Associate Director of Music Therapy and Education

Company: Opera Saratoga

This season, Opera Saratoga is launching a comprehensive, full-time music therapy program for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. Partnering with Songs by Heart, Opera Saratoga will offer engagement centered therapy in which singers lead an interactive sing-along with piano accompaniment. The singers use therapeutic techniques such as mirroring, verbal and gestural prompting, making direct eye contact, and holding hands with residents throughout the program. Singers encourage residents to join in the singing, clapping, and dancing, as well as to engage in conversation centered around the musical selections.

Opera Saratoga is creating a new, full-time position, Associate Director of Music Therapy and Education, to guide this initiative and work with leadership staff to further develop opportunities that use the power of music to improve the quality of life for people who live in our seven-county service area in upstate New York. In addition, this individual will be responsible for reconsidering how Opera Saratoga provides educational programs for students across the region and will be charged with developing new initiatives to create more robust and meaningful partnerships with area schools to introduce opera to children.

We are seeking a Certified Music Therapist who is interested in both the administrative and practical sides of this role. Responsibilities of the Associate Director of Music Therapy and Education will include:

  • Working with Songs by Heart staff to develop Opera Saratoga’s Memory Center program to provide individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia interactive music therapy
  • Participating as one of the primary artists providing the interactive therapy program in Memory Centers and arranging musical experiences to enhance the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of patients
  • Identifying other Resident Artists to participate in the program, and managing their training, participation, and evaluation
  • Following up regularly with MD, RN, and family caretakers regarding music therapy treatment objectives 
  • Writing daily and weekly progress notes on music therapy sessions at each Memory Center facility
  • Maintaining records and collecting data related to the efficacy of the program while honoring patient confidentiality in the management of information
  • Identifying new opportunities to leverage Opera Saratoga’s assets to provide music therapy modalities to other populations in the region 
  • Evaluating Opera Saratoga’s current education programs to identify areas for improvement, program modifications, and new initiatives
  • Serving as the primary point of contact between Opera Saratoga, Memory Center partners, and School partners for scheduling, monitoring, and evaluation of music therapy and educational programs
  • Managing the budgets for both Opera Saratoga’s Music Therapy and Education initiatives
  • Providing regular reports to the Board of Directors 
  • Serving as a spokesperson to the public in articulating and advocating for the vision, mission, and impact of Opera Saratoga
  • Using a lens of equity in establishing and promoting policies and procedures and providing opportunities for all to thrive
  • Inspiring and fostering an environment of anti-racist behaviors among and between co-workers and collaborating organizations


The work environment at Opera Saratoga is cultivated by the leadership of individuals passionate about our mission. The successful candidate will be an advocate for Opera Saratoga. They will have a passion for the power of music as an effective modality of therapy and a meticulous approach to their work. They will have excellent verbal and written communication skills, strong organizational skills, and their work must demonstrate thorough attention to detail. They will also have exceptional interpersonal skills, with the ability to foster meaningful relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or characteristics required for this position:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy, Creative Arts Therapy, or Equivalent Professional Experience
  • Proficient pianist or classically trained singer
  • Experience working with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia 
  • Experience working with children 
  • Excellent computer software skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Effective and courteous interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
  • Creative thinker, willing to go out on a limb to explore new ideas and strategies to reach organizational goals
  • Passionate belief in the power of music to positively impact people’s lives


Starting Salary in the low $50s, with a benefits package including paid holiday, vacation, and sick days; medical, and dental insurance plans; and a retirement plan. 


Send letter and resume specifying verifiable professional accomplishments and references to: Lawrence Edelson, Artistic and General Director at LawrenceEdelson@operasaratoga.org

No calls please. 

 Opera Saratoga is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates for employment are considered without regard to race, color, sex, creed, religion, national origin, sexual preference, age, non-job-related disability, or marital status. 


 All staff, artists, contractors, and other parties directly engaged by Opera Saratoga are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their first day of in-person work.  Fully vaccinated, as defined by the CDC, is two weeks after your final vaccine dose.  Candidates hired for these positions will be required to show proof of vaccination. 


 Opera Saratoga, formerly known as Lake George Opera, began with a production of Die Fledermaus at the Diamond Point Theatre on July 5, 1962, playing to an audience of 230. The Company now calls Saratoga Springs home and performs for more than 25,000 people annually across a seven-county region of upstate New York. Opera Saratoga serves the communities of Saratoga Springs, the Lower Adirondack and New York State Capital areas by providing access to world-class opera through the production of an annual Summer Festival, as well as year-round activities including extensive educational programs, music therapy for those living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia, mentorship of emerging operatic artists, and opportunities for the public to experience opera in both our home theater and non-traditional venues that leverage and embrace the unique cultural, historic, and natural resources of the area. 


Opera Saratoga