Being able to play the violin (either as a soloist or part of an ensemble) is quite the achievement. The violin, which is often thought of as an instrument for the elite, has a bit of an image problem.
Being a violin teacher is quite different to being a science teacher or an English teacher since you have several jobs to do. Firstly, you’ll need to have the violin and teaching skills in order to help your students learn to play the instrument. Secondly, you’ll need to work towards changing the violin’s stuffy image and encourage students of all ages that it's the instrument for everyone.
Most people in the world can learn the violin just like they would the guitar or any other instrument without any kind of special education. They just need to be methodical, motivated, and enthusiastic. They need to walk before they learn to run.
This is where a teacher is really important. Regardless of whether a student's a beginner, intermediate, or expert, they need a teacher who's invested in their learning, passionate about it, and can inspire them. The same is true whether they're teaching them the piano, flute, cello, saxophone, clarinet, etc.
So how can you start teaching violin or music lessons? How do you start your job search? Teacher recruitment might seem like a minefield, but over the course of this article, you’ll learn the ropes (or should that be strings?).
Teaching Violin without Qualifications
Like all forms of teaching, not just anyone can start a teaching career in music. Often, certain training and certifications are required, but it is possible to teach violin without qualifications. A good teacher needs to be able to quickly and effectively transfer knowledge to their students. This is what makes the difference between an adequate teacher and an excellent teacher; someone who actually teaches their students.
Despite how important one recruiter might consider certain music qualifications, they don't necessarily give an indication of your teaching skills.
Here are some of the key profiles that people are looking to recruit. If any of them sound like you, you're on the right path to teaching music classes yourself or finding education jobs in schools or music centres.
A Self-Taught Violinist
Learning to play the violin by yourself might seem risky but there are several advantages. You can learn about music for yourself, however you want to, at your own speed.
You can study exactly what you need to know, not waste time on techniques you’ll never use, and put together your own repertoire. You'll retain knowledge you’ve worked out yourself better than information you’ve been told since your brain is more active and information therefore goes in more easily.
Becoming a violin tutor without qualifications can help you better understand the process your students are going through. This will help you better address any problems they encounter as well as foreseeing any problems they might encounter further down the line.
The problem is that even if you've been playing violin since childhood, without being able to prove your grade, finding new jobs without the help of word of mouth can be tricky.
Being an Excellent Teacher
Teaching skills and adaptability are essential. Each student is different and you’ll need to keep this in mind. A good tutor will understand their students and adapt their teaching methods to help them.
You can’t stick to just one method or the same exercises all the time. You need to work with the student’s learning style and speed. There’s no sure-fire way to teach any given lesson. There’s one method that works for some and other methods that work for others.
Giving Private Violin Lessons Online
If you want to teach but don’t have qualifications, there’s never been a better time to be alive. There are online teaching jobs available to you. You could start your own website or blog and build a community.
In order to earn your keep, you could offer tutorials that students have to pay for. These will help cover your costs, too. Be careful though, don’t overcharge your students or you’ll lose them.
What about violin private tutorials?
They’re quite trendy at the moment. Regardless of whether you have a degree or diploma, you can still teach private violin tutorials and look for tutoring jobs London and indeed nationwide. While all the profiles are different, a passion for teaching is the thing they all have in common.
With a good amount of experience and the necessary level, you have everything you need to become a quality private violin tutor. Make the most of that!
Teaching Violin in Small Music Centres
If you’ve got the passion and the teaching skills, you can still teach outside of conservatoires (who ask for academic music qualifications) at music centres who’ll be happy to give you a chance.
You’ll be free to teach violin in your own style be it music theory, reading music, and practising how to play the instrument, of course! Whether it’s a classical or electric violin, you can help your students to improve their skills and learn more about music.
The Rates for Teaching Violin Positions
You can’t deny that the violin is a complex instrument. Learning to play the violin needs a particular set of skills including a knowledge of music theory, for example. This knowledge comes at a price, regardless of how you learn. So what are the going rates for a violin tutor?
Violin Lesson Prices by City
When it comes to prices, London tends to come out as the most expensive place to learn in the UK. In the capital, the average cost of violin tutorials is £32. Of course, this will vary depending on where you are in London, too.
If you want violin tutorials in somewhere like Edinburgh, Manchester, or Cardiff, you can expect to pay around £10 less per hour. This is definitely an advantage of living outside of London. You should also work out your own budget.
