Ohio, USA
Oberlin College
Assistant Professor in Music Theory and Aural Skills

The Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track faculty position at the level of Assistant Professor in Music Theory and Aural Skills, beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year.

The Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, founded in 1865, is the nation’s oldest continuously operating conservatory, and the only major music school in the country linked with a preeminent liberal arts college. Students are enrolled in undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Music in performance, jazz studies, composition, technology in music and related arts, and musicology. Oberlin also offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Music in conducting, the Master of Music in performance on historical instruments, the Master of Fine Arts in piano technology, as well as artist diplomas.

Oberlin’s Music Theory Division consists of eleven tenured and tenure-track faculty members with a shared commitment to innovative pedagogy and research excellence. We serve over 600 conservatory and college students per semester in core theory, core aural skills, upper division seminars, and courses directed to majors and non-majors from the college of arts and sciences. Our students are creative, musical, and engaged. We have recently reconceived our theory curriculum, which now consists of a first-year core embracing topics including rhythm and meter, melody and counterpoint, harmony, form, and texture and timbre, and which creates space for engagement with musics from a variety of perspectives. The second-year curriculum consists of elective courses determined by faculty interest; upcoming offerings include “Cycles,” “Questioning Genius,” “Scales, Sets, Series, and Spectra,” “Partimento and Figured Bass Realization,” “Music in Time,” “Polyphonies,” “Large Forms”, “East Asia in Western Art Music,” and “Art Song from Franz Schubert to Margaret Bonds.” The division’s pedagogical ethos is collaborative; new hires will be given materials and guidance to help them prepare for the first-year core, but will also have freedom to adapt the course content to suit their own pedagogical and intellectual interests. Candidates are encouraged to think creatively about potential second-year elective courses they would like to offer and describe them in their cover letter. Oberlin provides resources of both time and money in support of faculty research. Faculty are eligible to apply for grants to fund research expenses and are entitled to a pre-tenure sabbatical leave after three years of service.


Faculty members teach six full courses per year, with no more than two preps per semester. Teaching responsibilities include music theory courses in a recently redesigned two-year core curriculum, aural skills, upper-division seminars assigned according to faculty interests, and courses targeting music majors and non-majors from the college of arts and sciences. Class sizes typically range from twelve to twenty students. Candidates whose courses could contribute to one of Oberlin’s new integrated concentrations and/or interdisciplinary minors (improvisation, African American music, music and cognition, music and popular culture, interdisciplinary performance, arts and creative technologies, public humanities, arts administration and leadership) are encouraged to highlight relevant expertise in their cover letter.

Faculty members are also expected to advise a diverse population of students, participate fully in divisional and conservatory meetings, administer departmental placement examinations, contribute to curricular innovations, and serve on curricular and faculty governance committees.


Candidates must demonstrate potential for successful undergraduate teaching, evidence of ongoing scholarly productivity in the field of music theory, keyboard competence, and accomplished musicianship. One or more years of full-time teaching experience (beyond the graduate assistant level) is preferred, as is a background in performance or composition. The Ph.D. degree in music theory by May 2024 (or the equivalent professional experience) is required.

The Division of Music Theory is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute through their teaching, research, and/or service to the diversity and excellence of our academic and musical community.

We encourage applications from candidates who will bring a fresh perspective to our existing courses and whose expertise encompasses a broad range of repertoires and methodologies. We also encourage applications from previous applicants.

Oberlin College offers a competitive compensation package with excellent benefits.

See original job posting and apply online at: https://jobs.oberlin.edu/postings/14476

Submit a cover letter, CV, and a list of three references; letters of recommendation will be solicited at a later stage of the hiring process.

Review of applications will begin on November 10, 2023. Applications received after that date may be considered until the position is filled.