About Our Organization
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 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.
Merit School of Music transforms the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to a high-quality music education
The Piano, Voice, and Guitar Program Director at Merit School of Music oversees all the planning and activities for the School’s piano, voice, and guitar students across four core programs – Merit Music in Communities, Private Lessons, Instrumental and Vocal Music, and the Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory. This position supervises the Piano, Voice, and Guitar Program Manager; piano, voice, and guitar faculty and Department Chairs; and works closely with Merit’s team of program staff members, reporting to the Dean and Vice President for Educational Affairs. The Piano, Voice, and Guitar Program Director ensures quality programming at all School levels following Merit’s mission and vision and in alignment with core teaching values of providing a deep, inspirational, and motivational learning experience to a diverse student body. The Piano, Voice, and Guitar Program Director is responsible for the program design, implementation, recruitment, hiring, and development for Merit’s piano, voice, and guitar programs. The position requires evening and Saturday hours on a semi-regular basis throughout the academic year.
Responsibilities of the Piano, Voice, and Guitar Program Director include, but are not limited to:
• Oversee the planning, implementation, and quality of Merit’s piano, voice, and guitar programs
• Supervise Merit’s Piano, Voice, and Guitar Program Manager and respective faculty and Department Chairs.
• In collaboration with Merit’s Dean and VP for Educational Affairs and other staff leadership, contribute to the programmatic vision of the School
• Oversee the hiring and professional development of Merit’s piano, voice, and guitar faculty
• Contribute to Merit’s annual budget planning and budget management processes
• Act as an external ambassador for Merit School of Music and its programs
• Serve as the lead staff member for events and performances that feature piano, voice, and/or guitar students and ensembles
• Other projects as assigned
Job Qualifications & Requirements
The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree in music required
• Relevant experience working in non-profit arts management preferred
• Specialization in piano preferred with competency in voice and guitar education
• Experience overseeing and developing part-time or full-time staff
• The ability to work collaboratively and build lasting positive relationships with faculty, staff, families, senior leadership, and partners
• Creative, forward-thinking, and passionate about Merit’s mission, vision, and core values
• Bilingual in English and Mandarin or Spanish is highly desirable but not required
Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, Performance or Arts Management required
• Flexible 5-day work week
• At least two Saturdays per month required September through May
• Some evenings required
Merit School of Music requires all employees to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Please plan accordingly. As mandated by the Governor of Illinois, face masks are required to enter the School. Merit invested heavily in its HVAC system to improve ventilation throughout the building. Work that can be done remotely will continue to occur virtually to limit traffic within the building and prioritize the safety of in-person instruction.
How to Apply
To apply, please upload your resume detailing your relevant experience and qualifications for this role using this link. Applications will be accepted through September 19, 2021. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF. Applicants will not receive confirmation of receipt of their materials. Updates about the hiring process will arrive by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists.