Music Department - St. Cloud State University

Music Department - St. Cloud State University

Careers in Music

 

Teaching

Studio Teaching
College Teaching

Music Therapy

Performance

Church Musician

Music Librarian

Music Industry

Recording Engineer
Music Software Development
Audio Engineering
Recording Editing

Television & Radio

Music Composition

Music Arranging
Film Scoring

Other careers in Music

 

A Career Guide for Music Education

Music Careers in Dollars and Cents (2012 Edition)

Is Music the Key to Success? 10-12-13NYT

Teaching: Elementary and Secondary SchoolsMusic@StCloudState.edu

Clearly, the largest number of full-time music teaching positions exists in public and private schools.

In preschools, kindergartens, elementary schools, and day-care centers, the music teacher provides guidance for activities such as singing, listening, playing instruments, moving and dancing, composing, and experimenting with music patterns. 

Teachers, supervisors, or directors of music in middle, junior high, and senior high schools provide direction for choral and instrumental organizations, small 
ensembles, and musical theater productions. Music instruction in the secondary school also includes courses in general music, theory, music history, literature, and the related arts. 

Music educators in the public schools may find opportunities for extra remuneration for service as conductors of church choirs, community music organizations, or recreational programs. In many communities, the music department of the public schools is the focal point of the community's musical life. Finding Your First Job as a Public School Music Teacher

Elementary / Primary School Music Teacher
Elementary School Music Teachers work in public, private, or parochial schools. Their duties vary depending on the school and the ages and grades they teach, but for the most part they teach a general music class in grades kindergarten through the sixth (6th), introducing students to the different aspects of music, and the varying degrees of skill study. They must often follow guidelines for what they teach that are set up by the school music department heads, district music supervisors, and state music education supervisors.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Bureau of Labor Statistics - U.S. Department of Labor

Secondary School Music Teacher
Secondary school music teachers generally teach in grades seventh (7th) through twelfth (12th), and they work in public, private, or parochial schools. Their duties vary depending on the type of job they are hired for. They may teach specifically on one instrument, or many. They may be responsible for leading a school band, orchestra, or choir, and for putting on school concerts and competitions. They may handle rehearsals and conduct the school groups as well.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Bureau of Labor Statistics - U.S. Department of Labor

Music Education Supervisor (or School Music Supervisor)
A school music supervisor is responsible for directing and coordinating activities of teaching personnel who are engaged in instructing students in vocal and instrumental music in a specific school or school system. This person may teach a few days a week and administer programs in the remaining days. The music supervisor plans and develops the music education curriculum.

2009 St. Cloud State Career Services Job Outlook (pdf 263k)

Music Education Career Center - Music Educators National Conference

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Post-Secondary SchoolsMusic@StCloudState.edu

Music teachers at institutions of higher education usually are expected to specialize in one or two areas, such as music theory, music history and literature, music education, musicology, performance, electronic music, composition, conducting, or music therapy.

The salaries for college or university music teaching vary considerably with the type of institution and its location. In many cases, college faculties are recruited from people who have had successful professional careers as performers or as music teachers. A college music educator, however, usually must have earned at least a master's degree in music.

A great many institutions require a doctorate. The music programs in institutions of higher education constitute one of the main sources of music standards and performances.

College/Conservatory/University Music Educator
College/Conservatory/University Music Educators may be hired for a variety of different positions. They may be brought into a school as a general music educator to teach areas of music theory, music arranging, music history, or vocal or instrumental performance. Educators are also hired to coach chamber music groups or to conduct choruses or orchestras.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Bureau of Labor Statistics - U.S. Department of Labor

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Studio Teaching 

The studio of a private teacher may be located in a home, school, office building, or music store. Those who teach in the home are self-employed, whereas others have a business relationship with a school or store. Many self-employed music teachers teach only part-time due to other responsibilities. Satisfactory teaching arrangements sometimes can be made with the various types of schools that need individual music instructors. 

Salaries and Requirements for Teacher/Supervisor 

1. Public school (approximate earnings $17,000-$45,000) 
2. Parochial school (approximate earnings $16,000-$35,000) 
3. College, university, conservatory (approximate earnings $18,000-$70,000) 
4. Private school, studio (approximate earnings $5-$60 per lesson) 
5. Supervisor, consultant (approximate earnings $20,000-$50,000) 
6. Administrator, university (approximate earnings $30,000-$100,000+) 

Personal Qualifications: Music talent, Ability to work with people, Ambition to continually study and improve, Be inspiring, convincing, patient, Enjoy people and desire to help them learn. 

