Teaching in a university or leading a workshop can be a means to make a living as an artist. It is generally a stable and more reliable means of supporting your practice but there is a balancing act to be made between teaching and creating work. Increasingly, teaching and workshop leading is becoming embedded into artistic practice. Participation and collaboration as a working process is creative and can simultaneously provide a means of making a living.

Teaching in a University

It is possible to teach in universities part-time, full-time or on a freelance basis. Artists will often be asked to be guest speakers in universities. A lecture can pay around £150/hour and will usually be about 1-2 hours long; allow 3 to 4 hours for a workshop. As a part-time lecturer, payment is usually fairly low. Full-time lecturing provides a stable and decent income, but it requires more time and responsibility to prepare for lectures, support students and mark assignments. Teaching in a university can be beneficial as it is recognised that most academics have a practice and require time to nurture their knowledge and creativity. Lecturers are given a window of time each year to develop their work and practice – particularly in the summer and prior to the start of a new school year. Your work and practice should feed into your teaching.

How to get Teaching Jobs

Often you will have had prior studies or have built an established practice and reputation in your field to be invited to teach. It is useful to know staff within institutions and particular research labs or programmes that support the kind of work that you do. Look at www.jobs.ac.uk for job opportunities in universities. They can be competitive as they may require prior teaching experience and proof of academic excellence.

Workshop Leading

Learning and education is an aspect of the arts that enables others to understand your work better and perhaps be inspired and transform the way they see and think about the world. These are the values and potentials of the arts. The more people that can learn to engage with your work, the more appreciation and understanding you will have, which can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling as an artist.

Workshops can be one-off sessions or span over a period of several months. Participants are often enlisted from the public or local schools. Workshops are often paid per session by an organisation or school supporting education and the arts. Workshop-leading can be a creative process in itself, where pedagogy and collaboration is the core of the work. The end result or art work becomes insignificant. Instead the engagement with others through a shared process of creation and learning is the work, which can open up new collective understandings and subjective realities. Workshop leading can be seen as a new model for artists that merges artistic creation and education.

Engaging with Sound (2010)

A documentary exploring pedagogy and workshop-leading as a creative practice

Teaching Resources

Music Teachers' Resource Site
The Encyclopedia of Informal Education

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