Music directors lead musical groups such as orchestras, choirs and bands. They’re responsible for ensuring the precision and quality of the overall sound by checking effects like melody, timing, rhythm and volume.
Music directors are in charge of selecting musical compositions for performances or recordings, selecting performers and directing rehearsals for upcoming shows.
- Lead and direct musical groups such as orchestras, choirs and bands
- Review and interpret musical scores
- Ensure the quality of melody, timing, rhythm and volume
- Select musical compositions for performances or recordings
- Audition and choose performers, musicians or singers
- Direct rehearsals for upcoming performances or recordings
- Study musical scores to develop skills and knowledge
- Attend events such as fundraisers
- Teach music to children and adults in private lessons
Skills and qualities
Music directors have the opportunity to work for a prestigious choir, orchestra or theatre production. With the right qualifications and experience, they may even advance to direct music for movies or television shows.
Some evenings and weekends
Music directors typically work in concert halls, theatres and recording studios. They may also spend a lot of time travelling, especially during periods of performances.
Music directors almost always work within a team, and this can be with both adults and children. These professionals must be accustomed to loud surroundings and distracting noise levels, particularly during rehearsals.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Qualifications and training
Bachelor of Music degree
Education requirements vary depending on the particular role. An aspiring choir director, for example, will need a Bachelor of Music (BM) degree, while those who want to become conductors of symphony orchestras will typically need to obtain a master’s degree in music theory, music composition or conducting.
Most music directors would have gained years of experience practising singing or playing an instrument. Previous experience working as a musician or singer in a group, choir or orchestra will also be beneficial.
Those who are interested in directing classical music can gain more training through music camps and fellowships.
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022