Knowledge and Skills Required: Broad cultural background, Extensive knowledge of music, Performance skill on one instrument or voice, Ability and skill in teaching people, Administrative ability necessary for supervisor and self-employed studio teacher. 

Recommended Precollege Training: Completion of high school, Ability to read music, Some performance skill on one instrument or voice, Study music in school or privately, Keyboard skill. 

Minimum College Training Required: Public School: teaching certificate, bachelor's degree, College, university: doctoral degree or equivalent training, All others: degrees not always required but the equivalent training is necessary. 

Private Instructor
A private instructor usually does not work through a school, but gives individual instruction to students on a regular basis. They set their own fees, unless contracted by a music store or teaching group, and develop their own teaching plans and guidelines. Private instructors may work alone out of an office or home, with a group of teachers or at a music store that offers lessons. They may teach individual lessons or offer group lessons. Lessons generally run 45 minutes to one hour and are usually scheduled once a week. They may teach at different levels of skill, from beginners to professionals.

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Performance Music@StCloudState.edu

To many young people, music performance as a career means giving concerts. The glamour of becoming a concert artist attracts many people, but opportunities for a career in music performance are very limited, and great perseverance and stamina are required for success. In addition to solo performance careers, there are performance opportunities in chamber music, folk, rock, and pop music, as well as free-lance concert and studio opportunities. Performance careers differ widely and depend a great deal upon the instrument played and the performance medium. Most performers combine their activities with other careers in music. In general, concert performers pay their own travel and management fees.


1. Armed forces: bands, orchestras (approximate earnings: base pay) 
2. Symphony orchestra (approximate earnings $300-$1,200 per week (22-52 weeks) 
3. Dance band, nightclub (approximate earnings $350-$700 per week) 
4. National TV (very limited) (approximate earnings $1,500-$2,500 per week) 
5. Small ensemble (approximate earnings $50-$4,000 per concert) 
6. Concert soloist (very limited) (approximate earnings $1,000 per concert) 
7. Rock or jazz group (approximate earnings: great variance in income) 
8. Clinician (approximate earnings $0-$1,000 per day) 

Personal Qualifications: Musical talent and skill, Ability to work with people, Ambition to continually study and improve. 

Knowledge and Skills Required: Specialized skill in one or more instruments, Fluency in sight-reading, transposing, improvising, Skill in ensemble playing, Knowledge of instrumental literature. 

Recommended Precollege Training: Completion of high school, Ability to read music, Some performance skill on one instrument, Experience in high school orchestra, band, or small ensembles, Solo experience. 

Minimum College Training Required: Degrees not always required but the equivalent training is usually necessary.

Salaries and Requirements for a Musician in Performance  
1. Church choir soloist (approximate earnings $30-$500 per performance) 
2. Community choral group (approximate earnings $200-$3,000 yearly ) 
3. Radio, TV shows (approximate earnings Local: $75 and up per show Network: $125 and up per show ) 
4. Dance band, nightclub (approximate earnings $225 and up per week) 
5. Concert choral group (approximate earnings $80 and up per performance) 
6. Opera chorus (professional) (approximate earnings $350-$750 per week) 
7. Opera soloist (very limited) (approximate earnings $350-$8,000 per performance) 
8. Concert soloist (very limited) (approximate earnings $350 open) 

Personal Qualifications: Musical talent and skill, Ability to work with people, Ambition to continually study and improve, Excellent voice, Showmanship. 

Knowledge and Skills Required: Specialized skill in singing and interpretation of songs, Knowledge of choral music techniques, Knowledge of foreign languages and vocal literature, Skill in sight singing and memorizing, Practical facility at the piano. 

Recommended Precollege Training: Completion of high school, Ability to read music, Background in piano, Some performance skill in singing, Experience in singing groups. 

Minimum College Training Required: Degrees not always required but the equivalent training is usually necessary. 

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Bureau of Labor Statistics - U.S. Department of Labor

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Music Therapist Music@StCloudState.edu

With increased awareness of the rights of children and adults with disabilities, the importance of trained music therapists has increased. These highly 
skilled individuals combine music, teaching, and therapy to help persons with disabilities improve their physical and mental health. Emotional stability and insight are essential for competent therapists.

Music Therapist (approximate earnings $16,000-$70,000) 
1. Hospitals: general, psychiatric 
2. Schools 
3. Outpatient clinics 
4. Mental health centers 
5. Nursing homes 
6. Correctional facilities 
7. Private practice 

Personal Qualifications: Music talent and skill, Ability to work with disabled people, Human understanding and insight, Emotional stability. 

Knowledge and Skills Required: Skilled and a versatile musician, Knowledge of behavioral and physical sciences, Facility on piano, guitar, or other instruments, Skilled in adapting music, Knowledge of instruments and voice. 

