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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Directors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Music director career and educational opportunities abound in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There are currently 3,400 working music directors in Pennsylvania; this should shrink by 11% to 3,050 working music directors in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for music directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.0% over the next eight years. In general, music directors direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.

A person working as a music director can expect to earn about $15 hourly or $32,110 annually on average in Pennsylvania and about $19 per hour or $41,270 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Musical Entertainment, people working as music directors in Pennsylvania 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: band leader, choirmaster, and handbell choir director.

There are 156 schools of higher education in the Philadelphia area, including sixteen within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can get a degree to start your career as a music director. Given that the most common education level 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 Philadelphia 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

The University of the Arts - Philadelphia, PA

The University of the Arts, 320 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102-4901. The University of the Arts is a small university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,405 students and an admission rate of 45%. The University of the Arts has 2 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, two to four year, bachelor's degree, and master's degree which graduated one, forty-five, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Gratz College - Melrose Park, PA

Gratz College, 7605 Old York Rd, Melrose Park, PA 19027-3010. Gratz College is a small college located in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 443 students. Gratz College has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music which graduated four and zero students respectively in 2008.

Eastern University - Saint Davids, PA

Eastern University, 1300 Eagle Rd, Saint Davids, PA 19087-3696. Eastern University is a small university located in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,907 students and an admission rate of 62%. Eastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Music, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Community College of Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA

Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130-3991. Community College of Philadelphia is a large college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,293 students. Community College of Philadelphia has an associate's degree program in Music Performance which graduated four students in 2008.

Temple University - Philadelphia, PA

Temple University, 1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096. Temple University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,343 students and an admission rate of 61%. Temple University 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 seventeen, one, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated five, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Conducting, master's degree.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated six, one, and one students respectively in 2008.

Rider University - Lawrenceville, NJ

Rider University, 2083 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-3099. Rider University is a medium sized university located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,011 students and an admission rate of 74%. Rider University has 4 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Conducting, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty-one and ten students respectively in 2008.

Academy of Vocal Arts - Philadelphia, PA

Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19103-6685. Academy of Vocal Arts is a small school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 27 students. Academy of Vocal Arts has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Music Performance which graduated five students in 2008.

Rowan University - Glassboro, NJ

Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 08028. Rowan University is a large university located in Glassboro, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,271 students and an admission rate of 57%. Rowan University has 2 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated nine and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College - Wyncote, PA

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, 1299 Church Rd, Wyncote, PA 19095-1898. Reconstructionist Rabbinical College is a small college located in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 59 students. Reconstructionist Rabbinical College has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Religious/Sacred Music which graduated one student in 2008.

Immaculata University - Immaculata, PA

Immaculata University, 1145 King Rd, Immaculata, PA 19345-0702. Immaculata University is a small university located in Immaculata, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,855 students and an admission rate of 80%. Immaculata University has an associate's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music.

The Curtis Institute of Music - Philadelphia, PA

The Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. The Curtis Institute of Music is a small school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 162 students. The Curtis Institute of Music has 2 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, two to four year, bachelor's degree, and master's degree which graduated eleven, twenty-one, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Drexel University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,754 students and an admission rate of 68%. Drexel University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

University of Delaware - Newark, DE

University of Delaware, , Newark, DE 19716. University of Delaware is a large university located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,500 students and an admission rate of 58%. University of Delaware has 3 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania - West Chester, PA

West Chester University of Pennsylvania, University Avenue and High Street, West Chester, PA 19383. West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a large university located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,619 students and an admission rate of 47%. West Chester University of Pennsylvania has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Music Performance which graduated one, four, and nine students respectively in 2008.

Valley Forge Christian College - Phoenixville, PA

Valley Forge Christian College, 1401 Charlestown Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460. Valley Forge Christian College is a small college located in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,143 students. Valley Forge Christian College has 2 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Swarthmore College - Swarthmore, PA

Swarthmore College, 500 College Ave, Swarthmore, PA 19081. Swarthmore College is a small college located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,490 students and an admission rate of 16%. Swarthmore College has a bachelor's degree program in Musicology and Ethnomusicology.

CERTIFICATIONS

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

LOCATION INFORMATION: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.