The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges to education systems around the world, resulting in a ‘new normal’ for school music education in which teaching and learning can no longer rely only on conventional classroom practices. Concerns have also been raised over music teachers’ digital competencies, given the perceived importance of the use of technology within the new educational landscape. This article presents the results of a study that examined the challenges and experiences associated with the digital competencies of music teachers during the pandemic period. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with full-time music teachers (N = 18), all of whom taught music as a subject at mainstream primary or secondary schools in Hong Kong. The findings revealed challenges and upskilling of music teachers during the lockdown period, including the technological constraints imposed by the school and the online environment, how they made use of technology to teach music online, and the different ways they developed their digital competencies. Alongside with the catalyst effect of the pandemic that stimulated their upskilling, curriculum changes in teacher training programmes are necessary to better prepare music teachers for the digital transformation of music education and future challenges under the post-pandemic ‘new normal’ situation. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).