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What is a Music Director?

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

Life As a Music Director: What Do They Do?

  • Assign and review staff work in such areas as scoring, arranging, and copying music, and vocal coaching.
  • Collaborate with music librarians to ensure availability of scores.
  • Perform administrative tasks such as applying for grants, developing budgets, negotiating contracts, and designing and printing programs and other promotional materials.
  • Engage services of composers to write scores.
  • Conduct guest soloists in addition to ensemble members.
  • Transcribe musical compositions and melodic lines to adapt them to a particular group, or to create a particular musical style.

What Every Music Director Should Know

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

  • Music Ministries Director
  • Choir Teacher
  • Choir Leader
  • Music Supervisor
  • Liturgical Music Director

Job Demand for Music Directors

In the United States, there were 74,800 jobs for Music Director in 2016. 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. The BLS estimates 7,700 yearly job openings in this field.

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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 Average Salary

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

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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Music Directors 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

What Tools do Music Directors Use?

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 do I Become a Music Director?

Learn what Music Director education requirements there are.

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

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Where Music Directors Are Employed

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Music Directors work in the following industries:

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Music Director may also be interested in:

References:

Image Credit: via Creative Commons CC0

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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