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Music Director

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What Do Music Director Do?

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

Music Director Responsibilities

  • Coordinate and organize tours, or hire touring companies to arrange concert dates, venues, accommodations, and transportation for longer tours.
  • Transcribe musical compositions and melodic lines to adapt them to a particular group, or to create a particular musical style.
  • Meet with soloists and concertmasters to discuss and prepare for performances.
  • Consider such factors as ensemble size and abilities, availability of scores, and the need for musical variety, to select music to be performed.
  • Engage services of composers to write scores.
  • Use gestures to shape the music being played, communicating desired tempo, phrasing, tone, color, pitch, volume, and other performance aspects.

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.

  • Orchestra Director
  • Music Supervisor
  • Band Director
  • Choral Director
  • Choir Director

Are There Job Opportunities 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.

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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.

What is the Average Salary of a Music Director

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

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

Becoming a Music Director

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

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

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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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