Bembé Drum & Dance

Music Educator - Percussion


Milwaukee Public Theatre’s Bembé Drum & Dance is a cultural performing arts program in the City of Milwaukee. Bembé inspires music and performance skills, youth leadership, intergenerational connection, and cultural identity exploration through Afro-Latino musical culture.

Bembé currently has programs at the Bruce-Guadalupe Community Schools and Highland Community School. Now in it’s third year, the program will expand to Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts. We’re seeking candidates for a Lead Music Educator for that program, with program dates of 9/15/17-7/31/17.

Position Description & Details

  • Lead beginning and intermediate level West African, Afro-Latino, Caribbean and Afro-Latino Diaspora percussion instruction to 15 youth, grades 6-8, in a year-long, commitment-based practice and performance ensemble program on site at Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts, 800 W. Walnut Street in Milwaukee.
  • Follow existing Bembé Drum & Dance methodology and curriculum with opportunities to adapt and blend with your artistic experience and expertise.
  • Mentor participating youth using provided applied ethnomusicology techniques that explore the rich history and experience of Afro-Latino musical culture through the playing of hand-percussion instruments and vocals (Curriculum material provided and open for adaptation).
  • Mentor participating youth on basic performance techniques, and encourage at-home practice through the Bembé home practice incentives program.
  • Commit to the full program year: 9/15/17 - 7/31/17

Position Details

  • This position is a 1099 independent contractor position for Milwaukee Public Theatre.
  • Instruction Hours: Two (2) 90-minute classes each week from 3-4:30PM inside Roosevelt’s on-site dance studio for a total of 3 hours each week, + 1 additional paid administrative hour weekly for curriculum planning, communications and program evaluation.
  • Additional hours around times of in-school and public performances (approximately 4-5 performances in the total program year)
  • Compensation: $40/hour x 4 hours total each week (additional hours during weeks of performances or additional programming meetings)
  • The Music Educator position is supported by: 1) Bembé Program Director 2) Bembé Program Coordinator 3) Two on-site mentors in each Bembé class to support classroom management and a low adult-to-student ratio, 4) One committed, designated Roosevelt Middle School arts education staff member, 5) MPS Turnround Arts personnel. 


  • Candidate must have high school diploma. Some college preferred.
  • Candidates must have a minimum of two years hands-on youth education experience.
  • Candidate must pass a background check and an in-class “audition” leading a brief percussion warm-up/exercise with middle school youth.
  • Candidate must have knowledge of playing and performing percussion from at least three of the following regions: West Africa, Caribbean, South America, Mexico, Afro-Latino Diaspora of the United States, U.S. or Latin American Hip-Hop.
  • Candidate must be willing to learn new styles of percussion from program sponsored continuing education opportunities and build upon their existing knowledge.
  • Candidates must pride themselves on reliability, punctuality, and professional communication.

Bembé is an exciting, one-of-a-kind youth ethnomusicology program working hard with up to 75 Milwaukee students this year, spanning multiple communities. This position has many opportunities for expansion and growth. We welcome candidates from all backgrounds to apply to join this family of cultural artists and educators for the long term. 

Please submit your resume, introduction letter/email and two professional references to Bembé Drum & Dance Program Coordinator, Ms. Nicole Acosta:

Interviews will be conducted 8/17-9/15 with a start date during the week of 9/15.