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Chief Operating Officer

Organization Overview

Education through Music was founded in 1991 after Edmund Schroeder and Eldon Mayer saw first-hand a school that was using music to improve educational outcomes and were inspired to create a program for at-risk children in New York City. ETM has developed a model of partnering with inner-city schools to provide music as a core subject for all children and to utilize music education as a catalyst to improve academic achievement and general development. The organization works with schools that struggle to provide all students with music education and helps establish high-quality, sustainable music programs. What started in one school is now reaching nearly 27,000 students in close to 50 schools, and the organization’s operating budget has grown to $5.7M.

Position Summary

Education through Music is hiring our first Chief Operating Officer (COO) to help further build the internal organizational infrastructure to accomplish our aggressive goals.  Education Through Music has grown steadily over the past four years and the COO will play a critical role in supporting the organization’s next phase of growth. The primary responsibilities of the COO will be to ensure the overall health, growth and sustainability of the organization through building effective service operations, setting goals and metrics that lead to high performance across all business functions, leading and growing a talented team, and partnering with the Executive Director in executing the strategic plan through effective best practices.  The COO will report to the Executive Director and directly supervise three Department Directors.

Position Outcomes

During the first 9 months of his or her tenure, the COO will:

  • Review key processes of business functions to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness between departments and in meeting external needs.
  • Review talent and performance management processes ensuring expectations and accountabilities are clear across the organization and that staff are given opportunities to develop professionally
  • Introduce project management and measurement practices ensuring that resources are effectively deployed and efforts are appropriately prioritized, planned, and tracked across the organization.
  • Partner with the senior staff in the formalization of management practices in the organization; enable their ongoing development as managers and leaders for their teams; support a staff culture of mutual cooperation, collaboration, and respect.

Key Responsibilities

  • In partnership with the Executive Director, oversee the implementation of the organization’s strategic plans, making adjustments based on data and metrics and the evolving needs of the organization.
  • Serve as the internal leader of the organization to oversee the annual operations plan and budgeting process.
  • Present to the Board at quarterly meetings and serve on several board committees.
  • With departmental leaders, lead the performance management process that measures and evaluates the team’s performance in alignment with organizational goals.
  • Refine core human resources functions including recruiting, onboarding and training, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and performance evaluation; instill a coaching culture across management structures.
  • Bridge departmental operations to optimize processes and systems that lead to greater efficiency.
  • Directly supervise the organization’s Director-level senior staff members, with specific oversight of the following areas:
    • ETM Program
      • Partner school relationships as it pertains to negotiation, onboarding, assessment, and financial/contractual matters
      • Recruiting, hiring and onboarding of the teacher and mentor cohort
      • Identification of metrics, tools, and processes to scale impact
    • Finance, Technology, and Human Resources
      • Financial and accounting systems and strategic budgeting
      • Technology infrastructure and investments
      • Recruitment, onboarding and performance management systems
    • Marketing and Communications
      • Marketing and communications investments
      • Translating identified metrics, tools, and processes to external partners and donors
    • Development & Evaluation
      • Systems and administration that lead to effective proposal preparation and grant writing, evaluation processes, data collection and management, and report production


  • Significant experience overseeing business operations, and driving results in a high-performance, growing and evolving organization.
  • Proven track record of achieving short and long-term organizational objectives and financial growth through the implementation of infrastructure, business processes, and systems; especially in a multi-stakeholder environment.
  • Excellent quantitative knowledge and problem solving skills in order to analyze, assess, and manage financial, human resources, technology, administrative and operational execution
  • Strong organizational management with the ability to develop high-performing multi-disciplinary teams across an organization.
  • Experienced strategist, innovator, and executor who will contribute in the leadership, management, and growth of the organization; adept at synthesizing information, building stakeholder trust and making sound decisions.
  • Critical thinker who can successfully build and lead an execution strategy from a long-term vision, taking an analytical approach.
  • Strong manager of people; demonstrated success managing and inspiring teams to achieve aggressive goals.
  • High emotional intelligence, ability to coach and mentor diverse staff; ability to inspire trust and high performance.
  • Demonstrated passion for the nonprofit sector and the mission of Education Through Music.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in business relevant field strongly preferred.


