Nothing tells the story of a culture better than its art. Attend a show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi, and watch a Vietnamese folk tale play out before your eyes. Witness a Brazilian Samba dance, and understand the country’s wonderful mix of European and African influences. Or, take in an Italian opera, and be blown away by what is actually the human experience.
Indeed, art, from performances to paintings, is powerful. Teaching it to people around the world offers you a way to empower others and yourself. You can truly help people unleash their talents, realize dreams, and/or give them a hobby to enjoy for a lifetime.
If you want to teach art abroad or volunteer to teach music, know that you have plenty of options. Use this guide as a resource for volunteering abroad to teach art, theater, music, and dance.
What You’ll Be Doing
Here’s the short description: You’ll be fostering artistic thinking in various countries abroad. This is extremely important, especially considering the healthy growth and development of every country depends on the creativity of its people.
To give you a better idea of what you could be doing as a volunteer in art, theater, music, or dance, take a look at the following sample activities:
- Teach a class to learn the instrument of your choice, from guitar to piano to the drums
- Help children improve their English skills through painting, music, and acting activities
- Show students how art can be a form of social empowerment and uplift the disadvantaged
- Work with at-risk youth to enable them to use art as a means of improving themselves and advancing
Featured Programs for Volunteering in Art, Theater, Dance, and Music
Start your journey by searching through the most reputable programs for volunteering to teach art and music abroad. The following organizations have great projects ongoing:
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)
Founded in 2007, International Volunteer HQ is one of the largest volunteer organizations you can find today, with nearly 90,000 volunteers signing up for their sustainable and impactful programs within the past 11 years.
If you want to volunteer to teach music or art with IVHQ, you have options in numerous countries, as projects are ongoing in various countries, including:
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Teach arts and crafts, English, music, and subjects to children at understaffed daycare centers (from $495 for two weeks).
- Quito, Ecuador: Teach music at a local school and inspire kids to explore their inner creativity (from $290 for one week).
- Kenya: Head to Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, Maasai, or a surrounding rural village, and teach music to youth while empowering them to express themselves (from $270 for one week).
- San Pancho, Mexico: Teach singing, dancing, gymnastics, and more. Work to help children realize their artistic potential and strengthen local ties (from $370 for one week).
- New Orleans, USA: Adventure to the land of jazz music, and help with art and community outreach projects in disadvantaged communities (from $440 for one week).
Frontier began in 1989 and has sent more than 103,000 volunteers, interns, and travelers abroad in their first two decades. When it comes to the sheer variety of offerings, Frontier is a great choice if you want to teach art abroad or volunteer to teach music.
Two relevant programs Frontier offers are:
- Madagascar Teaching: Use arts and crafts, music, and science to teach students English in one of the world’s most beautiful destinations (from $1,545 for four weeks).
- India Teaching Adventure: Go to Goa and teach children from slums music, dance, arts, and English (from $945 for two weeks).
With its plethora of great volunteer and intern programs throughout the world, Global Nomadic truly lives up to their name. Founded in 2009, they’ve already sent more than 10,000 people abroad.
Global Nomadic has two programs for volunteering abroad for art, theater, music, and dance. They are:
- Laos: Language and Culture Exchange – Teach English through conversation, music, art and other activities in beautiful Nanyang Village (from €225 Euros or $260 per week).
- Brazil: Design and Art Volunteer Program – Teach arts and music to at-risk youth living in Rio de Janeiro (from $645 for three weeks).
A Broader View Volunteers Corp
Featuring more than 245 programs around the globe, A Broader View aims to provide volunteers with an experience that’s not only memorable and authentic but also impactful. They launched in 2007 and have become an incredibly respected name in the industry already.
For volunteering in the arts abroad, check out A Broader View’s Volunteer in Tanzania: Dance program. In Arusha, Tanzania, where you’ll be, dance is deeply rooted in the local culture. Teach your own dances and learn local styles as well. Prices start from $960 for one week.
Making the Most of Teaching Arts and Music Abroad
As you can see, there are so many options to volunteer to teach music or teach art abroad. From Laos to Tanzania to the USA, there are many places where your skills could help empower local youth to realize a better tomorrow.
So, start by looking through these programs. Consider your budget, location preferences, and program details. Choose the one that aligns best with your interest and needs. Soon enough, you’ll be packing your bags, ready for the volunteer trip of a lifetime.
Nick Callos · Writer
With a BA in English Literature & Writing from Boston College, Nick researches and writes about volunteer, intern, and teach abroad programs worldwide. He has studied abroad and taught English in Chengdu, China, and aims to help fellow travelers make a lasting impact on the communities they visit.