job Outlook, Education, Salary
An acting and singing teacher provides individual or group classes for students looking to develop their skills in theater and singing. These teachers can work independently, offering lessons to private clients. They also may work as part of a larger institution, such as a school or studio, instructing in the vocal or dramatic arts.
Acting and singing teachers work with students to help prepare for auditions or develop skills, enabling students to find roles in the creative and performing arts. As a result, some teachers may work with their students for months or even years while other teachers see students only in preparation for a specific audition.
The specific roles of this position will vary depending on student needs, with teachers crafting lessons targeted to each student or group. For individuals with a background in acting and singing, this position can be a rewarding career.
At-a-glance: acting and singing teacher
Acting and singing teachers can find work in a variety of settings but they all share some common job tasks. Many teachers who offer acting and singing lessons have a background in the arts and are experienced performers. While the job tasks related to this position can vary depending on the ages and skills of the students, many acting and singing teachers have shared experiences and traits.
Acting and singing teacher job description
Acting and singing teachers spend the majority of their workday with students, delivering customized instruction in the dramatic and vocal arts. Additionally, they tackle administrative tasks that include designing lesson plans and classes or marketing their services if they work independently.
The typical duties of acting and singing teachers may include the following tasks:
- Designing lesson plans for individual students or larger classes
- Training students to sing using a variety of techniques
- Working with students to improve their vocal range, pitch, and tone
- Teaching breath control to help singers build their stamina
- Teaching students how to read music
- Reviewing general music theory concepts with students
- Introducing students to different music styles, such as jazz and pop
- Introducing students to various styles of acting
- Teaching acting principles and techniques in individual or group settings
- Working with students on enunciation, diction, and dialect to improve their skills
- Instructing on the importance of body language in acting and developing proper body language skills
- Creating and assessing homework assignments for students
- Helping students prepare for auditions by rehearsing songs, reading scripts, or practicing monologues
Who makes a good acting and singing teacher?
Successful acting and singing teachers share a variety of traits that allow them to develop their students’ techniques and skill sets. They include:
- A background in the arts
- Demonstrated experience as a singer or actor
- Effective communication skills for conveying lessons with ease and provide feedback
- Strong organizational skills for managing different classes and students
- Critical-thinking skills for delivery of helpful, positive critiques of student performances
- A background in education and curriculum design
- A positive attitude that encourages students
Acting and singing teacher in-depth
- Education: Bachelor’s degree in education, music, theater, or performing arts
- Typical time to earn a graduate degree: 2-3 years
Most acting and singing teachers complete a bachelor’s degree before starting their careers. This degree could specialize in a range of areas, including education, music, theater, and the performing arts. Some colleges and universities offer an education degree with a specialty in theater or music education. Additionally, some teachers might have professional singing or theater experience that allows them to add a real-world element to their instruction.
For teachers working in an educational setting, a bachelor’s degree is expected. Additionally, some institutions encourage teachers to earn a master’s degree — and compensate them accordingly. As with their undergraduate studies, acting and singing teachers may choose to earn a master’s degree in various fields, such as education or fine arts, at the graduate level.
Average salaries for acting and singing teachers
Salaries for acting and singing teachers vary depending on location, education, and professional background. The average salaries of acting teachers compared to singing teachers can also vary. So, too, does the salary for a teacher who offers both singing and acting lessons. As a result, average salary data spans a broad range based on job title, responsibilities, and geographical area.
Here are some salary averages for acting teachers and singing teachers:
Job outlook for acting and singing teachers
As acting and singing teachers can find work independently or through a studio or school, job outlook can vary greatly depending on where they’d like to work. Within the education sector, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a positive job outlook.
Postsecondary teachers, or those who teach in higher education, will see 12% job growth through 2031 at a rate that’s much faster than average. High school teachers will see 5% job growth during that same period, while elementary school teachers will see 4% job growth. Both figures are around the national average for all jobs.
Acting and singing teachers can find work outside of the traditional education field as well. While there isn’t any data to track the growth of those positions, teachers in the fine arts can start their own businesses or supplement another job by offering private lessons in acting and singing.
Challenges and opportunities for acting and singing teachers
As with many jobs, acting and singing teachers can face challenges but also enjoy opportunities for growth and success:
- Acting and singing teachers can choose several career paths in education, business ownership, and freelance opportunities.
- Teachers have the opportunity to work with talented students and help them develop their skills.
- Teachers can tap into their own acting and singing experience as they teach, which may be fulfilling.
- Independent teachers have the ability to take on as many clients as they can manage.
- Singing and acting students have different levels of ability, requiring teachers to customize lesson plans from student to student.
- Teachers who work for private clients will have to seek out work and could have a less reliable income as a result.
- Acting and singing teachers who work independently might miss the collegial relationships with coworkers.
- Teachers who choose to work in traditional education settings may find that arts programs are underfunded, even though arts education is important.
Professional development for acting and singing teachers comes in many forms and gives teachers the opportunity to stay on the cutting edge of their craft. It can also help them as they seek a new position or transition into a new role in their industry.
Teachers can earn continuing education credits in their field to broaden their skills and knowledge and engage in professional development. These courses touch on many topics in the arts field, including theater and music. Teachers can find many online continuing education courses through colleges and universities.
Professional associations offer the opportunity to learn and network alongside other acting and singing teachers. These associations give teachers a chance to share ideas, enhance teaching strategies, and build a network of like-minded teachers:
- American Alliance for Theatre and Education
- National Art Education Association
- Americans Education Network: Arts Education Network
- American Academy of Teachers of Singing
- National Association of Teachers of Singing