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Music ,
submitted by
Andrew Levine

Jazz Piano Instructor


Merit School of Music seeks a Jazz Piano instructor to teach private lessons and one jazz piano elective on-site at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center located at 38 S. Peoria St., Chicago, IL 60607. The jazz piano instructor will work to build a private lesson studio and will teach the jazz piano elective on Saturdays during the academic year as a part of our Conservatory program.

Organization Overview

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

Merit's 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 Jazz Piano Instructor reports to the Band and Jazz Program Director.

Essential Duties

Responsibilities of the Jazz Piano Instructor include, but are not limited to:

Teaching and Instruction – 85%

• Deliver high-quality instruction to students in weekly lessons and classes

• Host studio recitals for students taking private lessons on-site at Merit

Administrative Duties – 15%

• Report attendance of private lesson students and class attendance.

• Participate in Merit faculty meetings and department meetings.

• Provide Merit staff with assessments and student recommendations for additional Merit programming.

• Recruit students to the private lesson studio and Merit classes and programs.

• Other projects as assigned.

Skills and Qualifications

Must-have characteristics:

• Proven success teaching jazz piano to students at various skill levels, from beginner to advanced

• Bachelor's degree in jazz performance/studies, music, or equivalent experience/training

• Strong classroom management skills

• A high level of personal musicianship

• Ability to collaborate, communicate effectively, and work well with faculty, colleagues, and administrators

• Punctual, professional, collegial, responsive, and communicative with a flexible and adaptive disposition

• Be an ambassador for Merit School of Music by representing the organization professionally in all settings and by counseling families and students to pursue their musical studies at the deepest levels.

• Demonstrable commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Antiracism work

• The ability to travel via car or public transportation to off-site locations

Preferred, but not required

• Spanish language skills preferred

• Experience working with staff and administration to support programming


• On-site private lessons at Merit's Joy Faith Knapp Music Center are scheduled based on student-teacher availability. On-site private lessons can happen on any day of the week following Merit's building hours.

• The jazz piano elective is typically scheduled on Saturday afternoons during the Conservatory program (September-April).

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.

• Off-site 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 commences with 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. Applications will be accepted through February 18, 2024. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials via email, with interviews provided to finalists.

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 has a responsibility for creating and sustaining a learning and working environment where difference is valued, and where equity and inclusion are practiced.

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL