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Middle School Jazz Academy (MSJA) Band Director


Jazz at Lincoln Center seeks a dynamic, highly skilled, creative and organized jazz educator to join the Youth Programs faculty as the Middle School Jazz Academy (MSJA) Band Director.  

The MSJA course of study includes a series of music lessons, ensemble rehearsals and performances and broader youth development activities including attending Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts. The MSJA curriculum combines skills-based learning with aesthetic education, emphasizing self and group discovery, creativity, open questions, and guided reflection. The Band Director will be responsible for delivering three of the four core components of the MSJA curriculum; Jazz Language, Ensemble and Jazz Masters.

Jazz Language

During Jazz Language sessions, students will learn to embody a variety of skills necessary to the process of learning and performing jazz music. Faculty will guide the students through improvisation techniques as learned through melody, harmony, and form. Students will better understand jazz repertoire and how to acquire new jazz concepts on their own through these interactive lessons.


The core of MSJA is a large ensemble (big band); all students participate in this format. The big band is led by the Band Director and will introduce students to iconic jazz music through seminal composers and arrangers as Duke Ellington, Benny Carter and Frank Foster, among others. The Band Director will select and coordinate all repertoires in conjunction with the Program Manager.

Jazz Masters

These sessions highlight the musical achievements of Jazz Masters while connecting to the students’ own personal experience. Each session includes focused listening, guided dialogue, and musical reflection.

The Band Director will be responsible for coordinating with MSJA faculty in delivering the curriculum on a weekly basis and working closely with Youth Programs staff and faculty to coordinate repertoire and performances throughout the year. He/she will be required to attend regular strategic meetings with all faculty leaders.   

All classes and rehearsals for MSJA take place on Saturday mornings at Jazz at Lincoln Center (Manhattan).


Overall Curriculum and Repertoire

  • Coordinate curriculum, implement strategy, and show written evidence of preparation as required.
  • Submit lesson plans and evaluations for all Saturday classes and rehearsals to Program Manager.
  • Coordinate repertoire of all performances (minimum of three per year) in cooperation with faculty.

Student Assignments and Activities

  • Design content activities and identify education materials to ensure curriculum standards are met
  • Plan and use appropriate instructional and learning strategies, activities, and equipment that reflects an understanding of the learning styles and needs of the students
  • Review syllabi and lesson plans and discuss curriculum with appropriate faculty and onsite staff.
  • Work with Assistant Band Director and Academy Assistant to ensure weekly logistics for all classes including music preparation, setting up and tear down of rehearsal space, etc.


  • Participate in assessment of student learning and engagement, pre- and post-program.
  • Work with the JALC administration to assess program success and appropriate metrics.
  • Coordinate with Administrative Manager, who oversees the program structure.

Recruitment and Planning

  • Participate in audition process and recruitment.
  • Required to attend at least 75% of weekday planning meetings.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Program Manager.


  • Bachelor’s degree in music education or performance from an accredited 4-year institution.
  • Experienced instrumentalist in jazz performance.
  • Skilled educator and demonstrated success teaching middle school students.
  • Open to collaboration, discovering and refining new ways of teaching jazz.
  • Extensive knowledge of rhythmic foundations of jazz.
  • Must be organized, enthusiastic and a team player.
  • Must support the goals and vision of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
  • Committed to youth development and the use of jazz to enrich their lives
  • Interest in remaining apprised of new theories and techniques in the field

Work Hours

  • Up to 12 hours per week from September through May. Weekend hours required.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to careers@jazz.org.  Please include Band Director, Middle School Jazz Academy (MSJA) in the subject line. Jazz at Lincoln Center is an equal opportunity employer.


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