Music Direction Courses

Experienced musicians who love the thrill of performing in front of live audiences and have a knack for leadership may find classes in music direction helpful for career advancement. Read on to learn about music direction classes, where and how they're offered and what they cover. Schools offering Music Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Where Can I Find Music Directing Courses?

Music directing courses, also called conducting courses, are found at the undergraduate and graduate level. Associate's degree programs in conducting don't exist, but you could pursue a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts in the field. Bachelor's degree programs are offered online as well as on traditional campuses.

At the master's level, you could enroll in Master of Music (M.M.) or Master of Music Education (MME) degree programs with a concentration in conducting; while M.M. programs usually prepare you to work as a conductor, MME programs prepare you to work as a music teacher or music therapist. Alternatively, you could pursue doctoral programs, including Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Music Arts degree programs.

What Do Courses Entail?

Courses in conducting teach you how to lead groups of musicians in live performances. You could learn about baton techniques, leadership and non-verbal communication. Other areas of study could include conducting terminology, score reading and transpositions. In addition to learning how to conduct, you might also focus your attention on music theory, meter, tempo and music styles. Other course elements might involve analyzing musical scores, conducting a class ensemble, reviewing videos of conductors, writing papers and completing outside reading assignments. In addition to texts, you may be required to purchase a conducting baton.

How Can I Use These Classes to Advance My Career?

Taking classes in music conducting could prepare you to apply for music directing or conducting jobs. In addition to directing musical performances, musical directors may be in charge of planning performances, managing musicians and handling basic businesses tasks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for conductors is expected to increase 10% between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). Growth in this field will likely be driven by job openings in religious organizations, and competition for open positions will probably be strong, reports the BLS.

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