MUSIC CONDUCTORS lead instrumental music groups, such as symphony orchestras, dance bands, show bands, and various ensembles. They may perform before live audiences, on radio, in studios for recording, television, or movie productions. Music conductors audition and select musicians, and direct rehearsals and performances to achieve the desired musical effects. Conductors utilize their knowledge of conducting techniques, music theory and harmony, and talents of individual performers. Music conductors may schedule tours and performances. They meet with composers to discuss interpretations of their work. Conductors may also hire guest soloists.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $50,000 average per year ($24.00 per hour)
- A small occupation (20,600 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.0% per year)
MUSIC CONDUCTORS need training in music theory, music interpretation, composition, and conducting; and specialized skill on one instrument or voice. Conductors need extensive training to acquire the necessary skill, knowledge, and ability to interpret music. Training may be obtained through private study, in a college or university music program, or in a music conservatory. Formal courses include music theory, music interpretation, composition, and conducting. No licensing or certification is required for music conductors. Those who teach must have a degree in music education to qualify for a state certificate to teach music in an elementary or secondary school.