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Career and Education Opportunities for Singers in Charleston, West Virginia

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for singers in the Charleston, West Virginia area. The national trend for singers sees this job pool growing by about 7.6% over the next eight years. Singers generally sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.

The average wage in the general category of Musical Entertainment jobs is $10 per hour in West Virginia, and an average of $19 per hour or $40,353 per year nationwide. Singers work in a variety of jobs, including: rap artist, choir member, and tenor.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as a singer. The most common level of education for singers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a singer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Singer

In general, singers sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.

Singers memorize musical selections and routines, or sing following printed text or customer instructions. They also sing a cappella or with musical accompaniment. Equally important, singers have to interpret or modify music, applying knowledge of harmony and voice production to individualize presentations and maintain audience interest. They are often called upon to perform before live audiences, or in television, radio, or movie productions. They are expected to seek out and learn new music that is suitable for live performance and/or recording. Finally, singers make or participate in recordings.

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

It is important for singers to practice singing exercises and study with vocal coaches, in order to optimize their voices and skills and to rehearse for upcoming roles. They are often called upon to compose songs and/or develop vocal arrangements. They also observe choral leaders or prompters for cues or directions in vocal presentation. They are sometimes expected to research particular roles to discover out more about a character, or the time and place in which a piece is set. Somewhat less frequently, singers are also expected to learn acting and other skills required for dramatic singing roles.

Singers sometimes are asked to make or participate in recordings. And finally, they sometimes have to learn acting and other skills required for dramatic singing roles.

Like many other jobs, singers must be reliable and have a strong social orientation.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:

  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Singer Training

University of Charleston - Charleston, WV

University of Charleston, 2300 MacCorkle Avenue, SE, Charleston, WV 25304. University of Charleston is a small university located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,431 students and an admission rate of 66%. University of Charleston has a bachelor's degree program in Music.

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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.