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Winds, Brass, & Percussion





California Symphony -



California Symphony is currently seeking a strings teacher (beginning and intermediate violin and cello) for the after-school Sound Minds program which operates at Downer Elementary School in San Pablo. This position is the second building block of a 5-level program. The teaching artist will be responsible for 6-8 hours per week on Mondays and Wednesdays, teaching group violin and cello classes consisting of approximately 10-15 students while collaborating with the full team of 4 teaching artists and school staff. The successful candidate will have exceptional skills working with children while creating an environment that is fun yet disciplined. The position will be able to support the objectives of Sound Minds and help facilitate community and family involvement.

A proud member of El Sistema USA, Sound Minds is the flagship music education program of California Symphony and based on the El Sistema model developed in Venezuela by Dr. Antonio Abreau. It is one of only two El Sistema nucleo in the Bay Area affiliated with a professional symphony orchestra. Sound Minds will serve grades 2-6 in the San Pablo community at Downer Elementary School. Students receive musicianship, strings instruction, and beginning orchestra in a nurturing environment, with the goal to empower them to develop their potential, pursue their education, and strengthen their communities. Sound Minds has been widely praised by local and national media outlets including NPR, KQED’s California Report, KGO, KCBS, KQED, Contra Costa Times, and San Francisco Chronicle.

  • Interest and ability to be a motivational mentor and role model for students, parents and peers as an artist, teacher and citizen
  • Strong commitment to El Sistema’s philosophy of social change through music and the objectives of Sound Minds
  • Demonstrated musicianship and artistry as a teacher and performer
  • Strong knowledge of early string repertoire, curriculum and pedagogy
  • Four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent experience. A teaching credential, or work towards a graduate teaching degree is a plus
  • Strong knowledge of standard music pedagogy (Suzuki, Kodály, Orff, Solfège etc.) Certification a plus
  • Experience working with children from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds, particularly in a group setting; experience working in underserved communities
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish a plus
  • Must pass a Background Check, Fingerprinting, and submit a negative TB test
Desired Qualifications:
  • Motivation and ability to keep current on trends and new research in music education.
  •  Experience in budgeting and variance reporting for programs and operations.
  • Proven ability managing the operations of a non-profit organization.
  • Demonstrated success in establishing and maintaining effective relationships with businesses, volunteers, donors, other non-profit organizations, and government entities.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills including the ability to manage and mentor staff.
Core Duties include:
  • Teach beginning and intermediate string classes consisting of approximately 10 to 15 students and assist with ensemble rehearsals
  • Prepare students for public performances, when applicable, to demonstrate the students’ progress in Sound Minds
  • Create an effective learning experience for students
  • Attend teacher meetings and professional development opportunities
  • Follow a shared curriculum and syllabus, pedagogy and culture inspired by the ideals of El Sistema
  • Maintain collaborative communication on student progress with other Sound Minds teaching artists, Program Coordinator and Symphony staff, parents, and school liaisons
  • Maintain the integrity of the ideals and pedagogy of Sound Minds as an El Sistema inspired program
  • Hourly rate
  • Professional development opportunities in collaboration with the program director
To Apply:
  • Submit a current resume, cover letter indicating your interest and familiarity with the El Sistema model, and at least one work sample to with “Sound Minds” in the header
  • Open until Filled

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Winds, Brass, & Percussion