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What You Need to Know About Music Director

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

A Day in the Life of a Music Director

  • Plan and implement fundraising and promotional activities.
  • Conduct guest soloists in addition to ensemble members.
  • Perform administrative tasks such as applying for grants, developing budgets, negotiating contracts, and designing and printing programs and other promotional materials.
  • 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.
  • Consider such factors as ensemble size and abilities, availability of scores, and the need for musical variety, to select music to be performed.

Music Director Required Skills

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

  • Music Manager
  • Chorus Master
  • Orchestra Conductor
  • Choir Leader
  • Band Master

What Kind of Music Director Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 74,800 jobs for Music Director in 2016 (in the United States). 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 salary for Music Directors ranges between about $21,640 and $112,820 a year.

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

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 to Become a Music Director

Are there Music Directors education requirements?

Music Director Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Music Director Work Experience

Where do Music Directors Work?

Music Director Sectors

Music Directors work in the following industries:

Music Director Industries

Similar Careers

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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