Working as a Tutor in Sunderland

Approximately 27 music tutors are currently registered with Sunderland music education hub to work within the area. All of these tutors work in Sunderland on a self-employed basis and are engaged directly by schools. Some agencies manage tutors on the schools behalf, and are partners within the Hub (Musical Mates for example). All schools, tutors or agencies in receipt of DfE Music Education Hub funds are accountable to the reporting and Quality Assurance requirements of the National Plan for Music Education, and contracts and SLA’s are produced by the Hub lead to support this. Please contact Rebecca Pedlow if you would like more information, or to register with Sunderland Music Education Hub.

Role of the Sunderland Music Education Hub

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.

Although all Sunderland tutors are self-employed, the Hub provides opportunities and funding 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 – Teaching opportunities
Schools negotiate with practitioners and the hub to arrange tuition for their pupils. The Sunderland Hub Lead 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 rebecca.pedlow@sunderland.gov.uk.

The Government introduced comprehesive monitoring of Whole Class Ensemble Provision (WCET) and instrumental tuition through the National Plan for Music Education in 2012. This is 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, reporting to the Hub lead organisation as part of funding requirements for Music Education Hubs.
Through Service Level Agreements, the music education hub in Sunderland is working towards keeping 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.


A formal system of Quality Assurance to monitor the quality of teaching that pupils receive from music tutors is in development across schools and music partners in Sunderland. This monitoring will involve observed lessons, pupil/parent feedback, pupil dropout, pupil participation in concerts or ensembles, and achievement in exams. Tutors should become familiar with the requirements for graded examinations and where appropriate GCSE’s and A’ Levels so that elements of musicianship are not missed out. The Hub is in the process of developing training to support these aspects of Tutors delivery.

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


Training for Tutors

Degree Courses at Sage Gateshead

Sage Gateshead has developed a number of courses with University of Sunderland:

  • BMus (Hons) Jazz Popular and Commercial Music
  • BA (Hons) Community Music.

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 skills relevant for the music industry / music education sector.

More info: http://www.sagegateshead.com/join-in/further-and-higher-education/download-the-prospectus

0191 443 5254


The Teaching Musician – A postgraduate professional development programme for music educators

New Master of Arts Degree, PG Certificate and PG Diploma

From – Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance

Trinity-Laban Conservatoire is running The Teaching Musician, a flexible and vocational programme designed for experienced music educators.

It offers a high quality professional development opportunity, leading to a suite of postgraduate qualifications, whilst being designed to fit into your working life.

From instrumental/vocal teachers to ensemble leaders, animateurs and community musicians, the Teaching Musician combines opportunities to reflect, engage with theory and research, and develop new skills within a community of practice. Learning takes place through a series of weekend courses, an online community and distance learning and is led by expert practitioners.

New Masters Qualification

From Jan 2017, students who have gained the PG Diploma may extend their studies to achieve the MA The Teaching Musician, through new taught modules and a mentor scheme.

Bursary Support Available

With support from the Headley Trust, applicants who wish to specialise in creative education practice may apply for a Bursary towards programme fees. This is accompanied by a programme of mentored work based learning with Trinity Laban’s respected learning and Participation programme as part of our Headley Fellowship scheme.

Deadline: – The Teaching Musician starts Feb 2017. Applications via UCAS concerbaroires are open from July 2016 to Wed 30th November 2016.

Contact Admissions@trinitylaban.ac.uk (020 8305 3883) for more info