Faculty in School of Music: Music Skills and Theory

The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts seeks a full-time regular faculty appointment within its innovative musicianship skills and music theory curriculum. The candidate selected will be expected to help develop the School’s undergraduate curriculum in accordance with the needs of contemporary musicians entering a rapidly evolving, stylistically heterogeneous, and culturally diverse professional environment.

CalArts affords a multidisciplinary approach to studies in the arts through its six schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater. The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts offers BFA and/or MFA Programs in Music with Specializations in African Music and Dance, Composition and Experimental Sound Practices, Experimental Pop, Indonesian Music and Dance, Jazz, Instrumental Arts, Music Technology, North Indian Music, Performer-Composer, Voice Arts, World Music Performance, and World Percussion. Areas of expertise and instruction within the School include experimental music, jazz and other improvisatory disciplines, alternative popular music styles, interactive musical technology, creative approaches to music production, and an inclusive array of musical cultures. Creative work that spans disciplines is strongly encouraged. In particular, CalArts’ unique DMA Performer-Composer Program attracts advanced students in whose practice composition and performance are fused. Further information about the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts is available at http://music.calarts.edu/.

CalArts’ School of Music attracts and serves a student body of unusually wide-ranging interests and experiences. For this position, CalArts seeks applicants who are committed to rigorous and inclusive undergraduate instruction in musicianship/aural skills and music theory, and who can deliver a curriculum that spans (minimally) the study of jazz, popular, and classical styles, as befits the diversity of musical interests and backgrounds among our undergraduate student body. 

We seek to employ faculty who can engage our diverse communities of learners at the highest levels of artistic endeavor and critical thinking. We welcome candidates who possess a demonstrated worldview and cultural competency to support teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students of varied backgrounds, capabilities, perspectives, social identities, and gender expressions. CalArts is an equal opportunity employer.  


The successful candidate will be expected to

  • teach musicianship skills within the lower-division undergraduate curriculum, and other music theory and skills courses as assigned,

  • participate in the continual development of curricular content in musicianship skills and music theory across all levels of the undergraduate curriculum,

  • contribute regular service to the School of Music,

  • regularly contribute as a performer to concert activities in the School of Music,

  • routinely mentor both students and instructors.

Required Qualifications

To be considered for the position, applicants must possess

  • a master’s degree or higher in music,

  • at least 3 years of college-level teaching experience in musicianship skills and/or music theory,

  • demonstrated ability to teach music theory and skills across popular, jazz, and classical styles (applicants with experience limited to Western art-music styles will not be considered),

  • demonstrable ability to teach advanced harmony and musicianship skills through instrumental performance (such as through beginning and advanced keyboard harmonization) as well as through staff notation,

  • an artistic practice as performer or composer that demonstrates investment in exploratory aesthetics.

Desired Qualifications

Experience with any of the following would be advantageous:

  • music theory, analysis, and/or musicianship skills relevant to one or more of the following: additional musical styles (including non-Western styles), film/media/game music, experimental music, and electronic/computer music,

  • experience in curriculum development and coordination,

  • a record of contributions to institutional and professional service, committees, and student support,

  • the realization of innovative pedagogical approaches.

Candidates for this position must legally be able to work in the U.S.  

How to apply

Review of applications will begin on 01/04/2022. For full consideration please apply by that date. Please go to this link to apply: http://apply.interfolio.com/99320

Applicants who advance to the second round of the search process will be invited to submit additional materials and attend online interviews, following which short-listed applicants will be invited to campus for presentations, teaching demonstrations, and in-person interviews.

Please provide

  • a cover letter that describes your experience relevant to the required and desired qualifications for this position as indicated above, and your experience contributing to a diverse and inclusive environment through teaching, mentoring, performance, artistic production, research, and/or service,

  • a current curriculum vitae,

  • an outline of your instructional philosophy, experience, competencies, inclusivity, and approaches to continual improvement, along with selected examples of your teaching materials as relevant to this position,

  • names and contact information for three references.

Please do not send samples of artistic or scholarly work at this time.

All submissions are confidential.