To Apply 

Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format, addressed to Katherine Damkohler at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


Education Through Music offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills. 

Education Through Music is an equal opportunity employer.


About Commongood Careers

Education Through Music has partnered with Commongood Careers to conduct the search for a Chief Operating Officer. Commongood Careers is a mission-driven search firm that supports the hiring needs of high-impact nonprofits. With an approach that leverages robust talent networks, recruitment and search management expertise, and a deep understanding of our Education Through Music’s missions and cultures, we help organizations secure the talent they need to create greater social impact. Since our founding in 2005, Commongood Careers has led more than 700 searches at 275 organizations in 33 states, making us one of the most experienced and dedicated nonprofit search firms in the country. Learn more about nonprofit job opportunities at Commongood Careers.



ETM is currently reviewing applications for Music Teacher Mentor and Music Teacher positions

ETM Music teachers provide full school year music programs for grades PreK through 8th grade in both NYC public and parochial schools. Teaching schedules vary from 2 to 5 days per week, and run continuously from September to June. Typically, teachers see the same students once per week for the entire school year with class sized averaging 20 to 25 students. The daily teaching schedule for all positions follows a typical school day beginning approximately 8:00am and ending near 3:00pm. Successful candidates will embrace the opportunity to take ownership of their program and make it an indispensable part of their school’s culture and identity. Applicants should possess a BA or Master’s in Music, Education, or Fine Arts (Music Education a plus). Previous classroom teaching experience is strongly preferred. ETM welcomes applicants who hold or are pursuing certification, and seeks placements that will support the career advancement of certified teachers. NOTE: Individuals who do not currently hold ‘eligible’ status for classroom teaching from the NYC Department of Education (DOE) will be asked to undergo a fingerprinting and background check by the NYC DOE PETS system. Only those cleared by the DOE who receive ‘eligible’ status are eligible for hire by ETM.

Job responsibilities include acting as school music faculty, coordination and development of the in-school music program with program staff, and producing two all-school concerts each year. Each music teacher’s program is designed in consultation with ETM Program Staff and based on ETM’s curriculum and benchmarks. Lesson planning is required and will be reviewed on a regular basis. We provide all ETM Music Teachers with ongoing professional development and training.

  • An elective employee-contributed health coverage plan is available.

  • All those invited to interview will be asked to present mock lesson specific to the discipline of the desired position.


Openings in New York City

Music Teacher Mentors –  The primary role of the Music Teacher Mentor (“Mentor”) is to help develop music teachers to be the best that they can be through designing achievable growth plans to strengthen their teachers’ skills. The Mentor coaches music teachers to strengthen pedagogy according to the ETM model while assisting them to effectively address the daily issues and challenges encountered in their teaching duties. The Mentor guides music teachers in reflecting on their performance, setting professional goals, overcoming challenges and celebrating successes. Other areas of responsibilities include (1) assisting with the management of school partnerships, including relationship and communications with school leadership; (2) facilitating professional development workshops for academic teachers and parent engagement workshops; (3) contributing to ETM’s professional development knowledge base, resources and overall teacher training capabilities; and 4) Documentation/record keeping of program activities and services provided. Ideal candidates have substantial public school teaching experience, experience in a supervisory role and a knowledge of curriculum design and pedagogic methodology. Favorable candidates have expertise in either choir, string orchestra or band. Click here to apply for this position

Music Teacher Positions:

