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What is a Music Director?

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

List of Music Director Job Duties

  • Study scores to learn the music in detail, and to develop interpretations.
  • Consider such factors as ensemble size and abilities, availability of scores, and the need for musical variety, to select music to be performed.
  • Confer with clergy to select music for church services.
  • Meet with composers to discuss interpretations of their work.
  • Conduct guest soloists in addition to ensemble members.
  • Coordinate and organize tours, or hire touring companies to arrange concert dates, venues, accommodations, and transportation for longer tours.

Things a Music Director Should Know How to Do

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

Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.

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.

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

  • Music Pastor
  • Choir Leader
  • Orchestra Conductor
  • Choir Director
  • Music Minister

Is There Job Demand for Music Directors?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 74,800 jobs in the United States for Music Directors and Composers.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.7% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,300 new jobs for Music Directors by 2026. There will be an estimated 7,700 positions for Music Director per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Music Directors in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Music Directors and Composers are Florida, New York, and Texas.

Watch out if you plan on working in Wisconsin, Vermont, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Music Director Average Salary

The salary for Music Directors and Composers ranges between about $21,640 and $112,820 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $49,630.

Salary Ranges for Music Directors

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Minnesota

$88,570

Connecticut

$77,550

District of Columbia

$77,220

Alabama

$75,050

Georgia

$73,470

New Jersey

$73,320

Florida

$72,420

Washington

$71,980

Wisconsin

$71,350

Indiana

$66,460

New York

$66,120

California

$64,600

Rhode Island

$64,200

Texas

$61,210

Missouri

$60,590

Maryland

$58,570

Arizona

$57,810

Utah

$57,780

Massachusetts

$56,200

Vermont

$56,130

Kansas

$55,290

South Carolina

$53,700

Louisiana

$53,600

Mississippi

$53,000

Iowa

$52,430

Hawaii

$51,230

Michigan

$51,180

Colorado

$50,800

Kentucky

$49,610

North Carolina

$48,920

New Mexico

$48,440

Nebraska

$46,650

Pennsylvania

$46,010

Oregon

$46,000

Ohio

$44,920

Illinois

$40,220

Oklahoma

$38,530

Montana

$29,100

What Tools 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 PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office

How to Become a Music Director

What education is needed to be a Music Director?

Music Director Degree Level

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

Music Director Work Experience

Where Music Directors Are Employed

Music Director Sectors

Those thinking about becoming Music Directors might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Music Composers and Arrangers
  • Musicians, Instrumental

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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