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WED – FRI: 11AM-5PM SAT: 12-4PM | or by advance appointment
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Music ,
submitted by
Andrew Levine

Band Instructor - Merit Music in Communities


Merit School of Music seeks a Band Instructor to teach woodwind, brass, and percussion students through our Merit Music in Communities (MMIC) program. Students in the MMIC program are comprised of beginning through advanced levels in grades 5th – 8th. Merit's band programs take place at Chicago Public Schools, community sites, and neighboring school districts. This position is specifically for the band program at Rachel Carson Elementary School (5516 S. Maplewood Ave., Chicago), which typically serves between 80 and 90 students each year across three bands. The program is supported by private instruction provided by nine highly qualified teachers who meet with students weekly and with the administrative support of a bilingual on-site staff liaison. Many students also participate in Merit's Tuition-free Conservatory program on Saturdays.

Organization Overview

Merit School of Music is a community music school located in Chicago's West Loop. Our primary goals are to help young people transform their lives and experience personal growth through music by providing access to sustained participation. For more than 40 years, we have been home to a diverse community of talented young musicians and have acted as a springboard for achieving full musical and personal potential. Our 125 passionate and experienced teaching artists provide access to high-quality music education, engaging over 3,000 students annually at our downtown location and in area schools and community centers.

Our students, who reflect the socioeconomic and ethnic diversity of Chicago, have the rare opportunity to learn together, dream together, teach each other, and broaden their horizons as they build inspiring lives through music. Merit develops musicians and provides young people with the tools they need to excel in life, with virtually 100 percent of our graduates going on to conservatory or college.

Merit School of Music is committed to building a world where historically underrepresented groups can access quality music education. Simultaneously, Merit is continually working towards becoming an organization that truly reflects the city's demographics and the students we serve. Merit is dedicated to being an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and anti-racist organization and continually examining our efforts in this area.

Reporting Relationship

The Band Instructor reports to the Band Program Director.

Essential Duties

Responsibilities of Band Instructor include, but are not limited to:

Teaching and Instruction – 85%

• Teach weekly band rehearsals to students in 5th – 8th grade

• Prepare students for performances two to three times per year

• Follow Merit's benchmarks for large ensemble instruction

• Support students' growth through Merit's continuum of programming

Administrative Duties – 15%

• Track student attendance and provide student assessments and recommendations for onsite programs

• Assist the Program Manager with instrument distribution and collection

• Attend Merit faculty meetings and departmental meetings

• Other projects as assigned

*Additional teaching opportunities in Merit's Conservatory and Private Lesson program will also be available for this position.

Skills and Qualifications

Must-have Characteristics

• Bachelor's degree in music or equivalent experience/training

• Demonstrated success teaching beginning band to a similar age group (5th – 8th grade)

• Demonstrated success teaching in a mixed instrument setting (woodwind, brass, percussion)

• Strong classroom management skills

• Ability to communicate effectively and work well with Merit staff and partnering leadership

• Punctual, professional, and collegial

• Proven commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Antiracism (IDEA) work

• The ability to travel via car or public transportation to Rachel Carson Elementary School

Preferred, but not required

• Spanish language skills

• Experience working with staff liaison, administration, and/or private lesson teachers to support the band program


• This instructor will teach 9 hours per week at Rachel Carson Elementary School (located at 5516 S. Maplewood Ave., Chicago, IL 60629)

• Classes meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:50-5:50 pm each day, starting in late September and ending in mid-May. There are three bands (beginning, symphonic, and wind ensemble), and each band gets an hour-long rehearsal.

• Carson also hosts a summer band camp for new and returning band students. Band camp typically runs for two weeks in late June and will cover 10 hours each week.

Compensation and Application

• Hourly base rates are calculated using a proprietary method that considers years of experience, recruitment/retention skills, studio size, education, and established success as a teacher

• Base rates range from $40 to $80 per hour for private lessons, with an additional $2.00 per hour added to the base rate for group classes

• Large ensembles pay 1.5x the group class rate

• Offsite faculty are reimbursed for mileage as calculated from Merit's main campus

• Full-time faculty (780 annual teaching hours) qualify for insurance benefits. 401K eligibility begins at 500 annual teaching hours after one year of employment.

To apply, please upload your resume detailing your relevant experience and qualifications for this role using this link. Please apply by Monday, May 29, 2023. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF.

ALAANA/BIPOC people, trans and gender nonconforming people, and women are encouraged to apply.

For more information about the Merit School of Music, please visit

Merit School of Music is committed to enhancing the diversity of our musical community, recognizing that by providing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment for our students, we are preparing them for personal and professional success in an increasingly multicultural and global society. The Merit community recognizes that it is responsible for creating and sustaining a learning and working environment where difference is valued and equity and inclusion are practiced.

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL