Deciding to become a licensed developmental music educator is a major move in any music teacher’s career journey. People enter the field of music education from various occupations and careers, and at various stages of their lives. Everyone has different reasons why they think teaching piano is the correct career choice for them. But, one question consistently comes from people looking to enter the music education industry: “How do I teach students with special needs?” or “How can I promote neuroplastic changes in students with motor movement disorders such as dyspraxia?”
The simple answer is, “it depends.” It mostly depends on where an individual first trained in music. Becoming a music teacher in a public school in the United States requires a professional degree. Each state regulates their own music education licensing process, and each state’s regulations or rules are slightly different. But, there are a few basic requirements that are always consistent. The DME® training focuses heavily on the tools necessary for a global private practice catering to piano students will special needs, with the potential for for a six-figure income.
General Requirements to Qualify to Become a Licensed Developmental Music Educator – DME®
To be eligible to become a licensed developmental music educator and teach piano to students with special needs, and to use the L-DME mark, you must must complete the DME Training – Developmental Music Education Training, and complete the licensing requirements.
These items represent a simplified description of the high-level steps that it takes to become a licensed developmental music educator, but there are a lot of decisions you need to make along the way that will dictate whether your journey is successful or not.
Is Developmental Music Education For You?
The first step in this process is making sure that teaching piano is right for you. As a licensed developmental music educator, each day is spent working for your students. You have to assess where they are at emotionally, spiritually, physically and musically. You are the guide in their journey toward a sense of self, identity formation, musicianship, and changes in their activities of daily living (ADLs). In doing your work, you are maintaining a private practice. This means handling your own office management, paperwork, prospecting leads, developing relationships, managing contacts, and dealing with parents and educators.
Reach out to licensed DMEs and ask them questions about what the day-to-day work is like. Ask questions about teaching piano to special-needs students as a long-term career. Starting a full-time career as a piano teacher can’t be treated like a hobby. It requires a full commitment. Make sure music education for special-needs students is the right path for you.
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Licensed Developmental Music Educator, LDME, DME-BC, and Developmental Music Education are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Doogri Institute.