What Do Music Directors and Composers Do?
Various musical groups are in need of music directors and composers to organize and conduct performances that involve the use of musical instruments and vocal talents. Bands, orchestras and even glee clubs are excellent examples of this. In addition, these professionals also serve as choral directors, arrangers and orchestrators. There is expected to be a 5% growth for music directors across the country, which will result in about 2,440 openings per year. This growth is primarily expected to take place in educational institutions and the entertainment industry. This includes everything from high schools to musicals on Broadway.
Music Directors and Composers Skills and Abilities
In order to carry out your duties as a music director or composer, you’ll need to have excellent reading and comprehension skills, an advanced knowledge of fine arts and strong customer service skills. Time management is important in order to complete projects punctually, while critical thinking aids in efficiently arranging music so that it conveys the story you’re trying to tell. Understanding how to use computers and electronics is also key, as many software programs are used to create and record music.
Music Directors and Composers Duties
This occupation requires you to successfully communicate with those who commission you to create a piece of music, as well as the musicians who play the instruments and sing the lyrics of the song you’re arranging. You’ll need to be able to interact with computers to put the final touches on your projects, write music for an advertisement and provide copies of the music to each performer. A few additional tasks that are common for music directors and composers to complete include: Guiding musicians during rehearsals and performancesWriting musical scores for orchestras and bandsStudying different musical types and scores from filmsCollaborating with other artists and composersArranging music composed by othersUsing computers and synthesizers to arrange music
Music Directors and Composers Tools and Technology
As a music director or composer, you’ll need a desktop computer that has music and sound editing software installed on it, as well as recorders that can capture your piece as it is being played. Essential tools for the job include instruments like guitars, hand bells and organs. If you’re leading a live orchestra, you won’t want to forget your conductor’s baton.
Education and Training for Music Directors and Composers
You’ll need a bachelor’s degree and potentially as many as five years of work experience to land a position as a composer. While typically there is no on-the-job training required once in the profession, there are often additional instructional programs to sign up for that will help further your career, including music technology, musical theater and music management. If you’d like to direct a choir, then consider taking a class on religious/sacred music.
Music Directors and Composers Salary
The salary for a position as a music director and composer has a range that depends on your previous work experience, your specific area of interest and the part of the country where you plan on gaining employment. The lowest 10% of musicians make about $21,600 each calendar year while the top 10% earn closer to $91,900 a year. On average, someone in this line of work can expect to make around $48,200 per year.
Music Directors and Composers Jobs by Geography
When it comes to the states with the highest concentration for this career, you’ll find Tennessee, Utah, and Texas come out on top. If you’re looking for the states where wages come out on the higher end of the spectrum, then you’ll want to search Nevada, Wyoming and Massachusetts for a job. Interestingly enough Georgia, Rhode Island and Illinois don’t fall far behind. Jobs in the music industry are competitive, which means you’ll want to start your search in the states with the highest concentration and then expand to one of the states that offers the best wages.