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Opera Philadelphia

Teaching Artist

Community Initiatives – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Department Community Initiatives
Employment Type Contract

Opera Philadelphia’s education program, Sounds of Learning, strengthens students’ understanding of curricular concepts by correlating those ideas to elements of music, opera, and theater. The program is designed to enhance classroom curriculum, expose students to the arts, and foster social and emotional learning.

Beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year, Sounds of Learning will serve approximately 1,400 students annually through its Residency Program. Residencies will be offered at four selected Philadelphia schools during the 2018-2019 school year, each lasting 8-10 weeks. Led by teaching artists, the Program is designed for students in grades K-5 with a specific emphasis on 4th grade. Students in grades K-3 work to develop a basic understanding of opera through an annual one-time visit by a teaching artist. In the 4th grade, students will expand upon their prior learning by creating and performing a piece inspired by an opera in the season's repertoire. Teaching artists visit each 4th grade classroom on a weekly basis. The lesson will last one class period, approximately 45 minutes. Both 4th and 5th grade students will prepare for and attend the opera at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music.

Beyond the Residency Program, teaching artists will be engaged periodically to support the Dress Rehearsal Program. Teaching artists will deliver lessons to students in grades 5 -12 at public, charter, private, and parochial schools in Greater Philadelphia to help prepare students to attend an opera at the Academy of Music.


Teaching Artist Job Description

Opera Philadelphia seeks a teaching artist who is a classically trained singer, pianist, or actor to teach in-class curriculum through the Sounds of Learning Residency Program. The ideal candidate must have experience working in a diverse classroom setting either as a teacher or through a young artist or outreach program. Candidates should be adaptable to students’ needs while exhibiting exceptional classroom management skills. Applicants should have both teaching and performing experience. All teaching artists should have reliable transportation and a flexible daytime schedule. The ideal candidate should have experience in developing children’s theater and be able to work collaboratively with other teaching artists, classroom teachers, and administration.

This hire is contingent upon procured funding.


Type of Employment: Contract

Reports to: Vice President of Community Initiatives; Education Manager

Department: Community Initiatives

Central Role:  To serve the needs of Opera Philadelphia’s Sounds of Learning education program by teaching lessons to students in grades K – 12 throughout Philadelphia and to act as a representative for the company at those schools.


  • Teach interactive 45-minute lessons in a classroom setting to students from grades K – 12
  • Create and direct a theatrical performance suitable to the elementary level
  • Assist in developing original lesson plans in a team collaborative
  • Teach students about various aspects of opera, opera production, music and music appreciation, classical vocal technique, acting techniques
  • Attend professional development sessions
  • Maintain strong communication with classroom teacher via email, phone, or in-person meetings
  • Execute evaluative needs of the program
  • Obtain all federal, state, and local background clearances

Qualifications Desired:

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in music, voice, theater, or music education
  • Previous experience teaching music in a classroom setting, or working with an outreach program
  • Responsible, self-motivated, and able to work with little supervision independently and as a valuable member of a team
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
  • An interest in working with a culturally diverse inner-city school population
  • A flexible daytime work schedule and a reliable mode of transportation
  • Ability to play piano a plus


To Apply:

Deadline to submit materials is July 15, 2018. After applications are reviewed, selected applicants will be contacted for phone interviews. Please do not call. Only candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted.

Candidates must submit:

  • A résumé or curriculum vitae
  • A performance sample via link to one audio download or video *
  • At least two professional references as a teacher or teaching artist, not as a performer (either phone numbers or letters)

*If possible, provide video footage or web links of a performance or demonstration of your artistic practice or of your teaching. 

An equal opportunity employer, Opera Philadelphia is committed to fostering an environment in which employees from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcomed and can thrive.


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  • Location
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Department
    Community Initiatives
  • Employment Type
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