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Music Director and Composer

Minimum Education Required for this Career

Basic Certificate
Advanced Certificate
Associate's Degree
4+ year Degree
4+ Year Degree
$23,355

City Colleges Program Options

Music Business

Music Technology

Nature of the Work

Music directors and composers typically:

  • 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.
  • Score compositions so that they are consistent with instrumental and vocal capabilities such as ranges and keys, using knowledge of music theory.
  • Write musical scores for orchestras, bands, choral groups, or individual instrumentalists or vocalists, using knowledge of music theory and of instrumental and vocal capabilities.
  • Confer with producers and directors to define the nature and placement of film or television music.

Click here to learn more about 27-2041 Music Directors and Composers.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Future Trends

Career Pathways

Success at City Colleges

Career Disclaimer

Wage estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics and the American Community Survey. Wage estimates are also affected by county-level Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) earnings by industry. The Nature of the Work description is from O*Net Online, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.