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What You Need to Know About Music Director

Music Director Example Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups, such as orchestras or choirs.

Music Director Responsibilities

  • Use gestures to shape the music being played, communicating desired tempo, phrasing, tone, color, pitch, volume, and other performance aspects.
  • 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.
  • Transcribe musical compositions and melodic lines to adapt them to a particular group, or to create a particular musical style.
  • Consider such factors as ensemble size and abilities, availability of scores, and the need for musical variety, to select music to be performed.
  • Audition and select performers for musical presentations.

Qualities of a Music Director

These are the skills Music Directors say are the most useful in their careers:

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

  • Music Director
  • Orchestra Conductor
  • Liturgical Music Director
  • Handbell Choir Director
  • Music Pastor

Job Outlook 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 7,700 job openings in this field each year.

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

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.

Music Director Salary

The typical yearly salary for Music Directors is somewhere between $21,640 and $112,820.

Salary Ranges for Music Directors

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

How much do Music Directors make in different U.S. states?

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Music Directors

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Music Directors:

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

How to Become a Music Director

What education or degrees do I need to become a Music Director?

Music Director Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Music Director?

Music Director Work Experience

Music Directors Sector

Music Director Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Music Directors employed by various industries.

Music Director Industries

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

References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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