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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Directors in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

For those living in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, there are many career and education opportunities for music directors. Currently, 3,400 people work as music directors in Pennsylvania. This is expected to shrink by 11% to about 3,050 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.

Music directors earn about $15 hourly or $32,110 annually on average in Pennsylvania and about $19 per hour or $41,270 per year on average nationally. Music directors earn more than people working in the category of Musical Entertainment generally in Pennsylvania and more than people in the Musical Entertainment category nationally. Music directors work in a variety of jobs, including: children's choir director, band leader, and music minister.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can study to be a music director, among eighty-three schools of higher education total in the Pittsburgh area. 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 Pittsburgh 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

Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890. Carnegie Mellon University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,646 students and an admission rate of 29%. Carnegie Mellon University has 6 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated fourteen and thirteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology, bachelor's degree.
  • Conducting, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twelve and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Geneva College - Beaver Falls, PA

Geneva College, 3200 College Ave, Beaver Falls, PA 15010-3599. Geneva College is a small college located in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,931 students and an admission rate of 81%. Geneva College has 2 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne University, Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Duquesne University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,106 students and an admission rate of 76%. Duquesne University has 4 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated zero, eleven, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate which graduated twenty-two, five, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Seton Hill University - Greensburg, PA

Seton Hill University, Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601. Seton Hill University is a small university located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,010 students and an admission rate of 63%. Seton Hill University 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.