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Employment Opportunities

Email to: hiring@oldtownschool.org
Please, no phone calls.

Director of Education

The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking an experienced leader for its tuition-based Education Programs.

The Role:
The Director of Education is responsible for ensuring the growth and smooth operation of high-quality programs across OTS' tuition-based offerings, deepening Old Town School's engagement with our current students and broadening the School's reach to new audiences.

Reporting to the CEO, the Director of Education will lead a talented, dedicated group of five program administrators and more than 200 part-time faculty members.

The Old Town School of Folk Music's Education department encompasses in-person and online group classes, private lessons and workshops offered by the school. In addition, the department hosts residencies with visiting artists and produces/participates in a broad range of special events.

The Director of Education fulfills several related roles:

  • A community leader who puts the student/community experience at the forefront of their thinking and planning
  • A collaborative leader who partners with colleagues, program managers and faculty to quickly capitalize on new opportunities and solve problems.
  • A strategic planner who uses primary and market-based data approaches to develop creative solutions
  • A business-minded professional who oversees fiscally sound, sustainable programs with appropriate input from within the School and the community.
  • A facilitator who brings together and catalyzes the work of ad-hoc working groups and internal partners
  • A creative thinker who conceives new ideas for building and engaging our community, and adapts best practices from across the arts instruction field
  • A partner/colleague who is an enthusiastic and inspirational change leader
  • A champion of teaching and learning in the folk tradition


  • Bachelor's degree in related area or equivalent work experience required. Advanced degree a plus.
  • A minimum of five years of management and supervisory experience in an arts education organization required. Must have experience managing and growing large scale tuition-based education programs.
  • Experience managing a departmental budget (P&L responsibility) - tracking revenues and expenses, ensuring accurate and timely reporting of changes to projections is required.
  • Creative thinker with a solid track record of accomplishment in program development and execution.
  • Experience teaching music or dance in person and online required. Experience developing e-learning programs is a plus.
  • Ability to build strong, lasting relationships with colleagues, employees, and community members
  • Articulate and persuasive in oral and written communications; comfortable as a public speaker.
  • Adept with current web and social media platforms as well as MS Office and Google Suite.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including nights and weekends as needed.
  • Ability to travel to program locations as needed.
  • Bilingual Spanish/English a plus.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the educational experience
  • Experience leading in a union environment is a plus.

    If interested and qualified, please send resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

    About Old Town School of Folk Music
    Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music (“OTSFM”) is the largest community school of the arts in the U.S. and a non-profit organization committed to celebrating American music and global cultures. Founded in 1957, Old Town School provides a wide range of music, dance, and arts courses to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Whatever one's interest, Old Town School provides broad access to more than 700 weekly class offerings, a broad array of private lessons, and over 400 concerts and community events per year. Old Town School of Folk Music opened its Lincoln Square facility in 1998 and expanded in 2012. The Old Town School operates two campuses located in Chicago's Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park neighborhoods that include world-class concert halls, classrooms, an award-winning music store, and a music resource center. Online classes were introduced in 2020 and students from nearly every state and a dozen countries participated over the course of the pandemic. Children's classes are also held at several suburban satellite locations.

  • Wiggleworms® Instructor (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks a part-time teacher available on weekend and weekday mornings for its acclaimed early childhood music program, Wiggleworms®! Classes are for children newborn to 5 years old accompanied by an adult and are taught by one teacher who accompanies themselves on guitar.


  • Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance or Music Education preferred.
  • Minimum of two years of teaching experience with young children in a classroom setting preferred.
  • Must play guitar and be a strong singer.
  • Must be creative, passionate about music, and be able to enthusiastically lead grownups with their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in musical learning.
  • Experience working with infants, babies, and toddlers preferred.
  • Proficiency on another instrument preferred.
  • Fluency in Spanish a plus.
  • Ability to teach online (OTS will provide a Zoom account) and in person.

    Instructor Hourly Pay Rates: Private Lessons - $33/hour, Group Classes - $37/hour

    Discounts at the School and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees.

    Qualified candidates will be invited to audition. If interested and qualified, please email resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Piano Instructors for Children's Classes (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks part-time piano teachers to teach group classes for children at its Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park locations.


  • Bachelor's Degree in Music Education or Performance preferred
  • Minimum two years of teaching experience preferred
  • Experience teaching private piano lessons and/or group classes preferred
  • High level of musicianship and personal responsibility
  • Must enjoy working with young children and have experience working with children ages 4 - 12
  • Bilingual in Spanish helpful
  • Must be able to work after school hours during the week
  • Must be able to work weekends

    Instructor Hourly Pay Rates: Group Classes - $37/hour

    Discounts at the School and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees.

    If interested and qualified, please send resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Music Moves Instructor (PT) - African Drumming

    The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking part-time African Drumming teaching artists for its fall Music Moves programs.

    Typically 2-3 days per week at various Music Moves community partner sites. Approximately 5-6 hours/week.

    The Music Moves Teaching Artist develops and delivers music and/or dance programming to elementary and high school students, and occasionally adults, primarily at community partner sites.


  • Designs and implements a sequenced and developmentally appropriate curriculum to meet the goals and desired outcomes of the program in coordination with the Music Moves Manager.
  • Builds relationships with students and community partner staff and administrators.
  • Works with the Music Moves Program Manager to communicate the vision and impact of the program for funding purposes.
  • Maintains a collaborative relationship with Music Moves community partner organizations
  • Prepares students for end-of-session performance.


  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience
  • Successful candidates must be motivated, collaborative, and committed to youth and intergenerational exchanges
  • Background in playing and teaching African drumming
  • At least one year of experience teaching in a large classroom setting
  • Can easily work in history and social context into instrument/dance instruction
  • Working knowledge of Spanish/English preferred
  • Experience with administrative/organizational tasks including scheduling, tracking activities and reporting is helpful as well as familiarity with Google Suite

    Instructor Hourly Pay Rates: $60/hour teaching rate and $20/hour administrative rate

    If interested and qualified, please send resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Site Managers (Temporary PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking Site Managers to oversee activities and ensure safe operations in OTS buildings and other locations as appropriate. They will serve as an ambassador and advocate for the School.

    Locations: Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park


  • Experience managing events preferred.
  • Experience with customer service and setting boundaries with participants required.
  • Experience working with children preferred.
  • An understanding of COVID-19 safety protocols is preferred.
  • A willingness to set up and break down classrooms and other areas in the building is required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills are needed.
  • Ability to think on one's feet and adapt to changing situations is required.
  • Ability to carry out emergency protocol in event of fire, inclement weather or other crises is required.
  • Access to a personal smartphone during shift is required.

    Summary of Duties:

  • Ensure compliance with OTS protocols (i.e. safety, operations and education). Address concerns directly as they arise. Report issues to operations and education department managers.
  • Manage program operations for the assigned shift.
  • Serve as a resource for teachers.
  • Ensure set up and break down of assigned location(s) as needed in accordance with OTS protocols including signage.
  • Manage the check-in process where appropriate and direct participants to their locations.
  • Track attendance and monitor the number of participants and caregivers where appropriate.
  • Coordinate with program management, customer service, and maintenance staff as needed.
  • Oversee volunteer staff where appropriate.
  • Ensure rooms are cleaned where needed.
  • Secure property and open/close building as needed.
  • Do a sweep of classrooms at the end of each evening.
  • Complete assigned checklist.

    Physical requirements:
    The position requires the ability to see, hear, sit, stand, walk, reach, push and pull. Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at times.

    If interested and qualified, please send resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Maintenance Worker/Custodian (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks reliable part-time and full-time maintenance workers/custodians to maintain our buildings and facilities.

    Key Duties:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing classrooms, common areas, restrooms and other areas in accordance with OTS protocols.
  • Mopping, dusting and sweeping.
  • Emptying trash and moving to outside dumpsters.
  • Returning equipment, supplies, and furniture to appropriate locations prior to the start of the business day.
  • Adhering to all cleaning, sanitizing and safety protocols.
  • Providing assistance and customer service to community members where appropriate.
  • May provide maintenance support for concerts or special events.
  • May work on outside maintenance, shoveling snow, spreading salt, etc.
  • May perform minor repairs to facilities and equipment.
  • Other duties as assigned.

    Qualifications: Must be capable of basic physical labor such as mopping, sweeping, and hauling trash. Ability to work unsupervised and complete set tasks in the time allowed. One year of experience in a similar role preferred. Understanding of basic cleaning, sanitizing and safety protocols required. Ability to work in multiple locations and on weekends required. Basic mechanical and repair skills preferred.

    Physical Requirements: Reaching, bending, stooping, kneeling, crawling, lifting objects up to 50 pounds, standing, walking, climbing, grasping, feeling, and visual acuity. This work may include exposure to strong smells such as paint and thinners and exposure to hot and cold temperatures.

    Discounts at the School and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees. Regular benefits and paid time off are available for full-time employees.

    To be considered for this role, please send your resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Sales Associates (PT)

    The Old Town School Music Store is seeking an outgoing and enthusiastic part-time sales associate.

    We are looking for a gear-head with excellent customer service skills who has experience selling instruments, accessories, books, and other music-related items.

    This person must be proficient at playing guitar and one other instrument, be able to restring guitars, answer technical customer questions and have excellent customer service skills. Must have a minimum of 2 years retail experience, preferably at a music store.

    Experience with RAIN retail P.O.S. software is a plus, as are bilingual skills and back room experience restocking packing and shipping. Ability to work a flexible schedule, including Saturdays and Sundays and two weekdays, is required.

    Discounts at the school and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees.

    If interested and qualified, please submit a resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

    Customer Service Associates (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking friendly and detailed part-time Customer Service
    Associates for Lincoln Square and Armitage locations. Must be available to work evening and weekend hours.

    Responsibilities include registering students, selling tickets to shows, answering phone calls, and providing information to visitors. Customer Service Associates are frequently the first point of contact with whom students, guests and visitors interact.

    Applicants must be responsive, articulate, and willing to pitch in where needed. Three years of customer service experience and proficient computer skills are required. Bilingual Spanish skills are highly desired. The ability to play at least one instrument at an intermediate level is strongly preferred. The capacity to communicate effectively with diplomacy and tact is essential. Problem solving skills and sound judgment are critical as well as well. Must be able to work independently and be accurate when performing transactions (i.e. cash handling, registrations, etc.). An interest in art, dance, theatre, and education is helpful.

    Discounts at the school and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees.

    If interested and qualified, please send a resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

    Equal Employment Opportunity

    Old Town School is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and employees. Old Town School strives to be an inclusive and equitable organization that is reflective of the diversity of the city of Chicago. We seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. This is critical to our success as a community focused organization.