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Become A Director Of Music

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Working As A Director Of Music

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $38,985

    Average Salary

What Does A Director Of Music Do

Music directors, also called conductors, lead orchestras and other musical groups during performances and recording sessions. Composers write and arrange original music in a variety of musical styles.

Duties

Music directors typically do the following:

  • Select musical arrangements and compositions to be performed for live audiences or recordings
  • Prepare for performances by reviewing and interpreting musical scores
  • Direct rehearsals to prepare for performances and recordings
  • Choose guest performers and soloists
  • Audition new performers or assist section leaders with auditions
  • Practice conducting to improve their technique
  • Meet with potential donors and attend fundraisers

Music directors lead orchestras, choirs, and other musical groups. They ensure that the musicians play with one coherent sound, balancing the melody, timing, rhythm, and volume. They also give feedback to musicians and section leaders so that they can achieve the sound and style they want for the piece.

Music directors may work with a variety of orchestras and musical groups, including church choirs, youth orchestras, and high school or college bands, choirs, or orchestras. Some work with orchestras that accompany dance and opera companies.

Composers typically do the following:

  • Write original music that orchestras, bands, and other musical groups perform
  • Arrange existing music into new compositions
  • Write lyrics for music or work with a lyricist
  • Meet with companies, orchestras, or other musical groups that are interested in commissioning a piece of music
  • Study and listen to music of various styles for inspiration
  • Work with musicians to record their music

Composers write music for a variety of musical groups and users. Some work in a particular style of music, such as classical or jazz. They also may write for musicals, operas, or other types of theatrical productions.

Some composers write scores for movies or television; others write jingles for commercials. Many songwriters focus on composing music for audiences of popular music.

Some composers use instruments to help them as they write music. Others use software that allows them to hear a piece without musicians.

Some music directors and composers give private music lessons to children and adults. Others work as music teachers in elementary, middle, or high schools. For more information, see the profiles on kindergarten and elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers.

For more information about careers in music, see the profile on musicians and singers.

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How To Become A Director Of Music

Educational and training requirements for music directors and composers vary, although most positions require related work experience. A conductor for a symphony orchestra typically needs a master’s degree; a choir director may need a bachelor’s degree. There are no formal educational requirements for those interested in writing popular music.

Education

Employers generally prefer candidates with a master’s degree in music theory, music composition, or conducting for positions as a conductor or classical composer.

Applicants to postsecondary programs in music typically are required to submit recordings, audition in person, or both. These programs teach students about music history and styles, as well as educate them in composing and conducting techniques. Information on degree programs is available from the National Association of Schools of Music.

A bachelor’s degree typically is required for those who want to work as a choir director.

There are no specific educational requirements for those interested in writing popular music. These composers usually find employment by submitting recordings of their compositions to bands, singers, record companies, and movie studios. Composers may promote themselves through personal websites, social media, or online video or audio of their musical work.

Important Qualities

Discipline. Talent is not enough for most music directors and composers to find employment in this field. They must constantly practice and seek to improve their technique and style.

Interpersonal skills. Music directors and composers need to work with agents, musicians, and recording studios. Being friendly, respectful, and open to criticism as well as praise, while enjoying being with others, can help music directors and composers work well with a variety of people.

Leadership. Music directors and composers must guide musicians and singers by preparing musical arrangements and helping them achieve the best possible sound.

Musical talent. To become a music director or composer, one must have musical talent.

Perseverance. Music directors and composers need determination and perseverance to continue submitting their compositions after receiving rejections. Also, reviewing auditions can be frustrating because it may take many different auditions to find the best musicians.

Promotional skills. Music directors and composers need to promote their performances through local communities, word of mouth, and social media platforms. Good self-promotional skills are helpful in building a fan base and getting more work opportunities.

Training

Music directors and composers typically begin their musical training at a young age by learning to play an instrument or singing, and perhaps performing as a musician or singer. Music directors and composers who are interested in classical music may seek additional training through music camps and fellowships. These programs provide participants with classes, lessons, and performance opportunities.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Music directors and composers often work as musicians or singers in a group, a choir, or an orchestra before they take on a leadership role. They use this time to master their instrument and gain an understanding of how the group functions.

