As the manager of London Singing Institute, I interview singers who want to join our pool of singing teachers on a regular basis. Despite the efforts of numerous candidates, only a small number of candidates are chosen each year. This uncommon selection is largely due to most singers’ lack of understanding of the role. Too many applicants appear to be unaware that we are looking for a singing teacher rather than a performer who will eventually teach.
In this article, I hope to assist singers who want to become singing teachers and give them a better chance of being chosen.
The most common misconception is that a singing school is looking for a singing teacher rather than a singer. All applicants have graduated from prestigious music academies and are exceptional singers. This information can be found on every curriculum vitae. Some singers have higher degrees than others, and some have performed more widely. What matters most when applying for a singing teacher position is your ability to share your knowledge with those eager to learn.
As a result, concentrating on your teaching abilities during an interview is more important than bragging about your recent or upcoming performances.
At London Singing Institute, for example, we specialise in teaching amateur singers who only sing for pleasure. This means that our students are either complete beginners with no prior musical experience, intermediate singers who have reached a plateau, or proficient amateur singers who want to improve their skills even more. Adults frequently lack confidence and require instruction from singing teachers who can guide them in a relaxed and nonjudgmental manner. We are not looking for the next Maria Callas, but rather someone who can gently assist adults in finding their voice.
We do not care if you’ve recently performed at the Royal Albert Hall or the 02 Arena; the most important skill we’re looking for is the ability to put yourself aside and use your incredible knowledge to help those who are less talented.
I am using London Singing Institute as an example because it is the vocal school I am interviewing for, but the same principles would apply if you were trying to get a job at a school that specialises in teaching children. Your interviewer is almost certainly looking for the same set of skills that we are. We are all looking for a new singing instructor, not a performer!
In addition to focusing on your passion for teaching and your ability to do so effectively, you should make sure that your schedule is flexible enough to accommodate singing students on a regular basis. While conducting interviews, I met far too many singers who clearly applied to make ends meet and who were concerned about potential performances during their working hours at the school.
If you apply for a position as a singing teacher, you must demonstrate to the interviewers that you either give equal attention to performances and teaching or that teaching takes precedence. You are, once again, applying for a singing teacher position rather than a singer position.
I hope that this brief article has helped you understand what a vocal school manager is looking for and that it has helped you avoid the mistake that most applicants make: forgetting that it is all about your teaching experience and ability to improve your students’ voices, not your professional achievements. As I previously stated, it is irrelevant to us because all candidates are of the same calibre.
About The London Singing Institute
The London Singing Institute is a unique vocal academy created for adults from all walks of life who either want to learn how to sing or improve their current skills with outstanding vocal instructors. It is our vision to offer adult singing lovers a platform where they can express themselves and benefit from the most excellent and suitable vocal instruction in Central London.
Whether you wish to study classical, jazz, rock, pop or musical theatre, you can be assured to enjoy the most remarkable singing lessons in a non-judgmental and friendly environment.