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Career and Education Opportunities for Singers in Birmingham, Alabama

There are many career and education opportunities for singers in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently 890 working singers in Alabama; this should grow by 18% to 1,050 working singers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for singers, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.6% over the next eight years. In general, singers sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.

The average wage in the general category of Musical Entertainment jobs is $11 per hour or $30,880 per year in Alabama, and an average of $19 per hour or $40,353 per year nationwide. Earnings for singers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Musical Entertainment in Alabama and better than general Musical Entertainment category earnings nationally. Singers work in a variety of jobs, including: opera singer, baritone, and cantor.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a singer, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. Given that the most common education level for singers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a singer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Singer

In general, singers sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.

Singers memorize musical selections and routines, or sing following printed text or customer instructions. They also sing a cappella or with musical accompaniment. Equally important, singers have to interpret or modify music, applying knowledge of harmony and voice production to individualize presentations and maintain audience interest. They are often called upon to perform before live audiences, or in television, radio, or movie productions. They are expected to seek out and learn new music that is suitable for live performance and/or recording. Finally, singers make or participate in recordings.

Every day, singers are expected to be able to speak clearly. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they note differences between sounds as they change tone and volume.

It is important for singers to practice singing exercises and study with vocal coaches, in order to optimize their voices and skills and to rehearse for upcoming roles. They are often called upon to compose songs and/or develop vocal arrangements. They also observe choral leaders or prompters for cues or directions in vocal presentation. They are sometimes expected to research particular roles to discover out more about a character, or the time and place in which a piece is set. Somewhat less frequently, singers are also expected to learn acting and other skills required for dramatic singing roles.

Singers sometimes are asked to make or participate in recordings. And finally, they sometimes have to learn acting and other skills required for dramatic singing roles.

Like many other jobs, singers must be reliable and have a strong social orientation.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Artistic Director. Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Singer Training

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has 3 areas of study related to Singer. They are:

  • Music, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated four and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Miles College - Fairfield, AL

Miles College, 5500 Myron Massey Blvd, Fairfield, AL 35064. Miles College is a small college located in Fairfield, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,773 students. Miles College has a bachelor's degree program in Music which graduated three students in 2008.

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has a bachelor's degree program in Music which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has 2 areas of study related to Singer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated thirteen and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a bachelor's degree program in Music which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.