There are many ways to become a flute teacher. Some advanced students in their teens make a little money by offering private lessons to beginners. Others teach only flute in a variety of formal settings or pursue this specialty at home, privately coaching and instructing students thinking of a career as teachers or performers. As the range of what it means to be a flute teacher is so significant, defining what a person has to do to become a flute teacher is challenging.
One necessary requirement to become a flute teacher is personal expertise. Flutists should have experience in playing and performing, but such experience could be acquired in a number of ways. Many people begin to become a flute teacher by starting with participation in school music programs, which might be available at the elementary school level. Students first learn how to read music, how to count time and how to play basic notes. Proficiency increases with practice and opportunities to perform. After gaining a certain amount of competency, flutists do need to learn the piccolo, since most formal performance setting require knowledge of both instrument.
The serious flutist continues studies at middle and high school levels and may have opportunities to expand practice and performing with other musical groups. Some regions have local youth symphonies, which tend to offer more challenging pieces to play, and students could also participate in city or state bands, or in a variety of settings where musical accompaniment is required. There may be chamber orchestras, orchestras organized for local musicals or other events, and many flutists form their own musical groups and might even play privately for money.
These experiences are essential to the person who wants to become a flute teacher because they each confer experience and expand knowledge and skill. Flute teachers very often have taken private lessons, too. The way these lessons are conducted can be a good model to follow later on when a person has his/her own students. As mentioned, flutists don’t have to wait for perfection in performance to teach. They could be private teachers for beginners or volunteer at local elementary or middle schools as section coaches.
There are more ways to learn how to become a flute teacher. These include going to college and majoring in music. For those who really want to teach, music education is probably a better major than music performance. Some people want both and take both forks of the major. People can also get a teaching credential and expand to teaching band.
Should the sole goal be to become a flute teacher, and perhaps performer, joining a symphony as a career and using that as leverage for finding students can be of use. Flute teachers may need to work on marketing, and self-promote through a website or informally speak to local middle and high school band teachers about availability to teach. Teachers who are known through performance or reputation may more easily acquire students.