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521 West Yakima Avenue
Yakima, WA, 98901
United States


Teaching Artists

Work as part of a dynamic team that creates and delivers a visionary, socially-driven, collaboratively-operated music program in the Yakima community, inspired by the Venezuelan El Sistema.  

Job Title: Teaching Artist
Reports To: Program Director

Classification: Regular part-time, Non-exempt
Contract: Temporary, January-May 2017 with an opportunity for permanent position
Location: Garfield Elementary School or Davis High School -- Yakima, WA  

Hours: 2 days a week (4.5 hrs/wk) or 5 days a week (12.5 hrs/wk)
Hourly Rate: $25 for teaching and performing; $15 for administrative work


The Teaching Artist is responsible for on-site instrumental instruction for YAMA, an El Sistema-inspired after-school program in partnership with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra and the Yakima School District. The program consists of small-group violin, viola, cello, and bass instruction and ensemble rehearsals up to five days a week for two hours a day during the school year. Exact hours vary by day and site.


  • Collaborate with program staff to create a shared curriculum, pedagogy and culture inspired by ideals of El Sistema.
  • Teach students individually and in groups, using varied and creative teaching methods to support student learning, in areas including theory and musicianship, string technique, solfege, rhythm, ear-training, body movement and written work.
  • Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs, skill levels, and interests, as well as to grow children’s confidence, respect, aspiration, drive, understanding, empathy, and emotional intelligence.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units and projects, both individually and as part of the YAMA teaching team, and teach toward those objectives.
  • Participate in ongoing professional development activities.
  • Engage in regular planning and debrief meetings. 
  • Communicate and build rapport with parents, students, and fellow Teaching Artists to ensure successful program.
  • Maintain the program's culture of respect and high expectations, both musically and socially, in all learning and teaching contexts. Actively uphold practices and procedures that ensure student safety and professionalism. 
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health. Partner with YAMA administrative staff and outside partners to in program evaluation efforts.
  • Embrace a flexible working schedule and environment to deliver a responsive program that is constantly developing to meet the needs of the children and greater community.
  • Participate in regular student performances; partner with program staff at performances to ensure student safety and success.
  • Integrate performance, during and outside of program time, as desired and able. YAMA operates on the premise that, as a Teaching Artist, one's performance practice inspires one's teaching practice, and vice versa.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Passion for teaching and learning alongside young people.
  • Alignment with YAMA’s core values.
  • B.A., B.M. or equivalent degree in Music Performance and/or Education.  Minimum of two years experience teaching in a group setting preferred. Years of relevant experience may be substituted for education.
  • Strong classroom management skills.
  • Demonstrate excellent musicianship and artistry as a teacher and performer.
  • Strong knowledge of string repertoire and curriculum, and experience with music pedagogy (Kodály, Orff, Dalcroze and/or Suzuki) a plus.
  • Commitment to the YAMA Teaching Team, which involves collaboration, communication, creativity, and curiosity.
  • Strong ethical standards and ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  • Ability to travel as required (for performances, field trips, professional development, both in- and out-of-state).
  • Willingness to engage in the ongoing work of examining race, class, gender, ability, ethnicity, religion, age, and sexual orientation as they inform the program's internal and external efficacy. 
  • Bilingual English/Spanish a plus.

Additional Conditions of Employment

  • Successfully pass a criminal history and background check.
  • Reliable means of transportation required.
  • Up to five excused absences are permitted within the program year.


Please email cover letter, résumé and list of three professional references to Stephanie Hsu at with the subject line “YAMA TEACHING ARTIST SEARCH.”

Teaching interviews and auditions will be scheduled individually after applications have been reviewed. Interviews and auditions will take place in Yakima, WA. Skype interviews and auditions may be scheduled if traveling to Yakima poses significant financial hardship. 

Only qualified applicants will be contacted. No phone calls please. Qualified candidates not hired for open positions may be added to the roster of substitute teachers.

Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA) is a subsidiary affiliate of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, run in partnership with the Yakima School District. It is the policy of both organizations to provide equal opportunities without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, pregnancy, current or future military status, physical or mental disability, marital or familial status, or any other status protected by the law.