Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Share Your Musical Talent with Memphis Kids: Join the Memphis Music Initiative

Photo: Memphis Music Initiative

Memphis has long been known as a music capital.  From the blues to rock’n’roll Memphis innovation has propelled music forward and helped define what the world listens to when it want to celebrate, mourn, or make it through the day.  Even though this incredible legacy continues on some economic realities can prevent Memphis music from being all that it can be.  Less than 5% of Memphis youth have access to music programming.  This is particularly troubling because research consistently demonstrates the amazing opportunity music makes for the development of a young person’s mind.  From deepening engagement with others, to developing math and communication skills music is a proven gateway into confidence in oneself and opportunity in the community.

The Memphis Music Initiative was launched in 2015 as a community-initiated, developed, and implemented strategy to use high-quality music engagement activities to drive student, youth, and community outcomes.  A staff of five led locally by Deron Hall works hard to ensure that Memphis kids get access to programming, funding, and music teachers that they traditionally have not received.   To see more about the story behind the work of the Memphis Music Initiative watch the video below.  Choose901 had the opportunity to sit down with one of this year’s fellows last week, you can check out that interview with Marco Pave here.

Music Engagement Fellow Description

Music Engagement Fellows will assume professional responsibility for working closely with school Music Directors and Leadership to design and implement high-quality learning experiences in music and the performing arts. Fellows will partner with each school’s Music Director (and/or school Leadership) to develop high-quality musical instruction and coaching in a supportive, positive, and creative climate that develops each student’s skills, attitudes, and knowledge to meet and exceed the National Standards of Music. Teaching Fellows will be responsible for instructing students ranging from grades 6-12 with various levels of previous musical experience. In addition, Music Engagement Fellows will be expected to work 3-5 days (20 hours) a week and primary duties will be scheduled during school days. Exact schedules will be set between fellows and respective schools.


  • Support school Music Director and/or school leadership in designing and implementing high-quality learning experiences in music and the arts
  • Work with students individually or in small groups to both coach and tutor students in support of instructional goals
  • Act as a mentor and positive role model to students, supporting their overall development and instilling in them a love of music and an appreciation of hard work and tenacity
  • Offer smaller music lessons, demonstrations, and seminars that showcase your particular musical genre and/or musical expertise
  • Work with larger cohort of Fellows and Memphis Music Leadership to track and measure program success, assess program design, and redevelop and/or update program approach as needed in support of outcome goals
  • As time allows, support music engagement activities in communities, working with community hubs and youth development CBO’s
  • Act as advocate and spokesperson for this work and this initiative in your respective musical communities and with your professional peers

 Professional qualifications

  • Demonstrated professional music skills in soul, R&B, gospel, rock, classical, jazz, and/or hip hop genres
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to working with low-income and diverse communities and engaging schools and families
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively to both design and deliver music instruction
  • Strong passion for the critical role music engagement can play in strengthening youth outcomes and developing youth leaders
  • Strong musical theory literacy, a thorough understanding of comprehensive musicianship, and a demonstrated ability of supporting students of diverse skill levels and backgrounds in learning music in your genre of expertise and one or two others with a commitment to bridging genres to drive relevant instruction

Personal characteristics

  • High energy, ability to think creatively and work collaboratively
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to interact effectively with youth, students, and a diverse range of people
  • Sense of humor


This position is part-time (20 hrs/week) and for the spring term (January-May) with the expectation that fellows will continue through the fall term. Fellows receive a $25,000 stipend for the full school year, paid in monthly installments, and an additional $200/month health stipend. Fellows are expected to commit to a full academic year of service with the potential to extend fellowship for an additional year.

 To find out more about the initiative and fellowship submit a cover letter and resume to: Arts Memphis 575 South Mendenhall Memphis, TN 38117

To read more about their work in Memphis go here.  And to find out about their in school fellows program at the heart of the initiative go here



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