Program Manager – Children's Music, Visual Arts & Education Workshops

Old Town School of Folk Music - Chicago, Illinois

Job Category: Programs

Job Type: Paid

Job Term: Full Time

About Our Organization

The Old Town School of Folk Music teaches and celebrates music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities. The Old Town School of Folk Music opened in December of 1957 with its first home at 333 North Avenue. The first five years of the School’s history mirrored the boom in folk music at that time. Enrollment grew and programs expanded. Over 150 students attended guitar and banjo classes on a weekly basis. Folk dancing, and family sing-alongs rounded out the programming. The School also offered concerts by nationally renowned artists. Pete Seeger, Mahalia Jackson, Jimmy Driftwood, Big Bill Broonzy, and Josh White were just some of the many folk music artists who performed at the Old Town School in its early years. Today enrollment in Old Town School tuition programs averages close to 6,600 students per week, 2,700 of them children. The Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park facilities hold hundreds of classes and workshops in music, dance and art for adults, children and teens seven days per week, 48 weeks per year. Early childhood and middle school music programs thrive in three suburban branches as well as in several community outreach programs throughout the city. The School presents performances by internationally known touring artists, the best of Chicago’s local artists and its staff and students virtually every weekend. Most Wednesday nights feature free concerts through our popular and long established World Music Wednesdays Program. Some 85,000 come to these concerts and attend our neighborhood Square Roots festival annually.

Job Summary

Old Town School is seeking an entrepreneurial Program Manager for Children's Music, Visual Arts & Education Workshops.

Position Summary:
The Program Manager oversees the quality and implementation of the comprehensive curricula in the categories of drumming, fiddle, ensembles, guitar, piano, ukulele, and voice for children and visual arts for all ages, and the coordination of education workshops at all Old Town School campuses and in satellite locations where required.

This includes establishing and achieving goals for new student enrollment and student retention, establishing and monitoring curriculum, ensuring quality faculty, coaching and managing faculty to success, and monitoring student satisfaction.



Summary of Duties:

  • Works with Marketing team, faculty and students to ensure programs meet enrollment objectives (attracting new students and retaining existing students).
  • Establishes and monitors curriculum goals and objectives (classes, workshops, and special events for children and families) for assigned program areas.
  • Works with faculty to build a robust class catalog that aligns with student interests and needs, offers an appropriate number of classes in core and specialty subjects, and minimizes class cancellations due to low enrollment.
  • Works with faculty to develop classes and activities that maximize student learning and provide a consistently positive Old Town School community experience.
  • Hires, trains, schedules, and supervises faculty for assigned program areas including development of new class and workshop initiatives. Plans and facilitates faculty training and meetings for assigned program areas. Enters teacher and accompanist substitutions and special events into payroll log.
  • Evaluates faculty performance on an ongoing basis, develops faculty professionally, and acts as a liaison between faculty and Old Town School leadership.
  • Partners with colleagues on events, faculty issues and promotions.
  • Manages customer service requests, comments, and complaints from students. Counsels student families on classes and appropriate levels of study.
  • Maintenance of assigned programs in the Filemaker system to include:
    • Scheduling rooms for classes, workshops, recitals, and showcases.
    • Managing computer program entries for scheduling, describing, canceling, and changing offerings.
  • Schedules, coordinates, and emcees program performances including room reservations, lighting and sound technician, and volunteers.
  • Coordinates the facility and set-up needs for workshops across all education programs. Acts as a liaison to the Operations team with regard to workshops.
  • Monitors maintenance and equipping of classrooms. Assesses equipment, books, music props, and materials and researches necessary purchases.
  • Makes recommendations for supporting materials to the school store and Resource Center.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Job Qualifications & Requirements


  • Bachelor's degree in Music Education or Early Childhood Education required, along with two or more years' experience teaching music to young children. Two or more years of program management experience required. Experience supervising teachers preferred. Must have proficiency on one or more of the instruments supervised.
  • Must be able to lead successfully in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Must be an effective communicator in verbal, electronic, and written forms, and have experience working with diverse groups.
  • Must be computer capable including Mac and/or PC skills, ideally with Filemaker experience.

How to Apply

If interested and qualified, please submit a resume and cover letter to