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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Directors in Detroit, Michigan

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for music directors in the Detroit, Michigan area. There are currently 1,410 working music directors in Michigan; this should grow by 11% to about 1,570 working music directors in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for music directors are expected to grow by about 10.0%. Music directors generally direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.

Income for music directors is about $20 per hour or $42,530 yearly on average in Michigan. Nationally, their income is about $19 hourly or $41,270 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Musical Entertainment, people working as music directors in Michigan earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Musical Entertainment nationally. Music directors work in a variety of jobs, including: choirmaster, band master, and handbell choir director.

There are ten schools within twenty-five miles of Detroit where you can study to be a music director, among seventy-three schools of higher education total in the Detroit area. Music directors usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a music director if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Music Director

Music Director video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, music directors direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.

Music directors direct groups at rehearsals and live or recorded performances in order to produce desired effects such as tonal and harmonic balance dynamics and tempo. They also consider such factors as ensemble size and abilities, availability of scores, and the need for musical variety, so as to decide on music to be performed. Equally important, music directors have to position members within groups to obtain balance among instrumental or vocal sections. They are often called upon to formulate and schedule rehearsals and performances, and arrange details such as locations and instrumentalists. They are expected to audition and decide on performers for musical presentations. Finally, music directors talk with clergy to decide on music for church services.

Every day, music directors are expected to be able to note differences between sounds as they change tone and volume. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for music directors to meet with soloists and concertmasters to consider and get ready for performances. They are often called upon to assign and review staff work in such areas as scoring and copying music, and vocal coaching. They also perform administrative tasks such as applying for grants and designing and printing programs and other promotional materials. They are sometimes expected to transcribe musical compositions and melodic lines to adapt them to a particular group, or to generate a particular musical style. Somewhat less frequently, music directors are also expected to use gestures to shape the music being played, communicating desired tempo and other performance aspects.

They also have to be able to study scores to learn the music in detail, and to optimize interpretations And finally, they sometimes have to audition and decide on performers for musical presentations.

Like many other jobs, music directors must be able to take change and lead and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Detroit 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.
  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • 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.
  • Interpreter. Translate or interpret written, oral, or sign language text into another language for others.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Music Director Training

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, , Ann Arbor, MI 48109. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is a large university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 40,618 students and an admission rate of 42%. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor has 4 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated eighty-five, thirty-nine, and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated eight, three, and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Conducting, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

Henry Ford Community College - Dearborn, MI

Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128-1495. Henry Ford Community College is a large college located in Dearborn, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,571 students. Henry Ford Community College has an associate's degree program in Music, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.

Wayne State University - Detroit, MI

Wayne State University, 656 West Kirby Street, Detroit, MI 48202. Wayne State University is a large university located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,025 students and an admission rate of 79%. Wayne State University has a post-master's certificate program in Music Performance which graduated three students in 2008.

Eastern Michigan University - Ypsilanti, MI

Eastern Michigan University, , Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Eastern Michigan University is a large university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,137 students and an admission rate of 75%. Eastern Michigan University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Music Performance which graduated eight and eight students respectively in 2008.

Sacred Heart Major Seminary - Detroit, MI

Sacred Heart Major Seminary, 2701 Chicago Blvd, Detroit, MI 48206-1799. Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a small school located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 434 students and an admission rate of 100%. Sacred Heart Major Seminary has a less than one year program in Religious/Sacred Music.

Washtenaw Community College - Ann Arbor, MI

Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-4800. Washtenaw Community College is a large college located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,906 students. Washtenaw Community College has a less than one year program in Music, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills, MI

Oakland Community College, 2480 Opdyke Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304-2266. Oakland Community College is a large college located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,957 students. Oakland Community College has an associate's degree program in Music Theory and Composition which graduated one student in 2008.

Oakland University - Rochester Hills, MI

Oakland University, , Rochester Hills, MI 48309-4401. Oakland University is a large university located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 18,169 students and an admission rate of 78%. Oakland University has 4 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated ten and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.
  • Conducting, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.

Concordia University-Ann Arbor - Ann Arbor, MI

Concordia University-Ann Arbor, 4090 Geddes Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Concordia University-Ann Arbor is a small university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 872 students and an admission rate of 63%. Concordia University-Ann Arbor has a bachelor's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music.

Marygrove College - Detroit, MI

Marygrove College, 8425 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221-2599. Marygrove College is a small college located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,879 students and an admission rate of 43%. Marygrove College has a one to two year program in Religious/Sacred Music.

CERTIFICATIONS

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

LOCATION INFORMATION: Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan photo by Durova

Detroit is located in Wayne County, Michigan. It has a population of over 912,062, which has shrunk by 4.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Detroit, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Detroit are priced at $108,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-five new homes were built in Detroit, down from one hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Detroit are health care, educational services, and transportation equipment. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.0% of Detroit residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Detroit is 27.0%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Detroit residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.7%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Detroit is home to the Memorial Park Marina and the Detroit Golf Club as well as Chene Park and Mallett Playground. Visitors to Detroit can choose from Corktown Inn, Clark's Motel and Days Inn of Downtown Detroit for temporary stays in the area.