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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Directors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for music directors. There are currently 2,320 jobs for music directors in Wisconsin and this is projected to grow by 8% to about 2,500 jobs 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%. Music directors generally direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.

A person working as a music director can expect to earn about $24 per hour or $50,390 per year on average in Wisconsin and about $19 per hour or $41,270 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for music directors are better than in the overall category of Musical Entertainment in Wisconsin, and better than the overall Musical Entertainment category nationally. Music directors work in a variety of jobs, including: music ministries director, maestro, and music pastor.

The Milwaukee area is home to thirty-nine schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Milwaukee where you can get a degree as a music director. Given that the most common education level for music directors is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a music director if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Milwaukee 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.


Concordia University-Wisconsin - Mequon, WI

Concordia University-Wisconsin, 12800 N Lake Shore Dr, Mequon, WI 53097-2402. Concordia University-Wisconsin is a medium sized university located in Mequon, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,549 students and an admission rate of 62%. Concordia University-Wisconsin 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, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

Milwaukee Area Technical College - Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233-1443. Milwaukee Area Technical College is a large college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 18,780 students and an admission rate of 54%. Milwaukee Area Technical College has an associate's degree program in Music Performance which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Mount Mary College - Milwaukee, WI

Mount Mary College, 2900 N. Menomonee River Pky, Milwaukee, WI 53222-4597. Mount Mary College is a small college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,821 students and an admission rate of 58%. Mount Mary College has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Religious/Sacred Music.

Cardinal Stritch University - Milwaukee, WI

Cardinal Stritch University, 6801 N Yates Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53217-3985. Cardinal Stritch University is a medium sized university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,300 students and an admission rate of 90%. Cardinal Stritch University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated three students in 2008.


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

LOCATION INFORMATION: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin photo by Towpilot

Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 604,477, which has grown by 1.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Milwaukee, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Milwaukee cost $167,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-six new homes were built in Milwaukee, down from one hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Milwaukee are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 18.3% of Milwaukee residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Milwaukee is 10.6%, which is greater than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Milwaukee residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Epiphany, Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church and German Full Gospel Church are among the churches located in Milwaukee. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Milwaukee is home to the Caroline Hall and the Wood as well as Cannon Park and Fifth Ward Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Juneau Village Shopping Center, Times Square Shopping Center and Grand Avenue Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Milwaukee can choose from Edge-O-Town Motel, Manor House Hotel and Days Inn West Allis for temporary stays in the area.