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Music ,
submitted by
Andrew Levine

Competitive Chamber Instructors (Strings/Strings & Piano)


Merit School of Music seeks highly qualified Competitive String or Piano Chamber Instructor to join Merit’s renowned and selective chamber faculty. Each year, Merit selects a small number of highly talented and devoted students to take part in the Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory Competitive Chamber Program Division. Up to eight groups are chosen each year across all instrumental divisions – winds/brass, percussion, strings/piano, guitar – to rehearse throughout the school year and compete in a variety of regional and national competitions. Opportunities to compete include Rembrandt Chamber Players Competition, the Chicago National Chamber Music Competition, Merit’s own A.N. Pearl and G. Barnett Competition, and the highly selective Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Interested candidates should have a demonstrated background in string chamber playing and instruction (preferred), and/or experience working with string chamber ensembles including piano. Candidates should have considerable experience working with advanced string and/or piano students at the high school or college level, an extensive knowledge of chamber repertoire, and a keen ability to motivate students and refine their performance to the highest levels. Student groups each rehearse two hours per week from October – late April/early May.

Organizational Overview

Since its founding in 1979, Merit School of Music has successfully motivated and developed more than 50,000 young people through high-quality music instruction. The School’s comprehensive curriculum, extensive financial aid, sense of community, and the standard of excellence set forth by the faculty and students are major components of its success.

Merit offers a multi-leveled, structured curriculum in a college preparatory environment. Programs take place at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center in Chicago’s West Loop and at nearly 30 locations in neighborhoods across Chicago. Instruction is offered to approximately 3,000 students of all ages, from infants to adults, and from beginners through high school by nearly 100 accomplished faculty members.

Merit has an annual operating budget of $6 million, of which more than half is supported by contributed revenue.


Merit School of Music transforms the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to a high-quality music education.

Reporting Relationship

The successful candidate will report to the String, Orchestra, and Chamber Music Program Director.

Job Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the competitive chamber instructor include, but are not limited to:

• Rehearse up to two competitive string or mixed string/piano groups each for two hours per week (up to four hours total) from October – late April, early May.

• Deliver a high-quality educational experience to Merit’s diverse student body in accordance with Merit’s mission, vision, teaching philosophy, and values.

• Selection and careful refinement of chamber literature appropriate for the instrumentation and levels of participating students.

• Timely recording and submission of pre-screening materials (when applicable) and competition applications

• Attend all student performances and competitions and provide timely, educational feedback to students

Personal Skills/Attributes/Qualifications

The ideal candidates will possess the following qualifications:

• Excellent communication and collaboration skills

• The ability to be prompt, responsive, and professional in all aspects of the work

• Extensive experience both as a chamber performer and instructor

• Expansive knowledge of chamber literature for string and string/piano mixed chamber ensembles

• Proven experience working with dedicated and high-level student musicians

• Belief in the importance of inclusivity, diversity, equity, and antiracism in music education

• Flexible and collegial

Educational Requirements

• Bachelor's degree in music education or music performance.


• Flexible and dependent on mutual availability of group members and the successful candidate. All teaching should occur at Merit’s Joy Faith Knapp Music Center during open hours.


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.

To apply, please upload your resume detailing your relevant experience and qualifications for this role using this link. Applications will be accepted until November 15th, 2022. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials and further guidance and updates about the hiring process by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists.

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

For more information about 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 has a responsibility for creating and sustaining a learning environment where difference is valued, and where equity and inclusion are practiced.

Contact Info:
Andrew Levine
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL