Stillwater Music is currently recruiting for the position of full-time Music Instructor.
About Stillwater Music
Stillwater Music is Durango’s premier music education hub. We are a nonprofit organization that serves over 800 students of all ages annually, helping them develop their individual musical abilities for lifelong personal and community benefits. At Stillwater, we use two very different yet complementary tracks for music instruction: (1) traditional private lessons on almost any musical instrument as well as voice lessons, and (2) the less traditional but very fun “play in a real band” approach to learning music.
The Stillwater motto is simple. Have Fun. Learn Music. Be in a Band.
Stillwater Music has grown exponentially in the past few years. We have 5 full-time staff members and over 20 contractors who provide music instruction. Both our private lesson program and the bands are led by professional, real world working musicians with years of experience teaching music, directing bands, coaching, recording, performing, arranging, and writing music.
The work environment is casual, collegial, and relaxed with extremely generous vacation days and time off.
Our goal is to share the joy of playing music by developing in Stillwater students the skills, confidence, and ability to play music. We feel strongly that keeping kids engaged in music helps to build character, teamwork, and self confidence. The repertoire for most of our bands is focused on popular music from the 50’s through today–rock, funk, pop, jazz, hip hop, R&B, blues, soul, bluegrass, folk…it’s what’s on your playlist. Stillwater bands can be found performing in various venues around southwestern Colorado, from upscale fundraising events to outdoor festivals and community events, to restaurants or the quaint patio of a coffee shop, to private house parties.
About the Position of Full-Time Music Instructor
We are seeking a full-time music instructor to work in our band program. Our bands may include the youngest learners who are brand new to music classes, elementary and middle school aged students who range from beginners to advanced, teens who are intermediate or advanced players, and adults who are beginners, intermediate or advanced.
We are seeking someone who is excited about the growth opportunities in our organization, who is a well-rounded multi-instrumentalist and is passionate about working with kids and adults of all ages and levels of musical experience, and who has great people skills. Our organization is continually expanding in knowledge and community reach, and therefore we are seeking instructors who will work for progress alongside us. This position has opportunity for growth through increasing responsibilities, greater connection to the community, and opportunities to further one’s own learning. We also seek an individual who is well-rounded, as many of our students desire diverse music exposure. This job requires extensive social interactions with individuals of all ages and all levels of music knowledge, and therefore requires strong social skills. A strong applicant can demonstrate effective verbal and written communication, has facility in conflict resolution, and can problem solve effectively.
Stillwater’s unique band program gives students an experience where they are a part of a performing band: therefore our instructors must provide excellent instruction with the end product in mind. Our community has the expectation for only the highest quality performances from Stillwater groups. Stillwater instructors need to be able to arrange and/or compose fun, challenging tunes that specifically target the varying needs and abilities of the students in their classes. In addition to music knowledge, these arrangements demand a high level of creativity from the instructor and an intuitive understanding of students’ strengths and needs.
Students learn instrumental technique on keyboard, guitar, drum kit, hand percussion, vibraphone, marimba, ukulele, steel pan, electric bass and other instruments, as well as singing. Students who already play an instrument can bring them to class to be incorporated into the material for their ensemble. Adults generally already play an instrument and will bring their instruments to class. In any case, Stillwater classes are conducted in teaching studios that are fully equipped with drum sets, percussion, guitars, electric basses, mallet instruments, electronic keyboards, instrument amps, and PA systems.
Instructors are expected to teach “just enough, just in time” applied music theory, ear training, music literacy, soloing, comping, harmonizing, arranging, and the basics of musical professionalism in the context of preparing tunes for performance. Classes are small, rarely larger than 8 or 9 students. Band classes generally meet weekday afternoons or evenings. Stillwater also provides daytime ensemble-based class instruction to local elementary and middle schools.
As a Stillwater instructor, you must be a self-starter who independently solves problems, takes on tasks, and uses discretion. Although we have a team responsible for scheduling and coordinating, instructors must be able to handle day-to-day communication with students/parents, plan instructional materials, and organize course offerings. This role requires a great deal of independence, drive, and passion.
We are looking for someone to step in and lead band classes that are ongoing, but we are also open to this individual bringing new offerings to our program in their own areas of expertise. You may also teach private lessons depending on demand and on your class load.
- Teach instrumental technique, applied music theory, soloing, arranging and general musicianship
- Arrange repertoire to fit the needs, interests and abilities of each group
- Prepare students for performance – a minimum of one performance per term (fall semester, spring semester, summer term) for younger age youth bands (ages 6-8) and two performances per term for older age youth and adult bands
- Participate in staff meetings and be a visionary for growth of the Stillwater Music programs
- Participate in outreach activities, and be an ambassador for Stillwater Music
Skills and Desired Characteristics:
- Candidate has played music professionally and preferably has been a bandleader (please include your professional gigging musician experience on your resume)
- Proficiency on multiple instruments
- Musical literacy using standard music notation
- Experience arranging for bands
- Ability to adapt musical material to a wide range of musical abilities
- Working knowledge of music notation software such as Finale
- Knowledge of sound equipment
- Candidate holds a degree in Music Education, Music Performance or General Music; substantial experience and other training will be considered in lieu of a formal music degree
- Candidate must be responsible, growth-driven, and professional
About Durango, Colorado
Durango is a small town in the southwest corner of Colorado near the New Mexico border. Although a small town, Durango is a popular vacation destination surrounded by mountains and boasting ample outdoor activities in all seasons. Durango is home to hundreds of miles of public hiking and biking trails both in the city as well as weaving through the breathtaking San Juan Mountains of Colorado, as well as the very popular Purgatory Ski Resort with 10 lifts taking you to 85 groomed trails spanning in excess of 40 miles. Nearby, outside of picturesque Pagosa Springs, is Wolf Creek Ski Resort which boasts the most snow totals in Colorado each year.
Although Durango’s official population is under 20,000, as a destination it is equipped to handle a larger population and therefore feels like a bigger town. This means we have an endless array of great restaurants, breweries and a thriving live music scene in cool venues like rooftop decks, outdoor patios, and old converted warehouses. Durango also has many art galleries and quaint downtown shopping with hundreds of unique boutiques, specialty shops, art markets, photography establishments, outdoor emporiums, groceries, and organic markets. Further, if you have a coffee habit, you’ve come to the right place. It would take you weeks to visit Durango’s endless array of adorable coffee shops and coffee roasters. Suffice it to say that if you are a creative-type, you will love Durango! Something about the vibe here attracts a multitude of artists and musicians. Think of Durango as a mini-Austin but with the added benefit of a gorgeous mountain setting.
How to Apply
Email your cover letter, resume, and samples of your work in audio or video format to [email protected]. Compensation and hours are negotiable.
Stillwater Music admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, and ability to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the organization.