Qualifications of a Good Choir Director

Choir directors review and select songs to be performed.

Choir directors review and select songs to be performed.

If you love music and have a knack for directing people, consider becoming a choir director. Choir directors lead musical groups during performances and recordings. Certain qualifications will help you become a good choir director, including the right education and skills.

Education

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor’s degree is typically required for those who want to work as a choir director. A degree in a music discipline would be the most useful, for obvious reasons. Since this is a competitive field with a limited number of jobs, a master's degree in a music-related discipline can help you stand out from the crowd.

Experience

Since many choir directors do not start out in this position, having experience as a member of a choir can be a huge asset. Choir directors must have a good ear to detect problems in performances and work to correct them. This takes many years of experience. Most choir directors started their musical training early on in life. Whether you performed in your school choir or attended music camps, your experience can help you land opportunities as a choir director.

Skills

Choir directors should have effective teaching and musical skills. They must be comfortable directing the choir and instructing them about needed changes. Choir directors should also know how to play, write and conduct music. People skills are important as well. Choir directors need to build a strong bond with singers and musicians to get the best performance possible.

Working Environment

Although choir directors are perhaps best known for working for religious organizations and schools, they also work for nonprofit organizations, arts organizations and recording studios. Depending on the work environment, they may spend a lot of time traveling to different performance venues. Or, they might work at a single facility. Flexibility is important as a choir director. One day you might be rehearsing with choirs. Another day, you might meet with business leaders to request funds to help cover expenses.

 

About the Author

Dachell McSween has contributed to the "New York Daily News" and "Black Enterprise Magazine." She also writes for various online publications. McSween received a B.A. in journalism from Pace University and an M.S. in publishing from New York University.

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