Exercise to Music

Exercise to Music (ETM) instructors work in fitness centres and health clubs, they also teach in community centres, church halls, schools - in fact, wherever there's a suitable space and a stereo. A majority of ETM instructors work freelance, delivering a number of classes a week, boosting their income and enjoying the flexibility to work around their existing lifestyle. Some decide to teach full-time and they often become involved in the running of the club itself as studio coordinators. Wherever ETM instructors go with their career, one thing they all share is a love of music and a love of fitness.

See the course in action

Training as an ETM Instructor 

You will learn to use your personality to inspire groups of people of different ages and abilities. The emphasis on freestyle teaching allows students to express their creativity and imagination confidently when delivering a studio class.

You will be taught by our highly qualified tutors who tailor their delivery to suit your individual learning style. You will achieve a recognised qualification. This qualification can also be used for those wishing to teach Body Training Systems.

Career options once qualified

Read Denise Page's insider guide to your options once you have qualified.

  • Work full-time or part-time within a fitness/health club
  • Work freelance delivering a number of classes a week in various settings
  • Involve yourself in studio coordinating and advanced teaching methods
  • Teach classes at fitness events and conventions and possibly become a fitness presenter
  • Learn to deliver popular choreography based classes through YMCAfit CPD modules
  • Expand into holistic based teaching through Supple Strength and STOTT Pilates

Become an ETM instructor with YMCAfit

Read our brochure to find out more about becoming an ETM instructor. 

Download the course brochure (opens pdf)

Learn to...

  • Identify the major bones, muscles and muscle actions of the body
  • Explain the workings of the body’s cardiovascular and energy systems
  • Identify the components and principles of fitness
  • Relate the Health and Safety at Work Act to the studio environment
  • Identify good customer care and strategies for the adoption and maintenance of physical activity
  • Plan, teach, deliver and evaluate a ETM session
  • Design free-style choreography
  • Work to the beat, phrase and/or rhythm of a variety of music styles
  • Demonstrate good personal technique and form when teaching a session
  • Apply basic skills that will enable you to include older adult, disabled, and antenatal and post-natal client groups in your sessions

Course content

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • The components and principles of fitness
  • Relevant skills and knowledge needed to design and teach studio classes in a variety of styles, from hi/lo to body conditioning
  • Methods of delivery
  • Health, Safety and Professionalism in Exercise
  • An introduction to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Modules


  • Be over 16
  • Have experience of participating in ETM classes such as aerobics, hi-lo, dance-style aerobics, combat, pre-choreographed classes taught to music



There are two format options available, intensive or blended learning. Both options will take into account your preferred learning style and you will be taught at a pace you find comfortable.

Intensive learning

  • 10 days face to face learning, spread over 2 consecutive weeks.

Blended learning

  • Face-to-face: 5 days practical plus 1 day assessment
  • Distance: theory via eLearning. Have a look at the eLearning demo here.
  • Theory learning completed from home via our eLearning website but exams sat on the practical days.
  • Must book a minimum of 6 weeks in advance to allow enough time to complete the theory learning online ready to sit the exams on the practical attendance days.

The weekend option is offered on the blended learning format. Weekends may not always be consecutive. Courses may also include some Fridays.


  • Multiple choice theory papers
  • Worksheets
  • Practical - you will be required to bring two helpers for your practical assessment


  • YMCA Awards Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Group Exercise to Music)


Entry to REPs at Level 2

Course Price

Price: £855

Payment Options:

• Full payment
• Direct debit plan

Pay for your course in three monthly installments

Interest free direct debit is available on Exercise to Music bookings. Contact us to find out more.

Special offer

Save on course fees when you book and pay in full, two or more months in advance of the course's start date.
Special offer course price: £795 (save £60)

Free funded training

Payment methods

You can pay for YMCAfit courses in the following ways:

  • Credit/debit card by telephone on 0844 346 0036
  • In person at our offices during the hours 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Cheques or postal orders by post. Please make these payable to ‘YMCA Fitness Industry Training’
  • Purchase order/invoice
  • By fax on 0843 221 1548

Download application form

Note: postal bookings can only be confirmed once we have received the payment and a completed application form, which is signed and dated. Please do not send cash through the post.

Come along to one of our free open evenings, which run throughout the year.

YMCAfit course tutors and Course Sales Advisors will be available to discuss:

  • The content of the YMCA Exercise to Music course
  • Different training routes available to you e.g. intensive or blended learning
  • The training and support you'll receive whilst studying
  • Career paths, once you're qualified
  • Continuing professional development

You'll also get the opportunity to check out the course venue and meet other potential students.

It's free to book, so just call our Course Sales Advisors on 0844 346 0036 to reserve your place today.

Farzana Potter

The qualification is recognised around the world, covers all areas of fitness, and I admire the fact that YMCAfit is a charitable organisation.

Farzana Potter, Personal Trainer Graduate