I asked on Instagram if a blog about what is involved in violin teaching would be useful. A lot of people said yes, and so here I am providing you an insight into the job itself! You can also read what is involved in my blogging work here. When I was having lessons with my violin teacher at school, I always admired her and thought she was a superhero for being such a great teacher and so this has inspired me during my own teaching. I have been lucky to have had some incredible teachers and I suppose this has influenced me to put lots of work into my own teaching. So, what does teaching the violin involve? Let’s find out…
This is what I do in my violin teaching and although I am not technically “paid” for all things involved I wouldn’t change it, nonetheless. It is a lifestyle choice and rather than just thinking of it as a 9-5 job, you have to learn to do tasks outside the actual teaching rather than just think of it as hours seen to be “working”. I am incredibly lucky for this job and although some days I wish I earnt more for the amount of time I devote to it; I really love and enjoy my work. So, if you are thinking of going into instrumental teaching then I would recommend it, if it works for you.
Type Of Teaching
For violin teaching, you can either teach privately or you can be employed by a professional organisation to teach in a School or a Music Centre. I have done both, and whilst teaching privately gives you more control, I have found that working for a company can be more reliable and better regular pay. The money you earn depends on how many pupils sign up for lessons, so it can be quite stressful not knowing what you are earning each month. That said, if pupils are dedicated, one would hope they at least carry on until the end of the school term or academic year.
If you work for a Music Centre of School, you have to plan your lessons. Regardless, if you teach privately you should also plan your lessons, but the amount of planning is more flexible. I spend time planning the lessons and although this is hard when you have 30+ pupils, it is worth it to provide you a little more grounding during the actual teaching. I don’t always stick to my lesson plan. Some days we don’t get as much done as I had hoped, if a pupil turns up without a violin or they are late. The important idea is to think of a plan like an outline. You have to be flexible with it and it really is just the starting block. Planning has helped me think more about what I want to achieve in a term and especially getting pupils ready for exams more thoroughly.
Emails And Admin
I spent a LOT of time doing emails and this gets me down some days. There are always queries to attend to from parents. For instance, you might be organising pieces for pupils to play for a concert, recommend books to get, emailing about lateness of pupils…. There are many things to reply to. There might also be things like claim forms to complete, for changes to hours worked.
There are professional training days to build into your teaching. Luckily, these aren’t too often but it is important to do them so that your knowledge is up to date. There are also lesson observations to factor in. I have observed and been observed and there is also paperwork involved in this.
Preparing Teaching Resources
If you like to be organised, then preparing teaching material is a great idea. I have found some books just do not cover all the things I need to teach and so I make my own sheets for beginners. I really should make my own book as I spend a lot of time printing them off for pupils!
Teaching the lessons! This is the hours other people think you work but actually this is just part of the job!
Practising Your Instrument
I probably should practise more but I have to make use of the time I have efficiently. Technically you are not paid for this, but who would want to have lessons off someone that didn’t actually play their own instrument?!
I hope you enjoyed this blog! Let me know what you thought of the tasks involved in violin teaching!