General Music (Choral) – Our General Music teachers are responsible for building a musical foundation for all students. Instilling a love and appreciation for music through a comprehensive and sequential music curriculum is the key to a successful program. Pedagogical approach is Orff influenced and we provide a variety of tools and resources including hand-percussion, Orff instruments, handbells, keyboards, recorders, guitars and technology. Singing, conducting, keyboard, guitar and presentation skills are all pluses. Two concerts per year are produced in which all students perform. Available position openings cover varied grade ranges from Pre-K through 8th grade. Click here to apply for this position

General Music (String Orchestra)  String Orchestra teachers typically teach 2 or 3 days per week and are responsible for teaching violin, viola, cello, and bass to beginning and intermediate orchestra students, grades 4 – 8. Orchestra is an elective, not required. There are two key components to our instrumental program: Small group pull-out lessons and full rehearsals. Qualified applicants should be comfortable running rehearsals with 50-90 students. Orchestra rehearsals will take place 2 to 3 times per week before or after school, with each participant receiving one small group pull-out lesson per week during the school day on a rotating pull-out basis. Please note we prefer a combination of pedagogical approaches. A minimum of three concerts per year are produced in which the full ensemble performs. (Note: Most string orchestra positions are combined with general music to create full-time positions – see description above.) Click here to apply for this position

General Music (Band) – Band teachers typically teach 2 or 3 days per week and are responsible for teaching all  woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments to beginning and intermediate band students. Band is an elective and all students grades 5 through 8 are eligible to participate. There are two key components to the band program: Small group pull-out lessons and full rehearsals. Qualified applicants should be comfortable running rehearsals with 50-90 students. Band rehearsals will take place 2 or 3 times per week before or after school, with each participant receiving one small group pull-out lesson per week during the school day on a rotating basis. Please note we prefer a combination of pedagogical approaches. A minimum of three concerts per year are produced in which the full band performs. (Note: Most band positions are combined with general music to create full-time positions – see description above.) Click here to apply for this position

 General Music/Music Technology – Middle School  – The general music curriculum is based on traditional choral/instrumental pedagogy. Guitar and keyboard skills are necessary. Familiarity with current music technologies, including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Finale and SmartBoard is a big plus, but training can be provided – a general familiarity with music technology is sufficient for the motivated candidate. The curriculum focuses on general music skills and concepts (as opposed to teaching any in-depth use of software) using the music tech lab as a teaching tool. Of great value will also be the determination and charisma to work successfully with a middle school population. The labs consists of 30 state of the art, custom built student workstations, each with a 27-inch Macintosh computer, midi keyboard, electric guitar, microphone, audio interface, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Education Through Music?

Founded in 1991, Education Through Music (ETM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the use of music in inner-city schools and schools in disadvantaged areas, as a means of enhancing students' academic performance and general development. By providing year-long, in-school music education programs, ETM makes music education a reality for thousands of children who would otherwise have limited or no exposure to the arts.  Our current activities focus on elementary, middle and K-8 schools.

Where are your programs located?

ETM’s partner schools are located in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. In 2006, ETM licensed an organization to replicate our model in Los Angeles. Beyond its core partner school activities in New York, ETM shares experiences by participating in conferences, and offers consulting services, such as professional development, curriculum development, and model replication. 


What impact does your program have on students?

ETM’s programs improve students’ academic achievement, self-confidence, and motivation for school. Ongoing assessment of our programs has found that students receiving ETM's program perform better academically than students in schools with similar demographics that do not receive ETM's program. Students’ participation in ETM music class and school performances contributes to their creativity as well as to social and emotional capacities. Students in ETM partner schools have also earned higher scores on Math and English Language Arts assessment. 


What makes ETM different from other music education programs?

ETM provides inner-city schools with a music educator to serve every child every week throughout the school year. ETM's programs include a comprehensive, sequential music curriculum. We teach music as a core subject, and it is used to support learning in all areas. We work to transition our music teachers from our payroll onto the school's to create a long-term, sustainable programs. ETM advocates to all the school's stakeholders, including parents and teachers.