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Arts administration ,
submitted by
Andrew Levine

Private Lesson Program Coordinator

Merit School of Music seeks a Private Lesson Program Coordinator to join the school’s Program and Student Services departments. The Private Lesson Program Coordinator plays a critical support role for Merit students and families enrolled in private instruction at the school and is a primary point of contact for Merit’s private teachers. The successful candidate will assist families during the registration process, ensure timely payment of faculty, facilitate teacher/student placement, and help to coordinate recitals each school year.

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 in which historically underrepresented groups can attain access to quality music education. Simultaneously, Merit is continually working towards becoming an organization that is truly reflective of the demographics of the city 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.

Job Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Private Lesson Program Coordinator include, but are not limited to:

Registration and onboarding of new and returning students – approx. 30%

  • Assist families by processing enrollments, adjusting accounts, taking payments, and applying financial aid when applicable
  • Lead bi-annual private lesson auto-enrollment and reconciliation processes
  • Guide new students to the most appropriate instrument or area of study
  • Accurately answer families’ questions or concerns regarding private study at Merit
  • Attend regular weekly office hours, along with other team members, to assist families with the above responsibilities

Assignment of new private lesson students to faculty studios – approx. 30%

  • Manage new students’ studio placements based on student level, age, and learning style
    Ensure that faculty members complete scheduling process and commence timely instruction
  • Coordinate private lesson faculty room usage within Merit’s facility
  • Foster resolution of potential student/teacher conflicts and coordinate teacher change requests
    as needed

Facilitation of all family and faculty communication regarding Merit’s Private Lessons Program – approx. 20%

  • Communicate regularly with the Merit community to ensure successful delivery of the private
    lesson program
  • Update Merit’s Private Lesson Handbook on an annual basis and distribute to stakeholders
  • Take part in providing private lesson updates at Merit faculty meetings and family orientations
  • Assist with dissemination and collection of any programmatic surveys or assessments

Accurate and timely completion of faculty payroll - approx. 10%

  • Provide regular reminders to faculty members to maintain up-to-date attendance records
  • Audit monthly attendance and payroll records, in coordination with Merit’s Finance Team, to ensure accurate payment of faculty

Schedule and coordinate student recitals - approx. 10%

  • Assist faculty with performance hall bookings and provide materials for program booklet creation
  • Facilitate staffing of studio recitals each spring (April – June) to support faculty and students
  • Create a welcoming and professional environment for audience members

Personal Skills/Attributes/Qualifications

The ideal candidate would possess the following qualifications:

  • Dual language abilities in either English/Spanish or English/Mandarin not required, but highly desirable
  • Some post-secondary experience in music a must, bachelor’s degree in music or a related field preferred
  • Ability to clearly state expectations for stakeholders and follow through on them
  • Well-practiced in setting and maintaining clear boundaries across lines of power
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Flexible and creative problem-solver
  • Patient and understanding of parent and faculty needs
  • Clear and direct communicator

Prior experience with student databases, academic financial aid, teaching, and advanced Excel skills are all plusses, but are not requirements.

Educational Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree (in Music Performance, Education, or Administration preferred) or equivalent experience/training

• This position is full-time and will work 37.5 hours each week.
• The successful candidate should have some evening and weekend flexibility to assist
with performances/recitals, and student registration during peak times (March – May & August – October)

Compensation and Application

Compensation commensurate with experience but based on a starting salary of $40,000 annually.

To apply, please upload your resume detailing your relevant experience and qualifications for this role using this link. Applications will be accepted through July 16, 2021. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials through Airtable 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 and working environment where difference is valued, and where equity and inclusion are practiced.

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL