music-tuition Approximately  85 music tutors currently work within the Sunderland area, teaching over 8,000 pupils in schools. All of these tutors work in Sunderland on a self-employed basis and are engaged directly by schools.

 Role of the Sunderland Music Education Hub

The Sunderland Music Education Hub provides assistance to school music departments, both financially and in the form of advice. The Hub also supports central ensembles and runs special events, all of which require music tutors.

Although all Sunderland tutors are self-employed, the Hub provides opportunities for them to attend professional development courses such as the Teaching Music Effectively course run by ABRSM, and offers schools advice about quality of teaching.

Working in Sunderland

Schools negotiate with practitioners and the hub to arrange tuition for their pupils. The Sunderland Hub Lead office co-ordinates the process of engagement of teachers; this includes the issuing of contracts for service, obtaining the requisite clearances and checking matters like public liability insurance cover etc.

Tutors who can demonstrate good playing skills and the ability to motivate and inspire pupils are likely to be most attractive to schools.

For further details about the development of music provision or organisation of vocal/instrumental teaching in Sunderland, please contact Rebecca Pedlow, Sunderland Music Education Hub Lead Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Teaching Opportunities

The majority of instrumental teaching in Sunderland takes place in school hours.The advent of "Wider Opportunities", enabled music teaching to take place in small or large groups and whole class provision. The National Plan for Music Education introduced comprehesive monitoring of Whole Class Ensemble Provision (WCET) which is monitored through Music Education Hubs and Arts Council. In Sunderland Schools organise this teaching, and are responsible for selecting pupils and monitoring progress. In practice, an instrumental tutor's main contact is likely to be the Head of Music if the school is a secondary, or the Music Co-ordinator if the school is a primary. It is always worth asking about any particular focus that the school requires in addition to the general teaching programme, such as a forthcoming concert/assembly, or a GCSE recording session.


Although there are some locally agreed variations, most music tuition in Sunderland currently costs £26.20 per hour, with schools engaging tutors on an hourly basis.

Tutors must register as self employed and have a UTR number so that the school can set them up as vendors. Payment and employment for tutors services is managed by the school.


Through Service Level Agreements, the music education hub in Sunderland keeps track of the progress made by all pupils receiving instrumental tuition. Although some teaching situations, particularly those involved in Whole Class Teaching programmes, are about providing an initial 'taste' of music, it is vital that pupils gain a solid foundation of good technique and understanding that can be built upon.

As a minimum, tutors should:

* Develop pupils' understanding of notation, including time and key signatures

* Demonstrate teaching points using their own instrument

* Place sufficient emphasis upon correct tone and phrasing

* Allow pupils to play together i.e. duets, trios

The Music Hub is working to develop a formal system of Quality Assurance to monitor the quality of teaching that pupils receive from music tutors. This monitoring might involve an observed lesson, but is more likely to be an ongoing process, taking into account such things as pupil/parent feedback, pupil dropout, pupil participation in concerts or ensembles, or achievement in exams. It is worth tutors becoming familiar with the requirements for graded examinations, so that elements of musicianship are not missed out.

The Music Education Hub office offers advice and professional development to tutors working in Sunderland, and encourages those with questions to get in touch.


Music tutor agencies can operate in the Sunderland area and these agencies offer to supply schools with music tutors directly. It is important to note that all tutors who are engaged by schools need to follow school policies and procedures, regardless of whether or not they are signed up to an agency.


Training for Tutors


Study Music at Sage Gateshead

Innovative approaches to undergraduate and postgraduate training in music education

Over the past few years, Sage Gateshead has been working with HE partners University of Sunderland and Trinity-Laban Conservatoire to develop a range of opportunities at undergraduate and postgraduate level to respond to some key questions about what it means to be a musician in a radically changed 21st century musical landscape.

How can musicians and music educators:

  • Be supported in the early stages of their professional lives to establish and develop their careers in a complex and ever-changing world of music and music education?

  • Develop the critical skills and knowledge to lead music education into a brighter future?

  • Develop a deeper critical understanding of the complexities of music’s value to society, in terms of its aesthetic value, whilst broadening participation and maximising social impact?

Music In Three Dimensions

Recognising the complex interplay between musical excellence, musical participation and the social impact of music, Sage Gateshead has developed a number of courses with University of Sunderland for the 21st Century musician:

  • BMus (Hons) Jazz Popular and Commercial Music – providing an exceptional grounding in ‘real life’ music industry practices and with an emphasis on performance, for musicians aspiring to sustain their career mainly from performing, composing or producing music;

  • BA (Hons) Community Music - providing an alternative kind of undergraduate training in music. Most musicians nowadays sustain a career in music through a ‘portfolio’ of work which usually includes teaching / facilitation of music. Rather than seeing teaching as a ‘fallback’ position or what to do if your performance career ‘fails’, this course provides a pragmatic approach to understanding the relationship between music performance and music education, resulting in well-rounded musicians whose performance skills are enhanced by an ability to apply those skills in a variety of teaching-learning situations.

These courses are unique in the UK, in that they involve learning alongside experienced musicians in ‘real life’ situations within Sage Gateshead’s artistic programme - and that of partner organisations - learning the actual skills that the music industry / music education sector is looking for.

More info:          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


0191 443 5254

The Teaching Musician

Additionally, Sage Gateshead is part of the team that has developed an exciting new postgraduate opportunity with Trinity-Laban Conservatoire, aimed at established music educators. PGCert / PGDip The Teaching Musician is an accredited, postgraduate professional development programme, designed for a multi-national cohort, and open to musicians working in any music education setting – formal or informal. It equips you with the knowledge and skills to transform your music education practice, learning about current developments in music education, and learning with peers from across the UK and internationally; postgraduate study that is based around your practice in music education, whatever that might happen to be. Developing a deeper critical understanding of music education theory and practice, and applying  that understanding in your practice helps to develop much stronger ‘research-informed’ practice, and opens the door to further study and research. Course content is covered over a series of 4 taught weekends in Greenwich, with a ‘blended’ learning approach to study, including online forums and practice-based assignments structured to maximise learning and impact on practice.

More info:

                                020 8305 4379

Headley Fellowships

For the 2016 programme (deadline for applications 30th Nov 2015), there are 6 Headley Fellowships (£2,000 fee bursary) available as part of the Teaching Musician programme. These funded Fellowships are designed to support the professional development of those working, or wishing to work, in creative education practice (for example community musicians, animateurs, workshop leaders or arts practitioners), in any setting, with any age group.

More info:


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