Finding Work Teaching Guitar In Schools

By: Gerard Ward

If you’ve ever thought about teaching guitar in schools but haven’t got round to applying, now could be just the right time to gain a teaching position.

When an instrumental tutor decides to leave their position at a school, 9 times out of 10 they will hand in their notice at the end of the summer term, i.e. having completed a full academic year.

So now is the time that the Heads of Music or Headteachers (in smaller schools) will be desperately looking around trying to find a replacement guitar teacher to fill the newly-vacated teaching position.


Teaching Guitar in Schools – Music Services

Over the past decade, many local authority schools had outsourced the recruitment and employment of instrumental teachers to the local music service.

The music service in turn would often employ just a few teachers for each instrument, often on full-time contracts, who would be dispatched to sometimes two or three different schools each day.

However, lately it seems that numerous music services are making their full-time instrumental teachers redundant, and so many schools are once again reverting to engaging freelance self-employed tutors to teach guitar in their schools.

Such a situation has in any case remained the norm for public (fee-paying) schools.

The change of circumstances within the local authority sector may now provide more guitar teachers with the opportunity to teach part-time in schools.


How To Find Schools

Short of phoning up or emailing each school individually, it will be quite difficult to discover which schools may have vacancies for guitar teachers, so the easiest approach to take would be to send the mailshot to every school in your area.

This might seem like an awful lot of envelope stuffing, and if you don’t fancy doing that there are many ‘mailing houses’ that offer this service.

The other huge advantage of using a mailing house is that, those that operate in the education sector, will already have a database of schools names and addresses, which you will be able to purchase for a reasonable fee since you will not be requiring a national list of every school, but only a limited number of addresses for those schools within travelling distance of your home.

You could of course research the school addresses yourself, using the internet, telephone directories and other resources, however, buying a ready-printed set of address labels will save you many hours.

Just type ‘mailing house schools’ into Google and you’ll find various companies you can choose from.


What to Send to Potential Schools

It’s important that the contents of your mailshot should look as professional as possible, so make sure it’s all clearly-typed and spell-checked.

A brief covering letter stating that you’re a local guitar teacher enquiring as to whether the school has any vacancies, with your CV and any suitable publicity material attached, will suffice.

If you have recent CRB clearance it’s worth prominently stating that; if you haven’t got up-to-date CRB clearance you can arrange this via RGT (at special discounted rates for RGT members).

If you normally offer RGT exams to your pupils, it’s worth stating that as well – particularly if you point out that pupils in the school who take RGT exams will help improve the school’s position within the School Achievement and Attainment Tables.

If you have acquired a recognised RGT guitar teaching diploma, such as LLCM(TD), it would also be worth emphasizing that, as this would undoubtedly help you gain an interview with the school.


Types of Teaching Guitar In Schools

Many schools will expect guitar teachers to teach pupils in small groups or at least pairs so, if you’ve only taught pupils individually before, this is something you need to prepare for.

If you are asked to teach a ‘Wider Opportunities’ class, rather than normal instrumental lessons, you should consider this offer very carefully before accepting, as it may involve teaching a whole class of up to 40 beginner guitarists – not an ideal scenario for someone new to teaching in schools!

As well as local authority schools, consider approaching public schools, colleges and adult education institutes in your area, as they too are more likely to have vacancies at this time of year than at any other time.


What are your tips and tricks for teaching guitar in schools? Post them in the comments section below.

6 thoughts on “Finding Work Teaching Guitar In Schools

    • Hi, thanks for checking out the article. This time of year means the end or middle of summer when school’s are starting to plan for fall classes to start.

  1. Hi. I am a twenty one years old. I studied guitar for 8 years in a music school in Rome. I would like to start to teach to children, because it would be a great satisfaction for me. Thanks.

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