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Music ,
submitted by
Andrew Levine

Violin Instructor - Merit Music in Communities


Merit School of Music seeks a violin Instructor to teach beginning and intermediate students through the Merit Music in Communities (MMIC) program, primarily in the South Shore neighborhood. Students in the MMIC program are comprised of students from the beginning through advanced levels in grades 2 through 8. Merit's string programs occur at Chicago Public Schools, community sites, and neighboring school districts throughout the Chicagoland area. The violin instructor can expect to teach 6-10 hours per week in various schools and locations around the South Shore neighborhood. We are currently in the submission stage of confirming violin programs for next year, and more specific school locations will be confirmed in the summer months and communicated during the hiring process.

Organization Overview

Merit School of Music is a community music school 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 Chicago's socioeconomic and ethnic diversity, 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 attending a 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 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 Violin Instructor reports to the Strings, Orchestra, and Chamber Music Program Director.

Essential Duties

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

Teaching and Instruction – 85%

• Teach weekly group classes to students in grades 2 through 8

• Prepare students for two to three performances 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 supplemental program offerings

• Assist the String Program Manager with instrument and supply distribution and collection

• Facilitate communication with string students and parents about student behavior, attendance, and upcoming performances and programs

• Attend Merit faculty meetings and departmental meetings

• Other projects as assigned

Additionally, MMiC faculty will also be eligible to teach in Merit's Private Lesson program at our main campus located at 38 S. Peoria St.

Skills and Qualifications

Must-have Characteristics

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

• Demonstrated success teaching beginning violin in a small group setting of similar age (grades 2 - 4)

• Demonstrated success in recruiting and retaining students

• 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 reliably travel via car or public transportation to the South Shore neighborhood

Preferred, but not required

• Spanish language fluency

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


• The violin instructor can expect to teach 6-10 hours per week at various schools in the Chicagoland area, with most hours focused in the South Shore neighborhood.

• Violin classes are typically one hour long and held once or twice a week during after-school hours (between 3:00-6:00 pm). Some sites may also have availability to have classes during school hours or later in the evening (4:00 – 7:00 pm).

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 before Monday, August 5, 2024. 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 has a responsibility for creating and sustaining a learning and working environment where difference is valued, and where equity and inclusion are practiced.

Contact Info:
Andrew Levine
Job Type: Permanent
Compensation: $40 - $80 per hour commensurate with experience
Location: Chicago, IL