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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Directors in Kansas City, Missouri

If you want to be a music director, the Kansas City, Missouri area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 1,230 people work as music directors in Missouri. This is expected to grow 9% to about 1,340 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for music directors are expected to grow by about 10.0%. In general, music directors direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.

The income of a music director is about $27 per hour or $56,800 annually on average in Missouri. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $19 hourly or $41,270 annually on average. Incomes for music directors are not quite as good as in the overall category of Musical Entertainment in Missouri, and better than the overall Musical Entertainment category nationally. Jobs in this field include: orchestra conductor, choral director, and music instructor.

The Kansas City area is home to seventy-one schools of higher education, including seven within twenty-five miles of Kansas City where you can get a degree as a music director. The most common level of education for music directors is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Kansas City 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

MidAmerica Nazarene University - Olathe, KS

MidAmerica Nazarene University, 2030 E College Way, Olathe, KS 66062-1899. MidAmerica Nazarene University is a small university located in Olathe, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,762 students and an admission rate of 73%. MidAmerica Nazarene University has 2 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree.

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary - Kansas City, MO

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 5001 N. Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, MO 64118-4697. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is a small school located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 668 students and an admission rate of 40%. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has an associate's degree and a master's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music.

University of Missouri-Kansas City - Kansas City, MO

University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5100 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110. University of Missouri-Kansas City is a large university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,481 students and an admission rate of 73%. University of Missouri-Kansas City has 3 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree which graduated seventeen, twenty, two, and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated four and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Conducting, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.

Park University - Parkville, MO

Park University, 8700 NW River Park Dr, Parkville, MO 64152-3795. Park University is a large university located in Parkville, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,457 students and an admission rate of 78%. Park University has a bachelor's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Music Performance which graduated one and six students respectively in 2008.

William Jewell College - Liberty, MO

William Jewell College, 500 College Hill, Liberty, MO 64068-1896. William Jewell College is a small college located in Liberty, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,210 students and an admission rate of 63%. William Jewell College has 3 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.

Avila University - Kansas City, MO

Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145-1698. Avila University is a small university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,939 students and an admission rate of 50%. Avila University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated one student in 2008.

Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary - Kansas City, MO

Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary, 15800 Calvary Road, Kansas City, MO 64147-1341. Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary is a small college located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 300 students and an admission rate of 79%. Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary has 2 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student 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: Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri photo by Dillard421

Kansas City is situated in Jackson County, Missouri. It has a population of over 451,572, which has grown by 2.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Kansas City, 78, is well below the national average.

The top three industries for women in Kansas City are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 25.7% of Kansas City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Kansas City is 11.3%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Kansas City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 51.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Glenwood Church, Antioch Church and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are among the churches located in Kansas City. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Kansas City is home to the Ozanam Boys Home and the Watts Mill Center as well as Central Park and West Terrace Park. Shopping malls in the area include Antioch Shopping Center, Wornall Village Shopping Center and Winwood Shopping Center. Visitors to Kansas City can choose from Budget Host Inn, Days Inn and Embassy Suites Hotel Kansas City Internatinl Arprt for temporary stays in the area.