Summary Report for:
27-2041.01 - Music Directors
Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups, such as orchestras or choirs.
Sample of reported job titles: Artistic Director, Chancel Choir Director, Children's Choir Director, Choir Director, Conductor, Handbell Choir Director, Music Director, Music Minister, Music Ministries Director, Worship Arts Director
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Use gestures to shape the music being played, communicating desired tempo, phrasing, tone, color, pitch, volume, and other performance aspects.
- Direct groups at rehearsals and live or recorded performances to achieve desired effects such as tonal and harmonic balance dynamics, rhythm, and tempo.
- Plan and schedule rehearsals and performances, and arrange details such as locations, accompanists, and instrumentalists.
- Consider such factors as ensemble size and abilities, availability of scores, and the need for musical variety, to select music to be performed.
- Study scores to learn the music in detail, and to develop interpretations.
- Position members within groups to obtain balance among instrumental or vocal sections.
- Confer with clergy to select music for church services.
- Transcribe musical compositions and melodic lines to adapt them to a particular group, or to create a particular musical style.
- Audition and select performers for musical presentations.
- Meet with soloists and concertmasters to discuss and prepare for performances.
- Assign and review staff work in such areas as scoring, arranging, and copying music, and vocal coaching.
- Perform administrative tasks such as applying for grants, developing budgets, negotiating contracts, and designing and printing programs and other promotional materials.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Bells — Handbells
- Conductors batons — Conducting batons
- Desktop computers
- Guitars — Acoustic guitars
- Laser printers — Computer laser printers
- Loudspeakers — Portable loudspeakers
- Musical instrument digital interface MIDI interfaces — Audio interfaces; Musical instrument digital interface MIDI sequencers
- Musical instrument effects unit — Expression pedals; Foot switches; Sustain pedals
- Musical organs — Electronic organs; Pipe organs
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Pen or flash drive — Flash drives
- Personal computers
- Photocopiers — Copy machines
- Portable hard disk storage device — External hard drives
- Synthesizer — Keyboard synthesizers
- Tablet computers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Data base user interface and query software — Music Director Pro
- Desktop publishing software — Microsoft Publisher
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Music or sound editing software — Apple MainStage; Avid Audio Pro Tools; MIDI Maestro
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — MediaShout; Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video creation and editing software — Apple Final Cut Pro
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Philosophy and Theology — Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Sound Localization — The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Detailed Work Activities
- Confer with clients to determine needs.
- Design layout of art or product exhibits, displays, or promotional materials.
- Collaborate with others to determine technical details of productions.
- Promote products, activities, or organizations.
- Collaborate with others to prepare or perform artistic productions.
- Determine presentation subjects or content.
- Select staff, team members, or performers.
- Coordinate logistics for productions or events.
- Create musical compositions, arrangements or scores.
- Coordinate artistic activities.
- Direct fundraising or financing activities.
- Coordinate musical rehearsals or performances.
- Audition or interview potential performers or staff members.
- Study details of musical compositions.
- Negotiate for services.
- Work With Work Group or Team — 82% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 42% responded “Some freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 59% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 58% responded “Very important.”
- Telephone — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 69% responded “High responsibility.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 36% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 54% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 18% responded “Very important results.”
- Letters and Memos — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 30% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Standing — 26% responded “About half the time.”
- Deal With External Customers — 20% responded “Very important.”
- Electronic Mail — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Public Speaking — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: AES
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Music Directors and Composers.
Employment data collected from Music Directors and Composers.
Industry data collected from Music Directors and Composers.
|Median wages (2015)||$23.95 hourly, $49,820 annual|
|Employment (2014)||82,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Slower than average (2% to 4%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||26,400|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Music directors and composers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.