Music Conducting

A career in musical conducting lets you direct music and enjoy musical sounds at the same time. Read further to learn more about this career and typical job duties. Get information about the job outlook and earning potential. See what education and training is required for employment.

Is Music Conducting for Me?

Career Description

As a music conductor, also known as music director, you would organize and lead the performances of musical ensembles, such as concert bands, choirs and orchestras. As a leader of such performance groups, you would also be in charge of selecting musicians and musical compositions for practices and presentations. You would guide performers by setting the tempo of a musical piece, providing cues and improving the overall sound of the performance through artistic direction.

Music conducting techniques vary widely and may be choreographed or unplanned. You must have a strong command of musical performance basics, including articulation, tempo and dynamics.

Job Options

As a professional in this field, you might attain positions with various titles. You could be employed as a music director, music conductor or music minister. You might be an artistic director, chancel choir director, children's choir director, handbell choir director, music ministries director or worship director.

Employment Information

Employment of music directors and composers was projected to grow five percent from 2012-2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is considered slower than average growth. Strong competition for employment was predicted. Per the BLS, music directors and composers earned an average yearly income of $53,420 as of May 2013 (www.bls.gov).

How Do I Work in Music Conducting?

Education

A bachelor's degree in music or a related discipline is typically required to direct and conduct music. Conducting degree programs are offered at the graduate level through various universities. You can earn a Master of Music degree or a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. You can concentrate on different areas, such as choral, orchestral or winds. Coursework for a music conducting degree includes history of music, exploration of music, music theories, innovative conducting, bibliography in music and presentation techniques. You'll need to participate in concerts as part of the program.

Most educational institutions require a preliminary audition or regular audition to enter a graduate program in music conducting. For example, some universities may require you to submit an initial recording of you performing. This could lead to an invitation for a formal audition. Contenders are chosen from there.

Related Articles for Music Conducting

View More Articles

Related Videos

  • How Do I Become an Elementary Music Teacher? - Video

    Are you interested in teaching music to children? Elementary music teachers enjoy rewarding careers. These educators have the opportunity to build music skills in students while playing an important role in their healthy social and emotional development. Learn more about education programs that can prepare you to become an elementary music teacher.
  • Music Production Careers - Video

    Music production is an excellent career field for students who have a passion for music. Jobs are available for music producers, recording engineers, production assistants and studio managers.
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The Art Institutes

    The Art Institutes responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Art Institutes:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Arlington
  • Winthrop University

    Winthrop University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Winthrop University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Thomas Edison State University

    Thomas Edison State University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Thomas Edison State University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Michigan State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: East Lansing
  • University of Miami

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Coral Gables
  • Northwestern University

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Evanston