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Music Director

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What Do Music Director Do?

Career Description Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups, such as orchestras or choirs.

Life As a Music Director

  • Plan and schedule rehearsals and performances, and arrange details such as locations, accompanists, and instrumentalists.
  • Confer with clergy to select music for church services.
  • Meet with composers to discuss interpretations of their work.
  • Direct groups at rehearsals and live or recorded performances to achieve desired effects such as tonal and harmonic balance dynamics, rhythm, and tempo.
  • Meet with soloists and concertmasters to discuss and prepare for performances.
  • Study scores to learn the music in detail, and to develop interpretations.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Music Director?

Music Directors state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Types of Music Director Jobs

  • Chorister
  • Band Leader
  • Music Pastor
  • Handbell Choir Director
  • Chorus Master

Is There Going to be Demand for Music Directors?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 74,800 jobs in the United States for Music Director. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,300 new jobs for Music Director by 2026. There will be an estimated 7,700 positions for Music Director per year.


The states with the most job growth for Music Director are Colorado, Utah, and North Carolina. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Kansas, or Wisconsin. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Music Directors Make A Lot Of Money?

Music Directors make between $21,640 and $112,820 a year.


Music Directors who work in Minnesota, Georgia, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.

How much do Music Directors make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $75,050
Arizona $57,810
California $64,600
Colorado $50,800
Connecticut $77,550
District of Columbia $77,220
Florida $72,420
Georgia $73,470
Hawaii $51,230
Illinois $40,220
Indiana $66,460
Iowa $52,430
Kansas $55,290
Kentucky $49,610
Louisiana $53,600
Maryland $58,570
Massachusetts $56,200
Michigan $51,180
Minnesota $88,570
Mississippi $53,000
Missouri $60,590
Montana $29,100
Nebraska $46,650
New Jersey $73,320
New Mexico $48,440
New York $66,120
North Carolina $48,920
Ohio $44,920
Oklahoma $38,530
Oregon $46,000
Pennsylvania $46,010
Rhode Island $64,200
South Carolina $53,700
Texas $61,210
Utah $57,780
Vermont $56,130
Washington $71,980
Wisconsin $71,350

What Tools & Technology do Music Directors Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Music Directors may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Avid Audio Pro Tools

How do I Become a Music Director?

Education needed to be a Music Director:


What work experience do I need to become a Music Director?


Who Employs Music Directors?


Below are examples of industries where Music Directors work:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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