Level 1 / FUNdamentals Teaching Artist

Position: Level 1 / FUNdamentals Teaching Artist
Status: Part-Time Non-Exempt, Salaried (10-12 hrs per week)
Time Commitment: Monday through Friday from 2:45pm to 5:15pm, (September through mid-June; summer work available)
Pay: Salary, based on experience
Reports to: Program Director
Open until filled
Start Date: February 15, 2016


The Level 1 / FUNdamentals Teaching Artist exposes and develops the student’s general music and ensemble skills. The successful candidate will teach three main components of the Level 1 curriculum: Vocal/Movement, Bucket Band and Orchestra Exploratory (recorder/violin/learning about instrument families). In addition to teaching Level 1, the instructor will teach an accelerated version of the Level 1 curriculum to 3rd and 4th graders in the one day per week FUNdamentals class. These initial points of entry into Soundscapes is extremely important to setting up behavioral and musical expectations for the students, and is a vital part of their success in Soundscapes and their social wellbeing.

General Music Courses:

Bucket Band: Students learn basic ensemble etiquette, build a rhythmic foundation, and learn rhythmic notation.

Vocal Music: Students begin to internalize music by singing and moving to children’s songs.

Exploratory Courses (8-10 week curriculum, repeated twice per school year):

Recorder: Students begin to build fine motor skills by playing simple melodies on recorder.

Violin: Students learn basic violin techniques such as instrument hold, posture, and bow hold. Students sing a series of songs that incorporate their violins.

The successful candidate will teach 2 hours afterschool each weekday over two schools, Carver Elementary and another undetermined Newport News elementary school. Teaching will begin in October and end in June. Training will be provided in mid-September.


  • Prepare age, ability, and school appropriate songs/works for performance
  • Teach general music concepts, aural skills, proper use of voice/instrument, and movement
  • Teach proper ensemble etiquette
  • Manage snack time
  • Manage session transitions
  • Assist during bus pick-up
  • Attend field trips when required
  • Keep a record of student progress
  • Communicate student’s progress to parents/guardians
  • Attend professional development sessions
  • Attend weekly staff meeting
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications & Requirements:

  • Working toward a Bachelors degree in music with emphasis on instrumental or vocal, Bachelors degree or above preferred
  • Ability to play piano or guitar well enough to accompany class
  • Strong classroom management skills
  • Desire to work within a social change environment
  • Ability to interact and communicate clearly with a variety of ages (1st grade to Adults)
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Highly Organized
  • Self-starter
  • Punctual
  • Have access to a personal computer
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word
  • Reliable Transportation
  • Employment is contingent upon background check
  • Finalist will be asked to sing, perform on piano or guitar, and teach a short lesson.

About Soundscapes:


Soundscapes is a non-profit, El Sistema-inspired, educational development organization teaching transformational life-skills to socio-economically disadvantaged youth in Virginia, using music study and ensemble performance.


Soundscapes was founded in 2009 under the fiscal umbrella of the Virginia Symphony.  Soundscapes Inc. received its own corporate status and 501c3 designation in 2010.

Soundscapes classes, called nucleos, meet five afternoons per week in the depressed neighborhoods, where they serve as alternate model societies; professional musical faculty, assisted by behavioral specialists and volunteer mentors, provide a safe and nurturing environment to build self esteem and positive social behaviors while using music to stimulate  learning through the joyous language of music. Soundscapes has scaled its classes each year since 2009, providing instruction to nearly 300 students. It currently serves 95 children, ages 6-12, grouped into three instructional levels of “readiness” in music, instrumentation and ensemble performance. This flexible arrangement allows students to advance according to individual capabilities rather than by grade.

El Sistema:

El Sistema is a well-proven Venezuelan free public health and youth development organization that uses intensive ensemble music study and performance to strengthen individual competencies that promote socially positive, anti-aggressive, and civic minded behaviors, while building social capital in the communities where it operates. Founded in 1975 by economist, musician, and social reformer, Jose Antonio Abreu, El Sistema has transformed the lives of millions of needy children and is now being developed on every continent except Antarctica. A national study in 2007 showed that El Sistema saves the Venezuelan government $254 million each year alone by reducing crime. The U.S movement began in 2008 and it is said that Soundscapes was the 4th El Sistema-inspired program to be founded in the United States.

For more information about Soundscapes, please visit our website at www.clients.mellenst.com/soundscapes/new/

Application Procedure:

To apply please mail or email cover letter and resume/curriculum vita:

11009 Warwick Blvd. Ste. 215
Newport News, VA 23601