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There are three primary ways to become a violin tutor: by striking out alone, by working with a larger violin training academy, or by seeking affiliation with a violin tutors’ organization. In all cases, it is usually essential that you are both an expert player and have a firm grasp of music theory. You do not always need actual teaching experience or training, though this is normally useful. The most important things are skill, interest, and flexibility when it comes to scheduling.
Violin tutors typically work one-on-one with students who are seeking to improve their technique. Sometimes these students are also receiving formal education and training elsewhere, but not always. One of the first things that you will need to do before you can become a violin tutor is to think hard about the sort of students you want to have and make some decisions about your ideal work schedule.
It is usually easiest to become a violin tutor independently. People who are very skilled at the violin are often able to drum up some business teaching select students out of their homes or providing limited after-school instruction. Getting started usually requires little more than word-of-mouth advertising.
Tutors in more remote locations may also be able to find business over the Internet. It is usually easier to become an online tutor for more advanced violin students, as teacher interaction for things like finger positioning or bow tension cannot always be precisely corrected online. Video chats and real-time conferencing technology can allow interaction between student and teacher on almost all other aspects of play, however, which can make this sort of tutoring attractive under the right circumstances.
Some of the biggest benefits to becoming a private tutor involve control. Tutors have complete say over when they teach, how much they charge, and who their students are. There are often a great many unknowns, however, and business is not always stable or sure. Setting up an independent violin teaching business often requires tax reporting and filing, as well. Depending on the jurisdiction, sorting these tax requirements out can be quite complicated.
Tutors in violin academies or with more streamlined music tutoring organizations have less control, but often find it easier to make tutoring a full-time career. An academic tutor in an established musical institute must usually have documented violin credentials. This can sometimes be satisfied by years of playing experience, but degrees in composition or performance are usually required. Many music schools also prefer that their tutors be graduates or have at least some direct experience with the style and mission of the school.
A final option is to seek to become a violin tutor in a private tutoring organization unaffiliated with any particular school. These sorts of opportunities are often organized through regional orchestras or are chartered under different teaching methods or particular violin instruction ideologies. To secure one of these kinds of jobs, you must usually apply through a formal process that often involves an audition, a statement of your vision as an instructor, and sometimes a trial session that can be observed to ensure compliance with the larger organization’s teaching goals.
There is no right or wrong way to become a violin tutor, and different methods work better for different people. The most important part about the process is figuring out both what you have to offer and what you want to glean, then isolating the opportunities that will give you both. For some this may mean focusing on elementary learners, offering one-on-one teaching and drilling basic technique. Others will be better suited to offering music theory study help, challenging budding musicians to compose pieces for themselves, or acting as a personal tutor to adults looking to master the instrument later in life.
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