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Applying to International schools / Universities - Tips?
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tyroleanhat



Joined: 21 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:38 pm    Post subject: Applying to International schools / Universities - Tips? Reply with quote

I am planning on going to China to work at an international school AND / OR at an university.

Now I am mailing out my resume and I am not sure if I am doing it right.

Fact is, that international schools are hiring now (correct me if I'm wrong, but a school told me that in November all their teachers sign a form in which they state whether they continue or leave)
Whereas universities are not hiring much now, compared to the fall term.

So should I play my cards better, by trying to contact only int.schools now, and universities later in 6 months? Or is that irrelevant?

My concern about applying now to unis is, that they may have no demand and could just delete/ignore my mail, even if I write "Please add me to your pool of applications".
Which maybe wouldn't happen if I fire off the emails to unis before the fall term, in order to "hit them hard".

It also rises another question: Can I officially work 2 jobs in China? (I am a pianist, and as piano teacher in an int.school I will be always just a part-time teacher)

Any other general advise when applying to unis and int.schools?

Many questions, I know - but I would be very happy to get some input.
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Big Worm



Joined: 02 Jan 2011
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you aren't a certified teacher, you wont have much luck at intl schools.
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teenoso



Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 219
Location: east china

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are in a special position because you teach piano (or music?). Email shots to schools and unis might arouse their interest, tho' obviously unis mainly hire EFL teachers. I have only met foreign subject teachers in business subjects at uni, mainly because of the language barrier.

Your best chance is at the private wings of public unis , such as BNUZ and others in Zhuhai. They charge students more and sometimes offer unusual courses.
But if you just teach piano, I can't think why a uni would hire you. Most unis don't offer piano lessons.
International schools might be the way to go.

Have you seen any adverts for foreign music/piano teachers here? You asked on another thread about websites to search for jobs.

And, officially, no you cannot do more than one job - your Resident's Permit will be tied to one employer. As ever in China, there may be exceptional cases where someone is hired by two employers.
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

International schools all hire music teachers, often more then one vying in a wee wee competition with other international schools in the same city to have more specialists than the others as a marketing point.

The resigning of contracts depends on the school and how they recruit, some teachers are asked in the run up to Christmas (International schools follow Western holiday timetables as well) some are asked before Easter.

For conservatoires and specialist schools you will need to have either overseas fame or Chinese language ability. Universities as such don't run discreet courses in music.

The conservatory here, according to our across the block neighbour who works there has three foreigners working there, Russian, Korean and Japanese.

Your best bet is International schools, don't think for a moment you'll be part-time either, bums on seats are also a commodity and your lovely foreign face will be used to fill in as and when needed.
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tyroleanhat



Joined: 21 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

teenoso wrote:
You are in a special position because you teach piano (or music?). Email shots to schools and unis might arouse their interest, tho' obviously unis mainly hire EFL teachers.

I teach piano (which is a big difference to teaching music). It is always one-on-one and could be even taught purely by demonstrating. (plus some italian music vocabulary every musician in every country has to learn anyway)
Also the number of chinese Unis with a music department is huge. Probably 70 percent have one. The autonomous ones are called conservatories (only 20 in the whole country) have a high level and are hard to get in to.
teenoso wrote:
Your best chance is at the private wings of public unis , such as BNUZ and others in Zhuhai. They charge students more and sometimes offer unusual courses.

What is the difference between a "private wing" and a "department" ? I only know departments, which are divisions belonging to a greater university, also called: college of music, school of music, conservatory of music (though the latter mostly are the autonomous ones)
teenoso wrote:
Have you seen any adverts for foreign music/piano teachers here? You asked on another thread about websites to search for jobs.

except 1 one or 2 I never saw any chinese ads for piano, I think its not common practise (not yet).

On a side note: Piano is booming massively in China. So in the private tutoring sector I am not worried about my income..
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could you clarify - you want to teach EFL and teach piano on the side or you want to get a Z visa to be a piano teacher?
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tyroleanhat



Joined: 21 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mambawamba wrote:
Could you clarify - you want to teach EFL and teach piano on the side or you want to get a Z visa to be a piano teacher?

I am a concert pianist, so my initial plan was to get a Uni job for the Z-visa, and teach piano privates on the side, which is important to make up for the small Uni salary.
Then I read about International schools...
(Btw I am not a native english speaker)
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tyroleanhat



Joined: 21 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mambawamba wrote:
International schools all hire music teachers, often more then one vying in a wee wee competition with other international schools in the same city to have more specialists than the others as a marketing point.

The conservatory here, according to our across the block neighbour who works there has three foreigners working there, Russian, Korean and Japanese.

interesting - which city are you in? I am guessing Shanghai or Peking..

from what I saw on the pianist cvs on int.schools websites, they dont really have big specialists (not meant in a snotty way) - but just a whole other story in the music conservatories, which belong to the best in the world.
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sounding snotty at all! My mother-in-law is a top end violinist so I live with it. We're in Qingdao.

