Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Music Directors in Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Music directors can find many career and educational opportunities in the Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee area. There are currently 1,400 working music directors in Tennessee; this should grow 9% to about 1,520 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. Music directors generally direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.

The average wage in the general category of Musical Entertainment jobs is $17 per hour or $49,700 per year in Tennessee, and an average of $19 per hour or $40,353 per year nationwide. Music directors work in a variety of jobs, including: music instructor, chancel choir director, and handbell choir director.

There are fifty schools of higher education in the Nashville-Davidson area, including nine within twenty-five miles of Nashville-Davidson 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 training to become 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 Nashville-Davidson 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.
  • 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

Nashville State Technical Community College - Nashville, TN

Nashville State Technical Community College, 120 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37209-4515. Nashville State Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 7,716 students and an admission rate of 71%. Nashville State Technical Community College has a one to two year program in Music, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Trevecca Nazarene University - Nashville, TN

Trevecca Nazarene University, 333 Murfreesboro Rd, Nashville, TN 37210. Trevecca Nazarene University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,366 students and an admission rate of 68%. Trevecca Nazarene University has 2 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.

Lipscomb University - Nashville, TN

Lipscomb University, One University Park Drive, Nashville, TN 37204-3951. Lipscomb University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,054 students and an admission rate of 75%. Lipscomb University has 3 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree.

Cumberland University - Lebanon, TN

Cumberland University, One Cumberland Square, Lebanon, TN 37087. Cumberland University is a small university located in Lebanon, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,351 students and an admission rate of 59%. Cumberland University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated one student in 2008.

Free Will Baptist Bible College - Nashville, TN

Free Will Baptist Bible College, 3606 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37205-0117. Free Will Baptist Bible College is a small college located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 313 students. Free Will Baptist Bible College has 2 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University, 2101 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37240. Vanderbilt University is a large university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,093 students and an admission rate of 25%. Vanderbilt University has 4 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

Middle Tennessee State University - Murfreesboro, TN

Middle Tennessee State University, 1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. Middle Tennessee State University is a large university located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,872 students and an admission rate of 65%. Middle Tennessee State University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated 266 students in 2008.

Fisk University - Nashville, TN

Fisk University, 1000 17th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208-4501. Fisk University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 726 students and an admission rate of 54%. Fisk University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance.

Belmont University - Nashville, TN

Belmont University, 1900 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212-3757. Belmont University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,075 students and an admission rate of 63%. Belmont University has 4 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated eleven and seven students respectively 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: Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee
Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee photo by Kaldari

Nashville-Davidson is located in Williamson County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 596,462, which has grown by 9.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Nashville-Davidson, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Nashville-Davidson are priced at $196,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,483 new homes were constructed in Nashville-Davidson, down from 3,070 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Nashville-Davidson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 29.7% of Nashville-Davidson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Nashville-Davidson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.