Recommended Precollege Training: Completion of high school, Ability to read music, Some performance skill on one instrument or voice, Study of music in school or privately, Keyboard skill. 

Minimum College Training Required: Bachelor's degree in music therapy, including six- month internship. 

Music Therapist
Primarily, a music therapist uses music as an aid in healing, relieving pain, providing emotional comfort, and even entertaining patients with various mental and physical health related ailments. A music therapist develops a treatment plan and applies various strategic techniques to accomplish goals for the patient’s improvement. It is also a unique opportunity to help and contribute to improving the life of patients who are at various stages of illness and recovery. Music therapists work either freelance or in clinical settings such as in hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric centers, oncology and pain management treatment centers, as well as in drug treatment programs, correctional facilities and in hospice care programs.

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Church Musician 

A career as a church or temple music director or organist combines music performance and teaching. Most musicians for religious institutions are employed part-time, although large congregations may employ a full-time music director or minister of music. In addition to being competent performers, church or temple musicians must understand music composition, transposition, and arranging, and must be familiar with the theology and liturgy of worship.

Salaries and Requirements of Church/Temple Musicians 
1. Organist 
2. Choir director 
3. Minister of Music 
4. Liturgist 
5. Choir soloist 

$7,800 to $44,500 part-time (less than 30 hours per week)  / $27,500 -$59,300 full-time. 

Personal Qualifications: Musical talent, Commitment to earning, playing and teaching religious music, Ability to work with and motivate people, Well-organized. 

Knowledge and Skills Required: Organ performance, Conducting and voice pedagogy, Sight-reading and open score reading, Keyboard transposition and 
improvisation, History of music and liturgy, Knowledge of languages, especially Latin and German. 

Recommended Precollege Training: Completion of high school, Ability to read music, High-level keyboard skills (organists), Foreign language study. 

Minimum College Training Required: Degrees in organ or sacred music not always required but equivalent training and professional certification necessary, Foreign language study, Choral and instrumental techniques.

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Composer & Conductor Music@StCloudState.edu

Very few composers make a living from composing, but the nonmonetary rewards for writing classical or popular music are great. Some composers earn a living arranging music for school performance groups or writing music for radio or television advertising. Successful composers receive commissions to write for specific occasions, ensembles, soloists, or institutions. Commissions and mechanicals income from the sales of recordings are important sources of income for composers. Conductors, like composers, often rely on supplemental income from teaching or guest appearances. Some conductors with international reputations can become wealthy, while a few hundred conductors will make very comfortable salaries.

Salaries and Requirements for Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator, Copyist 
(approximate earnings: commissions vary, royalties vary according to format) 
1. Educational music, art music 
2. Commercial: popular, films, TV Royalties vary according to format 

Personal Qualifications: Great music talent, Creativity, Continual perseverance, Confidence. 

Knowledge and Skills Required: Knowledge of electronic instruments, synthesizer, and electronic theory, Superior musicianship in theory, literature, Understanding of qualities and limitations of instruments and voices, Experience in playing, singing, Familiarity with computers and desktop copying and publication. 

Recommended Precollege Training: Completion of high school, Ability to read music, Some performance skill on one or more instruments, Experience in playing, singing. 

Minimum College Training Required: College degrees not always required but the equivalent training is necessary; doctoral degrees are a common expectation for teaching in higher education. 

Salaries and Requirements for Conductor 
1. Choir (approximate earnings See: Church/Temple (above)) 
2. Dance bands (approximate earnings $300-$1,200 per week) 
3. Symphony (very limited) (approximate earnings vary widely ) 
4. Opera (very limited) (approximate earnings $8,000 open ) 
5. Choral group (very limited) (approximate earnings $8,000 open ) 

Personal Qualifications: Great musical talent, Leadership, Superior diplomacy, Dynamic and unique stage personality. 

Knowledge and Skills Required: Superior musicianship, Skill in group management, Decisive and expressive baton technique, Specialized skill on one instrument or voice. 

Recommended Precollege Training: Completion of high school, Ability to read music, Some performance skill on piano and one instrument or voice, Experience in performing groups. 

Minimum College Training Required: Graduate music degree not always required but the equivalent training is necessary, especially at the professional level.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Bureau of Labor Statistics - U.S. Department of Labor

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Music Industry Music@StCloudState.edu

The music industry is broad in scope and encompasses retail, wholesale, manufacturing, importing, exporting, publishing, recording, repair and 
rebuilding, tuning, and other businesses. Persons who are successful in the music industry have education and training in both music and business. Many new businesses have grown out of recent developments in the world of computers. State-of-the-art products and services in the music industry are providing new, exciting, and profitable business opportunities.

