The following are resources for both job hunters as well as organizations who are looking to fill positions.

(This page is still being collected, red links are active and usable, black text  indicates a topic we are trying to locate a resource for)


Decision Matrix Tool – (one version for people hunting employment; one version for employers to rank interviewees — both include sample excel spreadsheets)

Checklist to consider for formal agreements in writing (see minimal format MOU below)

Sample Resume Format



Sample Job Description

Sample Ad

Where to Advertise/How to get the word out about your open position

Why Hire a Professional Musician?

Employment Handbook

Employer Best Practices (Employee Manual including Policies & Non-harassment rules)


Topics to consider – Checklist to think about for working with a church or temple
Questions to ask in an interview

A suggestion checklist of topics to consider for employment as the Director of Music/Organist:

  • General category of job/schedule is described as: “1 service, 1 rehearsal, 1 choir”, plus one Christmas Eve service
  • “Service” assumes an  adjacent “warm-up” rehearsal.  “Rehearsal” is a mid-week choir rehearsal.
  • Months of church services (12-month period constitutes one “year”):  Generally Sept thru August
  • Extra fees for extra services & rehearsals.  Extra would be, for example, a second Christmas Eve service, or a Tenebrae Service.
  • Weddings, funerals, christenings, etc. are considered extra, and have a separate fee schedule, updated yearly with the church administrator, not needing approval from committees.
  • Extra services are an adjunct/implicit part of the Employee’s Compensation Package.  For the special case of weddings, the church/administrator is to impose a  “proxy fee”  for when the organist’s services are not used.   Exceptions are: the selected service musician is a close relative of the wedding couple, or the couple chooses live music that is not within the skill-set of the seated organist – i.e., a proxy fee is waived when they hire OTHER than an organist, pianist, harpsichordist and the Employee could not have performed the services.   A proxy fee specifically includes the case of recorded music (CD, DVD, MIDI, other types of non-live musician creation) or a non-family member live musician (they’re looking for a less expensive solution).
  • 4 Vacation Sundays (weeks) per year;  1 Sick Day per year
  • Un-taken vacation weeks are lost each year with the provision that up to two weeks can be carried forward for use in the subsequent year as additional professional development (e.g., sabbatical, workshops, visiting other churches)
  • Employee will find a suitable substitute when taking a vacation Sunday or other (planned) absences.
  • If employee’s services are not needed (or services canceled) on a given Sunday, this does not count as a vacation Sunday. If a mid-week rehearsal is canceled or not needed, this does not count as a vacation week.
  • Accrue 1 month per year for sabbatical time, which can be taken in chunks of up to six months, and accrued up to a max of 6 months.
  • The music budget shall include provisions for continuing education opportunities such as music conventions, workshops, etc.
  • Employee’s music performance as a part of church services may be audio-video recorded for use as:
    • Shut-in, teacher, archive library CD recordings
    • Limited permission for small-audience delayed radio/video/internet broadcast (with line item veto for specific music selections, in which case another anthem can be inserted if desired)
    • CDs/DVDs produced for the church specifically for fundraising purposes
    • Other live broadcast or streaming media would need to be negotiated
  • Employee is responsible for management of and preparation for:
    • All aspects of “Adult” (sanctuary/festival) choir performances; “Care & Feeding” of volunteers; Management of Professional Choral Section Leaders
    • Curator/Custodian of:  Church instruments (organ, pianos, timpani, percussion,  synthesizer and associated amplifiers/equipment)
    • Choral library and management/inventory thereof.
    • Advising (Friendly Veto power) on any music that is performed as a part of church services or music that represents the church to the membership and community.
    • Cooperative spirit with Church Staff, and various volunteers and committees.
    • Management of Music Budget