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Volunteer Teaching Music in Jamaica

  • Placement locations: Mandeville
  • Role: Teaching music and/or musical instruments in a school
  • Requirements: None
  • Accommodation: Host family
  • Length of placement: From 2 weeks
  • Start dates: Flexible


As a volunteer on the Music project in Jamaica with Projects Abroad, you will contribute to the development of music education in disadvantaged schools in Mandeville Volunteers have the option of teaching in elementary or high schools and work with students to develop an awareness and appreciation of music and teaching students how to play a musical instrument.

The project both focuses on traditional Jamaican music and incorporates the cultural influences of volunteers from all over the world.

Your Role as a Music Volunteer Based in a School

Volunteer giving a piano lesson to a student on the Music project in Jamaica

Volunteers who prefer to work with middle and high school students will assist music teachers in secondary schools. You will help teach students how to play various instruments, mainly the piano, recorder, and guitar. The children are aged between 12 and 18. There are also older students who study music as a part of their external examinations. At certain times you may be required to do individual tutoring with these students to sharpen their knowledge and skills for the theoretical and practical aspects of their examinations.

If you would like to work with elementary school children, you will work in a primary school where the goal is to use music as a method to enhance math and reading skills. You will be required to prepare songs or use musical instruments to reinforce the lessons taught by the teachers. It is therefore important to work closely with the teachers to learn about the topics of the lessons and decide how best to incorporate the musical aspect.

Volunteers who are skilled in teaching singing can use their skills in conducting rehearsals with the school choir. We encourage volunteers to also use their singing and instrumental skills to teach the children songs so they can perform at the school’s devotional sessions.

Teaching Music in Schools in Jamaica with Projects Abroad

Volunteers do a reggae dance class on the Performing Arts project in Jamaica

When teaching at a school, you will be required to teach large classes of over 30 students with limited resources and classroom space. It is therefore crucial that volunteers be enthusiastic about music and are able to inspire the children to develop both theoretical and practical musical knowledge and skills.

Projects Abroad and the local partners will provide all the necessary materials and resources you may need during your time on this project. However, please feel free to bring along your own musical instruments.

Projects Abroad also organizes regular workshops in order to help and support volunteers on the Music project. The workshops provide tools and tips on how to better organize your work, let you discuss and solve any issues, and offer an opportunity to receive and give feedback. You will also be able to learn some new activities to try out at your placement.

Please let us know when you apply if you have any preferences or suggestions of how you can best contribute to the project.

As this project is based in schools, it is not possible to join during the main summer break from June 8th to September 4th. 

The Music Project in Jamaica is available for less than a month if you don't have time to join us for a month or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.

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