Salaries and Requirements for Music Industry  (approximate earnings: according to the wage and salary scale of each industry; varies widely) 
1. Publisher or editor: music books, periodicals, music software 
2. Manufacturer, importer, wholesaler: instruments, accessories, electronics, recordings, computer software 
3. Music software programmer 
4. Manager, booking agent 
5. Music dealer: management/sales 
6. Newspaper critic, reporter 
7. Tuner technician, instrument repair 

Personal Qualifications: Ability to work with people, Interest in music and business. 

Knowledge and Skills Required: Specialized skill and knowledge in one or more of the music industries; varies widely. 

Recommended Precollege Training: Completion of high school, experience in one or more of the related music industries. 

Minimum College Training Required: College degrees not always required but recommended especially program in music/business, Technical careers: at least 2-3 years training or apprenticeship is usually necessary.

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Television & Radio Music@StCloudState.edu

The television and radio industries encompass a wide range of careers, including composition, scoring, production, editing, clearing copyrights, and licensing. Career  opportunities are available at television and radio stations, production houses, postproduction facilities, and a host of related organizations involved in producing and distributing programming for television and radio. 

Society is increasingly dependent on the media as a source for news, information, entertainment, cultural and performing arts, and leisure activities. The proliferation of cable networks has greatly expanded the number of outlets for video productions and the need for related personnel. Television and radio are growth industries that offer many opportunities for those with appropriate backgrounds, technical skills and experience, and perseverance. 

Salaries and Requirements for Television/Radio Industry  (approximate earnings: according to the wage and salary scale of each industry; varies widely) 
1. Copyright/clearance administrator 
2. Music license administrator 
3. Music editor, producer, composer 
4. Sound mixer 
5. Post production/scoring 
6. Disc jockey, video jockey 
7. Program director (radio) 
8. Music advisor, music researcher 

Personal Qualifications: Musical talent, Interest in music and media, Ability to work with people, often under tight deadlines and intense pressure. 

Knowledge and Skills Required: Specialized skill and knowledge in one or more or the television/radio industries; varies widely. 

Recommended Precollege Training: Completion of high school, Experience in one or more of the related fields. 

Minimum College Training Required: College degrees not always required, but recommended; the equivalent training is necessary, especially in production-related areas.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Bureau of Labor Statistics - U.S. Department of Labor

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Music Librarian 

Colleges and public libraries offer opportunities for trained music specialists with knowledge of library and research techniques. Music librarians are involved in research and reference, indexing, cataloging, selecting materials for purchase, and community relations. Skills in handling computerized information are increasingly important. Some opportunities for music librarians also exist in radio, television, and motion pictures.

Salaries and Requirements for Music Librarian 
1. College, university, conservatory (approximate earnings $26,000-$28,000 (entry level, full-time, may be augmented by teaching)) 
2. Public library (approximate earnings $1,300-$30,000) 
3. Orchestra, band, chorus (very limited) (approximate earnings up to $72,800) 
4. Radio, TV station music coordinator (approximate earnings $14,000-$27,000) 

Personal Qualifications: Ability to work with people, Interest in music, books, recordings, professional problems, and research. 

Knowledge and Skills Required: Thorough knowledge of music and musicology, Working knowledge of German and French, Library training or some knowledge of library and research techniques, Some knowledge of copyright and performance rights. Graduate degree in Library/lnformation Science. 

Recommended Precollege Training: Completion of high school 

Minimum College Training Required: Bachelor's degree with major in music performance, music history, or music theory (preferably, plus at least one year graduate study in music),Graduate library degree.

Music Librarian
The Music Librarian is responsible for cataloging scores, recordings and song folios, and they work primarily at an educational institution such a school, college or university. Employers in this field generally prefer a Masters degree in Library Science.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Bureau of Labor Statistics - U.S. Department of Labor

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Other Careers Music@StCloudState.edu

Music - What Can I do With This Degree? (pdf 12k)

In addition to the careers in music mentioned above, some opportunities exist for musicologists, music business attorneys, architectural acoustic consultants, and arts administrators. In the publishing industry, most large newspapers and magazines and many smaller periodicals hire a music reporter or critic who combines knowledge and enjoyment of music with a writing or editing career. Other careers include music historian, biographer, and Iyricist.

Reflecting dignity and prestige, each of the music careers brings satisfaction and happiness to the lives of countless people. Thousands of persons in the United States find great pleasure through music as an avocation. A number of the occupational areas described in this brochure are carried out on a nonprofessional basis, particularly in small communities. Training is usually necessary. 

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From "Careers in Music" - Copyright © 2001 by MENC--The National Association for Music Education


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