Is becoming a choir director right for me?

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How to become a Choir Director

Becoming a choir director involves a combination of education, musical training, practical experience, and a passion for choral music. Here are the steps to pursue a career as a choir director:

  • Education: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education, Choral Conducting, or a related field. Some choir directors may pursue a degree in music performance with a focus on choral music.
  • Gain Musical Proficiency: Develop strong musical skills, including proficiency in vocal technique, music theory, sight-reading, and keyboard skills. Choir directors should be well-versed in the nuances of choral music.
  • Participate in Choirs: Join choirs as a singer to gain firsthand experience and insight into the choral experience. This provides valuable perspective and enhances your understanding of choir dynamics.
  • Pursue Advanced Education (Optional): Consider pursuing a Master's or Doctoral Degree in Choral Conducting or a related field. Advanced degrees can deepen your knowledge, provide more conducting opportunities, and open doors to higher-level positions.
  • Conducting Experience: Gain conducting experience by leading choirs in various settings. This can include working with school or community choirs, volunteering at religious institutions, or directing vocal ensembles in different capacities.
  • Student Teaching (For Music Education): If pursuing a music education degree, complete a student teaching experience to gain practical classroom experience under the guidance of an experienced music educator.
  • Build Repertoire Knowledge: Develop a broad understanding of choral repertoire across different genres, styles, and historical periods. This knowledge is essential for selecting appropriate music for your choir.
  • Licensing and Certification: Obtain the necessary teaching credentials or certification required for your state. Most public school choir directors need to be certified educators.
  • Technology Skills: Develop proficiency in technology tools relevant to music education and choir direction, including music notation software, virtual rehearsal platforms, and multimedia resources.
  • Apply for Positions: Search for choir director positions in schools, religious institutions, community organizations, or professional ensembles. Prepare a strong resume and portfolio showcasing your experience and achievements.
  • Professional Organizations: Join professional organizations such as the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) to connect with other choir directors, access resources, and stay updated on industry developments.

Helpful Resources
Choir directors can benefit from a variety of resources that provide support, education, and inspiration in their profession. Here are some helpful resources for choir directors:

  • American Choral Directors Association (ACDA): ACDA is a national organization that offers resources, publications, conferences, and networking opportunities for choir directors. It provides a platform for professional development and collaboration within the choral community.
  • ChoralNet: ChoralNet is an online community and resource hub for choral professionals. It offers forums, job listings, repertoire suggestions, and articles covering various aspects of choral music.
  • National Association for Music Education (NAfME): NAfME provides resources for music educators, including choir directors, with a focus on music education advocacy, professional development, and networking.
  • J.W. Pepper: J.W. Pepper is a music retailer with an extensive online catalog. Choir directors can find sheet music, choral arrangements, and educational resources on their website.
  • Music Educators National Conference (MENC) Archive: The MENC Archive on provides access to historical resources, articles, and publications related to music education, including choral music.
  • Podcasts for Choir Directors: Explore podcasts dedicated to choral music and education. Examples include "Choralosophy" and "The Choir Baton."
  • Choral Music Education Resources on YouTube: YouTube channels like "Choral Music Education Resources" offer tutorials, rehearsal strategies, and discussions on various aspects of choral directing.
  • Choir Place: Choir Place is an online platform connecting choir directors and singers. It includes forums, event listings, and resources for choir leaders.
  • Music Education Blogs: Follow blogs such as "Music Ed Blogs" for articles and insights related to music education, including choral directing.
  • Choir Director Magazines: Magazines like "Choral Journal" by ACDA provide articles, reviews, and resources specific to choral directors.
  • Choir Director Webinars: Participate in webinars offered by organizations like ACDA, NAfME, or other music education platforms for targeted professional development.