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Conservatory in the Schools

Conservatory in the Schools

“It's a very rewarding and worthwhile experience working with younger people who respond to your efforts and enthusiasm in a positive way.”
—Melanie Jones, CIS mentor

Teach the next generation.

The Conservatory in the Schools (CIS) program provides SFCM students with invaluable classroom training while supporting music education in San Francisco's public school system. Each year, student mentors assist classroom teachers in instructing over 600 students at local elementary, middle, and high schools.

SFCM student mentors have gained experience in:

  • Teaching individuals and small groups of students
  • Assisting music teachers in classroom duties
  • Coaching chamber music groups
  • Conducting entire ensembles
  • Instructing early childhood music (music/movement)

CIS is designed to provide intensive support for music programs in disadvantaged San Francisco schools. Our partnership provides arts education for students who lack exposure to classical music performance and training.

Those accepted into the program are assigned to teach two to six hours a week at a San Francisco public school. Teaching time is compensated at $25/hr. Previous teaching experience is not required.

Student mentors meet as a group at the Conservatory up to three times each semester. Guest educators will lead discussions focusing on pedagogical techniques specific to teaching music in public school settings. These seminars focus on classroom management, discipline techniques, and developmental learning stages of elementary and adolescent-aged music students.

How to Apply

If you are interested in being considered for the student mentor position, please apply online through the On-Campus Employment Application. A cover letter and resume are required with the application.

Partner Schools

Each partner school must meet the following criteria for inclusion in the program:

  • The economic status of families whose children attend the school is low and moderate income.
  • The school is committed to providing high-quality music education.
  • The students willingly participate in the program.

After-School Programs

We help partner schools develop after-school instrumental and general music programs. The Conservatory provides all instruments for these programs, as well as master teachers. Our student mentors form meaningful individual relationships with participants, helping to build their self-esteem, listening abilities, attention span, and exposure to classical music.