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Become A Director Of Music

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Working As A Director Of Music

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Developing and Building Teams
  • Getting Information
  • $82,000

    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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Average Yearly Salary
$82,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$39,000
Min 10%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$174,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Netflix
Highest Paying City
Denver, CO
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
4.5 years
How much does a Director Of Music make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Director Of Music in the United States is $82,534 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $39,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $174,000.

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
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
Music Director The Serving Life Church Ridgefield, NJ May 23, 2016 $77,043
Director of Musical Events Plugin Miami LLC Hallandale Beach, FL Sep 15, 2016 $75,000
Music Director Lion Management Group Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 03, 2015 $73,800
Music Director San Francisco Boys Chorus San Francisco, CA Sep 27, 2016 $72,500
Music Director San Francisco Boys Chorus Oakland, CA Sep 27, 2016 $72,500
Director of Music New York Garden Church New York, NY Oct 14, 2015 $68,702
Music Director Saint Francis Episcopal Church College Station, TX Aug 20, 2016 $57,810
Musical Director Cheek 2 Cheek LLC New York, NY Jan 01, 2016 $57,000
Music Director Holy Rosary Catholic Church New York, NY Oct 26, 2016 $55,016
Christian Music Director Full Gospel New York Church NY Sep 05, 2016 $55,016
Music Director The Love of Christ Presbyterian Church NY Jun 29, 2016 $55,016
Director of Music Missouri Military Academy Mexico, MO Jan 09, 2016 $55,000
Music Director New Community Baptist Church of Houston Houston, TX Jan 15, 2016 $54,475
Music Director Hangaram LLC Suwanee, GA Jan 28, 2016 $53,685
Music Director Se Kwang Baptist Church, Inc. Suwanee, GA Feb 26, 2016 $47,174
Music Director Cranehill Learning Services, Inc. Allen, TX Jun 10, 2015 $46,827
Music Director St. PUIS X Catholic Church Conyers, GA Sep 25, 2015 $46,000
Director of Music Holy Family Catholic Church Mitchell, SD Jun 01, 2016 $45,000
Director of Music Holy Family Catholic Church Mitchell, SD Feb 04, 2016 $45,000
Director of Music and Liturgy Queen of Apostles Congregation Pewaukee, WI Mar 30, 2015 $45,000

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Top Skills for A Director Of Music

  1. Adult Choir
  2. Music Director
  3. Music Program
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Directed Children's/Youth Choir - prepared music to offer in worship monthly as well as joining the adult choir for seasonal presentations.
  • Reevaluated job requirements for future Music Directors.
  • Cataloged and organized music library digitally in order to properly utilize the current resources of the music program
  • Direct and implement a comprehensive church music program including choir, vocal and or instrumental ensembles and drama teams.
  • Communicated goals of music department to station community and national radio charts.

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Top 10 Best States for Directors Of Music

  1. Virginia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Texas
  4. Connecticut
  5. New York
  6. Florida
  7. California
  8. Minnesota
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Georgia
  • (13 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)

Director Of Music Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 9,094 Director Of Music resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Director Of Music Resume

View Resume Examples

Director Of Music Demographics

Gender

Male

57.0%

Female

32.3%

Unknown

10.7%
Ethnicity

White

63.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.1%

French

16.9%

German

9.3%

Italian

7.2%

Portuguese

4.1%

Russian

3.1%

Korean

2.9%

Hebrew

2.5%

Mandarin

2.1%

Chinese

2.1%

Japanese

1.9%

Cantonese

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Tagalog

0.8%

Turkish

0.6%

Arabic

0.6%

Dutch

0.4%

Georgian

0.4%

Filipino

0.4%

Irish

0.4%
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Director Of Music Education

Schools

Berklee College of Music

12.2%

New York University

9.6%

Full Sail University

7.3%

Liberty University

6.9%

University of Phoenix

6.2%

Florida State University

5.9%

University of Southern California

4.4%

University of North Texas

4.1%

Northwestern University

3.9%

Temple University

3.9%

University of Miami

3.8%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.7%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.7%

University of South Florida

3.7%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.7%

Belmont University

3.5%

Illinois State University

3.5%

Grand Canyon University

3.5%

Arizona State University

3.4%

University of Cincinnati

3.2%
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Majors

Music

37.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

13.5%

Business

6.9%

Communication

6.3%

Education

6.0%

Theology

3.3%

Theatre

2.7%

Psychology

2.7%

Music Performance

2.5%

Elementary Education

2.4%

English

2.1%

Educational Leadership

2.0%

Entertainment Business

1.9%

Writing

1.7%

Marketing

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Journalism

1.4%

Management

1.3%

Fine Arts

1.3%

Political Science

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.1%

Masters

24.6%

Other

20.5%

Associate

4.1%

Doctorate

3.6%

Certificate

3.0%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.2%
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