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Career and Education Opportunities for Musicians in Grand Rapids, Michigan

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for musicians in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Currently, 6,670 people work as musicians in Michigan. This is expected to grow 12% to about 7,470 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for musicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.6% over the next eight years. In general, musicians play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.

The average wage in the general category of Musical Entertainment jobs is $16 per hour or $40,486 per year in Michigan, and an average of $19 per hour or $40,353 per year nationwide. Compared with people working in the overall category of Musical Entertainment, people working as musicians in Michigan earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Musical Entertainment nationally. People working as musicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: orchestra musician, saxophone player, and percussionist.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Grand Rapids area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as a musician. Given that the most common education level for musicians is some college courses, you can expect to spend a short time training to become a musician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Musician

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

In general, musicians play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.

Musicians practice musical instrument performances, individually or in rehearsal with other musicians, to master individual pieces of music and to maintain and improve skills. They also perform before live audiences. Equally important, musicians have to play musical instruments as soloists, or as members or guest artists of musical groups such as orchestras or bands. They are often called upon to sight-read musical parts during rehearsals. They are expected to specialize in playing a specific family of instruments and/or a particular type of music. Finally, musicians play from memory or by following scores.

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

It is important for musicians to furnish the musical background for live shows such as ballets and cabarets. They are often called upon to transpose music to alternate keys, or to fit individual styles or purposes. They also promote their own or their group's music by participating in media interviews and other efforts. They are sometimes expected to make or participate in recordings in music studios. Somewhat less frequently, musicians are also expected to teach music for specific instruments.

They also have to be able to direct bands or orchestras and play from memory or by following scores. And finally, they sometimes have to perform before live audiences.

Like many other jobs, musicians must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Grand Rapids 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.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • Photographer. Photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products. May develop negatives and produce finished prints.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Musician Training

Grand Valley State University - Allendale, MI

Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Dr, Allendale, MI 49401-9403. Grand Valley State University is a large university located in Allendale, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,932 students and an admission rate of 78%. Grand Valley State University has a bachelor's degree program in Music which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Grand Rapids Community College - Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295. Grand Rapids Community College is a large college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,403 students. Grand Rapids Community College has 3 areas of study related to Musician. They are:

  • Music Performance, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Piano and Organ, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Grace Bible College - Wyoming, MI

Grace Bible College, 1011 Aldon SW, Wyoming, MI 49509. Grace Bible College is a small college located in Wyoming, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 177 students and an admission rate of 65%. Grace Bible College has 2 areas of study related to Musician. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Aquinas College - Grand Rapids, MI

Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1799. Aquinas College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,159 students and an admission rate of 82%. Aquinas College has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance.

Cornerstone University - Grand Rapids, MI

Cornerstone University, 1001 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525-5897. Cornerstone University is a small university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,759 students and an admission rate of 75%. Cornerstone University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated eight students in 2008.

Calvin College - Grand Rapids, MI

Calvin College, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Calvin College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,171 students and an admission rate of 94%. Calvin College has 2 areas of study related to Musician. They are:

  • Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Hope College - Holland, MI

Hope College, 141 E 12th St, Holland, MI 49423. Hope College is a small college located in Holland, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,238 students and an admission rate of 82%. Hope College has 5 areas of study related to Musician. They are:

  • Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree.
  • Piano and Organ, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Jazz/Jazz Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Violin, Viola, Guitar and Other Stringed Instruments, bachelor's degree.

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: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.