Right on the chances of getting a uni job as a non-native speaker - bare bones is if you look right, don't have a name with more consonants than vowels and have a neutral accent you'll get a job but it more than likely won't be in a big city. If the choice comes down to you with an IELTS 9 and a native speaker you may be hard pushed.

You will not be allowed to work on the side officially if you want to risk it your choice but not advisable.

The rise of the middle classes means that there's been a surge in people wanting to learn piano. This is more than effectively serviced here by Chinese and Korean teachers. Hell there's even shops in malls where you can drop little Johnny off for a lesson while you go shopping.

Every 4 star hotel has a music student playing away on the grand piano in the foyer and many take jobs in hotels exactly for the reason of paid practice hours.

If you're really concert level and at the top of your game then why not plan some concerts? Enough foreign talent comes through the mid to top end theatres and play to packed houses whether they deserve it or not. Basically if you look good in evening dress, even if you plonked away on an out of tune upright Steinway, you'd have an audience.

International schools will hire a warm body to stick in front of the class if you're right on paper so give them a try.

You need to think your plan through. What do you want to achieve and how do you want to achieve it?

I'm not being rude so don't take this the wrong way but big egos tend to get punctured fast here. A bit of advice from an engineer friend who came here 5 years ago, "I came out here thinking I was going to show the Chinese how it was done. In my first year I learnt how not to look foolish, in my second I learnt how to do my job and in the third I had something to contribute."
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 887

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Worm wrote:
if you aren't a certified teacher, you wont have much luck at intl schools.


I don't think this is true of all international schools. I am no longer certified, but I have worked for international schools after my certification lapsed. I never even mentioned certification. My MA degrees and teaching experience sufficed.
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tyroleanhat



Joined: 21 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all thanks for your concern and help, mambawamba - to be honest, most people I ask are clueless like myself.
mambawamba wrote:
If the choice comes down to you with an IELTS 9 and a native speaker you may be hard pushed.

I dedicated all my life to become the artist/musician/piano-teacher that I am today, so I am not really interested in teaching english anyway. I think I would feel bad/misplaced, even I love to teach kids in general.

mambawamba wrote:
If you're really concert level and at the top of your game then why not plan some concerts? Enough foreign talent comes through the mid to top end theatres and play to packed houses whether they deserve it or not. Basically if you look good in evening dress, even if you plonked away on an out of tune upright Steinway, you'd have an audience.

Yes that’s a great idea, and I will work on that, but I need a secure (visa)-base. and a chinese helper or agency to organize concerts.

mambawamba wrote:
International schools will hire a warm body to stick in front of the class if you're right on paper so give them a try.

the problem is that I am not a classroom teacher, all my live I did one-on-one piano lessons (4 years of which were in Korean and Austrian Universities).
From what I understood there is just a small amount of schools offering real piano lessons (the schools call them "specialist tutors")
My concern is that I cannot find an international school now (I've already sent my resume to about 20, only 1 wrote back "thank you")
and that the mails I write to universities also dissolve into thin air, when I should maybe wait until July instead, and send my resume when they REALLY try to find teachers.

mambawamba wrote:
You need to think your plan through. What do you want to achieve and how do you want to achieve it?

what I want? well fact is that even my colleagues, who are extremely talented artists are struggling in todays world (even musicians who play an orchestral instrument, who are supposed to have easier engagement rates - are getting more and more a hard time)
so with my career I can say its going not bad until now, but if I get a real chance to secure my finances I have to take that chance - and I think it lies in China. I have good degrees and achievements, enough uni experience, I don’t look like Quasimodo, I can attract an audience with my playing. In theory everything looks promising, but I am not sure how to start.

Rich and wealth-exploding chinese cities are definitely a gold mine for me, regarding that 40.000.000 children in China play piano.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2318
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you need to get into a conversation with an employer.
Chat on Dave's can only get you so far.
I've PMd you an international school site which has contact details.
If you move around the site including the Chinese language (translatable) one you will see ref to music room, plus pics of ballet lessons and students playing traditional instruments.
The school emphasises its West/East character so can't imagine that piano isn't there somewhere.
Best
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tyroleanhat



Joined: 21 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the info! They seem like one of the schools with a real one-on-one instrumental program. I just mailed them my resume.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2318
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tyroleanhat wrote:
Thank you for the info! They seem like one of the schools with a real one-on-one instrumental program. I just mailed them my resume.


Good
I've not personally taught there but know someone who has.
If things get interesting PM me and I'll make further enquiries.
Best
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Beyond1984



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Posts: 448

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"the mails I write to universities also dissolve into thin air, when I should maybe wait until July instead, and send my resume when they REALLY try to find teachers." -tyroleanhat

A good time to apply to universities is right now. They will lose some faculty who won't return after Spring Festival, the winter holiday that runs from about January 15 to February 15.

In some universities the freshmen have military training from around Sept.1 to mid-October. In July most Foreign Affairs Officers are on holiday. They get serious about hiring in August.

Good luck!

-HDT
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