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Music ,
submitted by
Andrew Levine

Substitute Music Instructors


Merit School of Music seeks highly qualified substitute instructors for most all areas of classroom, instrumental, and vocal study. This includes all band and string instruments, guitar, voice, piano, jazz, music theory, composition, general music, and early childhood instruction. Programming takes place at Merit’s main campus in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood between the hours of 4pm and 9pm, Monday through Friday, Saturdays between 8am and 6pm, and in partner school sites across the city during the academic school day (~8am – 3pm) or afterschool (~3pm – 6pm). Merit offers programming from private lessons to small groups, chamber music, and large ensembles (band, orchestra, choir, jazz ensembles). Interested candidates do not need to hold a valid Illinois teaching license but should have musical training at the post-secondary level and/or some experience teaching. Successful candidates will demonstrate alignment with Merit’s mission, vision, teaching philosophy, and values and have some availability during the aforementioned times. Merit almost exclusively works with students from early childhood through high school, with a small number of adult private students.

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

Substitute instructors report to the respective Program Director associated with the area of assignment.

Job Responsibilities

Responsibilities of Substitute instructors include, but are not limited to:

• Receiving, preparing, and executing appropriate lesson plans for the substitute assignment

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

• Taking and reporting accurate attendance records

• Reporting any follow up items to the regular Merit faculty member and associated Program Director/Manager

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

• Some experience teaching private lessons, group classes, and/or large ensembles

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

• Flexible and collegial

• Access to a car or convenient and reliable public transportation

Educational Requirements

Post-secondary education in music, music education, music performance, a closely related field, and/or prior experience teaching.


Substitute instructors should have availability during some combination of the following days and timespans:

• Merit’s main campus

o 4pm – 9pm; Monday – Friday

o 8am – 6pm; Saturday

• Merit Music in Communities (off-site partners)

o 3pm – 6pm; Monday – Friday (afterschool)

o 8am – 3pm; Monday – Friday (school day; the number of programs during this timespan are limited)


Substitute instructors are compensated at a base rate of $47.50/hr. for private lessons, $49.50/hr. for group classes, and $74.25/hr. for large ensembles. Additionally, substitutes are reimbursed mileage at the IRS rate of $0.625 cents per mile, round-trip as calculated from Merit’s main campus when traveling to partner sites to teach.

To apply, please upload your resume detailing your relevant experience and qualifications for this role using this link. Applications will be accepted until November 1st, 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 encourage 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