Q: I’m not a UBC student; can I volunteer?
A: Yes! We are opening up the volunteer application to members of the community, whether you are a post-secondary student at another institution, a high school student, or just someone who wants to make a difference in children’s lives through music. That being said, you do need to meet a few qualifications.
Q: I am a returning volunteer; do I still need a Police Information Check?
A: Yes. Due to a recent change in policy, we are not able to send volunteers to our partner schools without completion of the Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening.
Q: I can’t make it to my lesson this week! What do I do?
A: If you are unable to make it to your school for a lesson, notify the school’s teacher coordinator (contact information under the Schools tab) at least 24 hours in advance — so that your students can be given sufficient notice to not expect a lesson that week.
Q: Where can I find teaching materials?
A: Each school should have a collection of introductory piano books (and guitar books if the school supports guitar lessons) for volunteers to use during lessons. If you find this insufficient, please notify your Volunteer Coordinator so we can supply additional books. You can also bring your own teaching materials or look online for resources (makingmusicfun.net is a club favourite). You run the lessons, so feel free to get creative!
Q: What if my schedule changes in Term 2?
A: While it is certainly preferred that you maintain consistency in your lessons, we do understand that schedules change between terms. If you find that you cannot teach on the same day you did in Term 1, please let your Volunteer Coordinator know, so that he or she can make arrangements to try to keep you paired with the same students.
Q: When is the recital? What needs to be prepared?
A: The annual Year-End Recital is held at the end of March or beginning of April. This is a fantastic opportunity for your students to showcase what he or she has learned in the weekly lessons. Each student is welcome to perform 1-2 pieces, whether that be a C major scale or Beethoven’s Fifth. We encourage you to keep this in mind as the recital draws near and to work with your students to decide on their piece(s).
Q: What do I do during my lessons?
A: Beyond a few teaching tips from us, the lessons are completely up to you! Try to tailor your lessons to the comfort level of each student. Make it fun for both of you — the point is not as much getting the students to “progress” as it is inspiring them of their potential to make music. Feel free to experiment with different teaching techniques and see what is most effective. The lesson is your oyster!