A love for music combined with the desire to share this passion with others is a pre-requisite for three areas in the music industry: conducting, production, and teaching. Of these, music production is perhaps the broadest field; it includes a number of more specialized professions. Music producers are in charge of the overall production of recorded music, working with the artist/band and industry professionals with the aim of creating and marketing the best possible end product. Audio engineers focus on the more specific task of setting up and operating audio equipment. Their core job is to ensure that a live performance is successfully turned into a high-quality recording. Sound technicians manage the actual electrical equipment and tools. Both audio engineers and sound technicians also work in television, radio broadcasts, live performances, and movies. Other music production and audio engineering professions include broadcast engineer, sound designer, and mix engineer. You may enter the field of music production equipped with formal qualifications. However, this is not strictly necessary and many people learn their skills on the job through work experience and apprenticeships – or even online.
Conductors (or music directors) primarily work with orchestras or other music groups. They are in charge of choosing musical arrangements, conducting auditions, selecting musicians, running rehearsals, and – finally – leading the group during a public performance. As is evident, the conductor plays a crucial role in any live performance. This can be an extremely difficult task involving long and irregular hours, working on weekends, travel, and key decisions about the music and musicians. As a conductor, you could work at an opera house, musical theatre, university, or church.
Becoming a music conductor requires a comprehensive understanding of music theory, practice, and performance. Most successful conductors begin their journey young, playing a musical instrument or even singing. After graduating from high school, aspiring conductors will need to complete a bachelor’s degree program in music. While this may be enough to get a job, a master’s degree will certainly enhance your value in a competitive job market. At the master’s degree level, you could concentrate your energies wholly on orchestral conducting or opt for a more generalized program with a focus on music conducting.
If you want to teach music to others, then you should consider a music education degree from one of the numerous reputed schools in the US. Such a qualification will enable you to teach people of all ages, from very young children to adults. Try to opt for a school that is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music as this is a recognition of high standards. The music education degree program at Colorado State University provides opportunities to gain experiences in schools as well as a focus on performing and musicianship. Jacksonville University, too, offers students the chance to perform, record, and produce music. At Alabama State University, you can pursue a degree in music with a concentration in music education – a good choice for aspiring teachers who also want to keep other musical career options open. In addition, participating and attending regular recitals and performances bolster your overall music experience during your time at school. Other good music schools include Full Sail University (which also offers online programs), Oakwood College, and Grand Canyon University.