Violin & Viola Instructor

The Merit School of Music - Chicago, Illinois

Job Category: Faculty

Job Type: Paid

Job Term: Part Time

Compensation: 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

Application Deadline: August 09, 2022

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 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 Summary

Merit School of Music is seeking a Violin/Viola instructor to coach String Chamber groups and viola sectionals in our Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory Program, as well as private violin and viola students in Merit’s on-site Private Lesson Program. Students in the Conservatory program are intermediate to highly advanced level in grades 6th - 12th.


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

• Delivering music instruction commensurate with Merit’s curricula, teaching philosophy, mission, and values
• Teaching once-weekly private lessons for up to 29 weeks during the school year and 12 in the summer (41 total teaching weeks)
• Prepare students for an annual studio recital each spring and other performances as needed.
• Coordinate with the program director to determine student needs and goals.
• Providing Merit staff with student recommendations for additional Merit programming
• Complete student attendance during each class, lesson, or rehearsal as well as student assessments.
• Act as an ambassador on Merit’s behalf to recruit students into the violin and viola studio and work to retain the number of students necessary for maintaining and improving program quality
• Attend Merit faculty departmental meetings
• Corresponding with Merit staff and students/families in a timely fashion
• Other projects as assigned

Job Qualifications & Requirements

The ideal candidate would possess the following qualifications:
• Proven success working with high caliber middle and high school musicians both individually and in group settings
• Responsive and communicative
• A high level of personal musicianship
• Experience working with students of diverse backgrounds
• Ability to collaborate, communicate effectively and work well with faculty, colleagues, and administrators
• Strong organizational and administrative skills
• Uphold Merit’s professional code of conduct: punctual, polite, responsive, collegial, and collaborative
• Be an ambassador for Merit School of Music by representing the organization professionally in all settings and by counseling families and students to pursue their musical studies at the deepest levels
• Demonstrable commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Antiracism work

Bachelor’s degree in music or equivalent experience is required

Additional Details

• Groups and Sectionals will be scheduled on Saturdays between 11:00am – 2:30pm.

COVID-19 Precautions
Merit School of Music requires all employees to provide proof of vaccination and booster shot against COVID-19. Please plan accordingly. Merit invested heavily in its HVAC system to improve ventilation throughout the building. Face masks are recommended to everyone who enters the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center. During offsite events, Merit employees must follow the precautions taken by the host institution. This is an in-person role.

Other Information

• 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
o 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
o Large ensembles pay 1.5x the group class rate
o Off-site 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.

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 August 9, 2022. 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.