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25,216 Director Of Music jobs

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
Director of Development, Bienen School of Music

$41,740 Estimated

First Christian Church
Greenville, SC
Minister of music

$41,500 Estimated

Bonsack United Methodist Church
Roanoke, VA
Director of Music Ministry

$43,235 Estimated

Entercom Communications
Baltimore, MD
Director of Programming / Music

$27,500 Estimated

Fairfield University
Fairfield, CT
Director of Music and Liturgy

$31,856 Estimated

Church of Universal Fellowship
Orono, ME
Director of Choral Music

$38,985 Estimated

Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT
Assistant Professor, Department of Music

$57,448 Estimated

Phoenix Yamaha Music School
Phoenix, AZ
Music Director

$22,042 Estimated

Oakland University
Rochester, MI
Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

$60,989 Estimated

Church of Universal Fellowship
Orono, ME
Director of Choral Music

$38,985 Estimated

Mount Zion United Methodist Church
Mechanicsville, MD
Director of Music Ministry

$32,220 Estimated

Church of Universal Fellowship
Orono, ME
Director of Choral Music

$38,985 Estimated

Entercom
Baltimore, MD
Director of Programming / Music

$27,500 Estimated

First Trinity Lutheran Church
Tonawanda, NY
Director of Music Ministries

$38,985 Estimated

University of Colorado
Boulder, CO
Professor of Musicology / Director of the American Music Research Center

$26,879 Estimated

University of Colorado
Boulder, CO
Professor of Musicology / Director of the American Music Research Cente

$26,879 Estimated

First United Methodist Church
Bonifay, FL
Music Director

$40,976 Estimated

Bethel Lutheran Church
Hudson, WI
Director of Worship, Music and Arts

$29,269 Estimated

Iowa Employer
Pleasantville, IA
Assistant Professor-Instrumental Music

$58,071 Estimated

Drake University
Des Moines, IA
Assistant Professor of Music Education - 999962

$58,071 Estimated

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Real Director Of Music Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Church Music Director New York Dong Yang First Church NY Dec 14, 2015 $108,680
Music Director Brazos Valley Chorale Bryan, TX Oct 17, 2016 $104,350
Director of Worship and Music Ministry The Church at The Falls-The Falls Church Falls Church, VA Sep 10, 2015 $95,200
Director of Worship and Music Ministry The Church at The Falls-The Falls Church Falls Church, VA Sep 17, 2015 $95,200
Music Director Quill & Quaver Associates, LLC New York, NY Jun 15, 2015 $93,915
Director of Music New York Preparatory School New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $86,520
Music Director United Television Broadcasting Systems, Inc. Los Angeles, CA May 01, 2015 $84,947
Religious Music Director Living Water Presbyterian Church of Nj Fairview, NJ Apr 13, 2016 $84,711
Church Music Director The Arcola Korean United Methodist Church Paramus, NJ Sep 30, 2015 $84,469
Music Director Ischool of Music & Art Port Washington, NY Feb 02, 2015 $77,626
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Top Skills for A Director Of Music

MusicDirectorMusicProgramMusicMinistryAdultChoirInstrumentalEnsemblesMusicDepartmentMusicSelectionMusicCurriculumSpecialEventsMusicLibraryNewMusicMusicTheoryGuitarAudioSpecialServicesSuperviseSpecialMusicChurchServicesGeneralMusicHandbellChoir

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Top Director Of Music Skills

  1. Music Director
  2. Music Program
  3. Music Ministry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Vacation Bible School Music Director.
  • Directed/Supervised large music program including five choirs (children - adult), string and wind ensembles, instrumentalists, soloists.
  • Worked closely with the Pastor in the planning and the development of the Music Ministry.
  • Direct adult choir, direct children's choir, play organ, play piano.
  • Teach and Conduct Vocal Choir, Bell Choir and Instrumental Ensembles for weekly worship services and holiday services.

Top Director Of Music Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Director Of Music

  1. Word Up & Reality-Youth Ministries
  2. St. Mary's Church
  3. Minister of Music
  4. Christ Church Presbyterian
  5. First United Methodist Church
  6. Scad
  7. College Avenue Baptist Church
  8. Magothy United Methodist Church
  9. Walworth Barbour American International School Israel Tel Aviv, Israel
  10. Community Lutheran Church
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Director Of Music Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Music Video Director by Emil N (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a Music Producer by Eric L (Full Version)

High School Band Teacher