Teaching Artist - Strings

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Teaching Artist - Strings


California Symphony is currently seeking a strings teacher (beginning and intermediate violin) 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 5-7 hours per week on Mondays and Wednesdays, teaching group violin classes consisting of approximately 10-20 students while collaborating with the full team of 5 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 serves approximately 120 students, grades 2-6, in the San Pablo community at Downer Elementary School.  Students receive educational enrichment in academics, 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.

Responsibilities include:

Teach beginning and intermediate string classes consisting of 10 to 20 students for each of 3 class periods per day
Prepare students for public performances, when applicable, to demonstrate the students’ progress in Sound Minds
Create an effective learning experience for students
Attend monthly 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

Interest and ability to be a motivational mentor and role model for students, parents and peers 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

Immediate availability – May 13, 2020
Approximately 5-7 hours per week (12 weeks in Fall, 15 weeks in Spring)
Mondays (2:30-5:00) and Wednesdays (2:00-4:30pm)
Teaching location is performed at Downer Elementary School in San Pablo

This is an independent contractor position; competitive flat daily rate available
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 jobs@californiasymphony.org with “Sound Minds” in the header
Open until Filled
About the California Symphony

The California Symphony, entering its seventh season under the leadership of Music Director Donato Cabrera, is distinguished by its vibrant concert programs that combine classics alongside American repertoire and works by living composers, and for bringing music to people in new and unconventional settings. The orchestra includes musicians who perform with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and others, and is based in Walnut Creek at the Lesher Center for the Arts with additional recent performances around the region in Napa Valley, Concord, Oakland, and Berkeley.

Over the last five years the California Symphony’s audience has nearly doubled and the donor base increased by 180%.

Outside of the concert hall, the Symphony actively supports music education as a driver for social change through its El Sistema-inspired Sound Minds program at Downer Elementary School in San Pablo, CA, which brings intensive music instruction and academic enrichment to schoolchildren in an area where 94% of students qualify for the federal free or reduced price lunch program, at no cost to the students who participate. The Orchestra also hosts the highly competitive Young American Composer-in-Residence program and its current composer, Katherine Balch.  California Symphony has launched the careers of some of today’s most well-known artists, including violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, cellists Alisa Weilerstein and Joshua Roman, pianist Kirill Gerstein and composers such as Mason Bates, Christopher Theofanidis, and Kevin Puts.

The mission of the California Symphony is to enhance the lives of those it serves in Contra Costa County and the extended San Francisco Bay Area by performing the full range of orchestral repertoire of the highest quality with special attention to the work of American composers, presenting talented young performers in their first professional concert appearances, featuring performances by world class artists, and providing education outreach programs for the children and adults of our community.

Founded in 1986 under founding Music Director Barry Jekowsky, our vision is to become a 21st-century orchestra, making classical music relevant to those we serve, bringing in new audiences along the way, and ultimately more fully living up to our name across the state of California.

For more information, please visit www.californiasymphony.org.

An Equal Opportunity Employer:

It is the policy of the California Symphony to provide all persons with equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, veteran status, marital status or any characteristic protected by federal, state, and local law. Candidates of ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) communities