Top 5 Musicians that Were Once Teachers



I’d love to give you the top 5 teachers who were once musicians, but this will have to do:


KISS frontman Gene Simmons (aka The Demon) was actually a 6th Grade teacher at a Manhattan public school for six months before quitting the classroom for the stage. He’s since said that he realised he went into teaching because he wanted people to notice him – but he preferred the idea of performing in front of thousands of fans rather than a few dozen kids.

If you remember 80s hit Don’t Stand So Close to Me, you might also recall seeing Sting dressed as a school teacher in the film clip ( The man who shot to fame with The Police worked as a teacher in a primary school in North East England for two years. He admits he wasn’t very good at it, because he only taught things he was interested in … poetry and soccer.

Prep teacher Art Garfunkel (of legendary duo Simon & Garfunkel) is a talented mathematician. After going to teachers’ college, he was still working in the classroom in Connecticut just after Bridge Over Troubled Water ( became a massive hit.

“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad,” according to Sheryl Crow. Well, teaching was the career that made the Missouri singer-songwriter happy before a string of hits earned her millions. Crow started out as an elementary school music teacher – working in the classroom by day and singing in bands on evenings and weekends.

Our last musician on the list is sweatband-wearing Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler. His mother was a teacher and, before he formed the band and hit the big time, a young Knopfler taught English in a UK college and visited schools in the countryside several times a week teaching kids guitar skills.

OK, just because it’s you, here’s a bonus five celebs who have also worked in the classroom …

Mr T (best known for playing BA Baracus in The A-Team and his appearance in Rocky III) was a public school gym teacher in the US. We pity the fool who dared to mess around in his class.

John Hamm (Don Draper in drama series Mad Men) was an 8th Grade drama teacher before finding fame on the small screen.

Australia’s own Hugh Jackman is known for sticking to a tough fitness regime to prepare for roles like Wolverine. What you might not know is he also worked as a PE teacher in the UK in the late 80s.

Finally, two best-selling authors: The master of horror, Stephen King (think The Shining, Misery) used to be an English teacher, and Dan Brown (best known for the mega-hit The Da Vinci Code) was also an English and Spanish teacher.


Click on the link to read Principal Rewards Students for Reaching Reading Goals

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Click on the link to read Is There a Greater Tragedy than a School Tragedy?

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Click on the link to read Meet the Armless Math Teacher



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2 Responses to “Top 5 Musicians that Were Once Teachers”

  1. bsabian Says:

    Great post! I’m forwarding it on to my wife, who does communications for our local teachers union. I’m hoping she’ll post it on their Facebook/Twitter pages.

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