Careers In Music - Part 2 of 10

Continuing the series on types of careers in the music business and music industry here's a few more for all everyone to consider.


As a behavioral science, community development owes its origin to the fields of education and social work. Community development activities include efforts to improve environments, descriptive studies, efforts with political motivation, efforts with religious motivation, and educational processes. Every activity contributes to one of two kinds of betterment: (1) changes in people's local, regional, and national environments through services and amenities; and (2) people becoming open to change and self-reliant, responsible, self-directing decision makers.
Community developers in music work for municipal agencies such as city parks and recreation departments, for local, regional, and state arts councils, for colleges and universities, churches, and other community groups. They plan programs, coordinate efforts of local agencies, organize community performing groups, teach various kinds of music classes, conduct research studies, perform, and make presentations for civic groups.

Music specialists must have good program and staff development skills, including the ability to listen, to inspire confidence, and to be an effective leader. Finally, music developers must have generic teaching skills and a view of music education as simply the teaching and learning of music, for their pupils are likely to be any age and of various abilities.


Composing requires you to develop as wide a range of skills as possible in addition to your compositional training. A composer, like a conductor, should have a broad, eclectic music background: solid performance skill on at least one instrument, thorough training in theory and music history (subjects you may very likely be teaching, at least at the beginning of your career), a practical working knowledge of instrumentation - in short, an undergraduate major in music and as much graduate work in composition as you can afford. A number of institutions offer first-rate doctoral programs in composition. It would be a good idea to investigate the requirements and offerings of such schools.

Most serious composers earn their living doing something else. The great majority teach music at colleges, universities, or conservatories. Some may work at other jobs within the music profession: as performers in orchestras, accompanists, conductors, journalists, Hollywood arrangers, recording engineers, copy editors, or even disc jockeys. Jobs like these support the classical composer. University teaching is preferred by most, perhaps, because it seems to offer the greatest degree of free time for the independent work and because the university usually rewards and encourages creative work (including scholarly research and scientific discovery) among the faculty.


The term "educational composer" is commonly used to describe one who composes performance music and instructional materials for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students.

Performance music includes works for all media, including concert bands, orchestras, choirs, jazz bands, marching bands, and various smaller ensembles. Instructional material includes method books that teach instrumental and vocal techniques, sight-reading, solo interpretation, theory, and all other areas of musical learning. Both areas include works for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students.

The role of an educational composer is a varied one. The broader the composer's background the better. Teaching experience provides an understanding of the learning situation. Professional performance heightens the understanding of the performance experience, and composing for various combinations of instruments in all musical styles gives one a broad base of experience from which to draw. Although most composers tend to specialize in a specific area, such as band or orchestra or chorus, the opportunities expand as an individuals area of expertise increases.

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