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Southern Word

Music Production Mentor

Southern Word


Job Summary

Founded in 2008 based on successful spoken word youth development and education strategies; educators, youth development professionals, writers, and poets built Southern Word from the ground up without substantial institutional or investor backing at the start. We have grown to be a national, non-profit leader in the spoken word education field, serving more than 6,500 youth, 40 schools, and 8 Tennessee counties each year.

Due to our passion for helping youth develop their voices and map their own futures, we have extended programming into music production and writing of all genres. In a culture that aggressively markets products and lifestyles to youth, Southern Word equips youth with the tools to transition from passive consumers into active thinkers, creators, and projectors of their own positive identities.

From guiding and hearing the stories of tens of thousands of youth, Southern Word understands our society’s shortcomings as they relate to youth engagement, literacy, diversity, and mental health. We are responding effectively to some of our most entrenched educational and youth development challenges.

The primary purpose of this position is to support youth in building their music production and songwriting skills by teaching ProTools, Logic Pro, GarageBand, and other audio production programs, often in coordination with writing.  Mentors will work with groups of youth at schools, colleges, and youth organizations to support their artistic and academic development both individually and as a group.  Mentors are expected to plan student-centered, interactive lessons, activities, and curricula for sessions in collaboration with other Southern Word mentors. Mentors will teach workshops and evaluate their own and other mentors’ workshops in a continuous effort to innovate the curriculum and improve all mentors’ teaching skills and methods. Since mentors are the main driver of program attendance for workshops, clubs, and events, mentors will be part of recruiting and marketing programs and events.

This is a part-time contract position that runs approximately between August 2024 and July 2025. Hours and compensation vary based on schedule, level of experience, and placements.

Job Responsibilities

  • In conjunction with the Southern Word team, plan, execute, and evaluate music-based clubs, workshops, and shows; primarily for youth in schools, colleges, and community settings; but also for adults and intergenerational groups at times.
  • Assist with recruiting and marketing programs and events through marketing visits, sample performances, and communication with youth and parents.
  • Present your own music for modeling, demonstration, and inspiration. 
  • Document and submit documentation for all workshops, residencies, shows, and activities.
  • Research and develop new music production activities and curricula for use in workshops and residencies.
  • Support logistical execution of residencies, workshops, and shows.
  • Attend planning meetings.
  • Other duties as necessary in support of the Southern Word workshops and events.


Must have experience in educational or youth development settings teaching music production.  Must have experience producing music and presenting own music in front of an audience. Proficiency in GarageBand, Logic Pro, and/or Pro Tools. The ability to DJ is a plus. Must be active in own artistic pursuits. Must possess excellent lesson planning, teaching, conflict management, and classroom management skills. Must be able to positively engage groups of youth in learning as well as focus on the strengths and needs of individual workshop participants. Deal with all situations in a calm and positive manner. Must communicate responsively via e-mail.

Additional Information



How to Apply

Applicants should e-mail their resume and three music samples to: info@southernword.org.


  • Date Posted: July 9, 2024
  • Type: Contract / Temp
  • Job Function: Educator
  • Service Area: Arts / Culture
  • Start Date: 09/16/2024
  • Salary Range: $30 - $35/hr
  • Working Hours: Varies in a 7am - 6pm time window