Violin Lessons in a Conservatoire
There are plenty of music schools in the country and, as you can imagine, they’re not free. Getting a degree in music can be a costly endeavour. You’re paying for the title from a reputable school of music, after all.
You’re also paying for expert teachers, quality teaching resources, and structured courses. There’s at least one big music school in almost every big city in the UK and abroad. You’ll be spoilt for choice.
The Price of Violin Tutorials in Person or Online
These two are quite similar. In both cases, you’ll have to trust someone that you’ll first meet online. Then you’ll have to choose whether or not you prefer tutorials over webcam or face-to-face with your tutor.
At the end of the day, you get to make the call. Choose how you like to work, how you manage your time, and your passion for music.
Teaching Violin: Which is the Job for You?
Having a passion for music is great. Making a living from it is even better. Here’s how you can teach violin! Before you start applying to every job alert you get to your inbox, you should keep in mind that each type of vacancy is different, some recruitment processes are more complicated than others, and, in terms of salary, some places pay far better than others.
Teaching Violin in a Conservatoire
In these reputable establishments, being the best is the goal. To teach violin lessons here, you’ll be expected to have at least completed an academic degree and they'll often ask for transcripts.
You’ll also be expected to know the history of your instrument and be familiar with a whole range of techniques and music theory, for example. The degrees offered by the conservatoires are often the music qualification par excellence.
Admission in these places is really competitive, for those wanting to be e a student, expect to complete an audition.
If you're searching for a teaching job in a conservatoire, you should know that the vacancies are often few and far between and being on the faculty at one of these institutions means that you're a certified teacher and sometimes a seasoned concert performer. The personnel at these places are the crème de la crème.
Your best quality, in addition to your teaching skills, is your experience with the violin. This is how you’re going to teach your students, after all.
Become a Violin Teacher at a School
You can also teach music in a school under the jurisdiction of the department of education. While the recorder is taught in most primary schools around the country, there are teaching positions for those trained in other instruments.
In fact, secondary school students can do music GCSEs and A Levels with almost any instrument or singing. With 5 years of obligatory schooling and 2 of sixth form, students have plenty of time to master their instrument. While keyboard and piano lessons are some of the most common in the national school system, there are still job openings for violinists.
If you want to teach in a national secondary school, you’ll need to be a qualified teacher. This means you'll need have a degree in or related to your given subject as well as the PGCE. You can also opt for a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree which while usually for primary school teacher, is available for secondary teachers in certain universities.
Every candidate also has to pass police criminal record checks (the DBS). Of course, teaching in state schools is famous for the outrageous amount of administrative work that you'll be expected to complete. You could also decide to work in a school as a teaching assistant or substitute teacher helping students prep for concerts, for example.
Teach Violin as a Member of an Association
Teaching as a member of an association comes with a lot of benefits. Firstly, in the absence of qualifications or a violin certification, it can prove to potential students thinking about hiring you that you’re a quality teacher. They also have instructional resources for teachers, provide insurance in some cases, and can help you contact a talented instructor or musician if you need help.
Of course, this isn’t a one-way street and you’ll be expected to provide lessons of a certain level and pay them. The costs of joining these associations can vary and are generally between £50 and £100 per year and there are even qualifications available from the associations that would be useful for any job seeker not willing to pay for a degree.
What about Private Violin Tutorials?
Private tutorials are great for those who have busy schedules or aren’t yet sure about studying a degree in music. With Superprof, you can find students seeking a tutor.
As a private tutor, you can really help students who are struggling or need to progress quickly. Whether you’re teaching them to improvise, play jazz, classical, or any other style of music, your knowledge will be a of huge benefit to your students.
Furthermore, as a tutor, you can choose the rates for your private lessons. Our tutors get to choose the rates that work for them. How you teach your students and what you focus on (positioning, fingering, reading music, etc.) is up to you, too.
For students, on the other hand, they can find a teacher they like and who works well with their learning style. If you provide quality lessons at the right price and are an outstanding teacher, most students will be happy to hire you and you can choose to be a tutor on a permanent or temporary basis.
You should also look for education job fairs or music fairs where you can also apply to jobs, take part in workshops or listen to presentations, meet people, and learn about job postings before they're made public.