How to Become a Band Director

Band Directors are experienced in leading musical performances and band concerts for performances geared at entertaining a group of individuals.

Their schedules are busy during the day running rehearsal sessions, hiring musicians for the band and sometimes composing musical numbers of their own.

Individuals who want to become a Band Director may already have the musical talent and skills needed to enter this profession.

For individuals who would like to make a career in leading musical performances, some additional experience and education may be needed.

Education Requirements to Become a Band Director

Individuals who want to become a Band Director may already have an important trait needed to succeed in this profession.

The most important skill to have is musical talent and the ability to play a musical instrument.

However, having an educational background to supplement one’s musical talent will assist individuals who want to become a Band Director at the professional level.

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Individuals pursuing a bachelor’s degree to become a Band Director can begin by entering a 4 year accredited institution or program that focuses on music.

To enter this type of program, individuals will need to tryout by performing in person, submitting an audition tape and are sometimes required to do both.

Students will need to focus on an area such as, conducting, music composition or music theory.

These programs will also teach individuals conducting techniques, composition, music history and music styles.

This type of program is extremely important as a Band Director will need to know how to read music to prepare them to guide a band through a concert.

Individuals who want to become a Band Director will also need to work on certain characteristics to help them succeed in this profession.

Some important qualities include: musical talent, perseverance (in attending auditions and submitting compositions), leadership (to provide guidance to musicians), interpersonal skills and the discipline to work long practices and concerts.

Band Director Job Description

A Band Director’s main duty is to provide leadership to a band during a concert or performance.

Some performances may only last a few minutes, but the preparation that takes place before a concert will take plenty of practice sessions and time to have the highest quality of sound possible.

A Band Director must first find the musical arrangement or composition they want to perform at an event or concert; some Band Directors may also provide their own compositions.

After selecting the composition they want to perform, they will start preparing by thoroughly reviewing and interpreting a musical score.

Band Directors must also seek and begin to assemble a group of performers to interpret the musical score.

This may include auditioning musicians or hiring individuals who have previously worked on another project.

If a score has a solo performance, a Band Director will also have auditions for that role.

After a group of musicians has been chosen, the rehearsal process and preparation will begin.

During rehearsals, individuals will learn the score in its entirety while solo artists will spend extra time learning and perfecting their solo performance.

During rehearsals, Band Directors will keep an ear out for an overall coherent sound and give feedback to musicians on how to get there.

They will also be aware of: timing, rhythm, volume and the balancing of a melody.

Once a composition starts to have a coherent sound, Band Directors will start performing in front of groups before finally being able to perform in front of a live audience.

Band Director Salary and Career Path

According to figures from 2012, Music Directors and Composers, which includes Band Directors, earn a median annual salary of approximately $47,350.

Exact wages will depend on the amount of experience, popularity and professional reputation.

Because Band Directors are in charge of gearing up for performances, they often need to rehearse during the day and be available nights and weekends for live performances.

The job outlook for Music Directors and Composers as a whole is expected to increase by 5 percent through the year 2022.

This growth is considered slower than average when compared to other professions and industries and some competition should be expected.

Individuals who have a passion for music and the arts will succeed if they work on their craft, musical talents and display dedication in the work they put out.

Successful Band Directors are highly musically talented but also extremely dedicated to the arts.

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