Many of the world’s most famous singers started out as children singing in church. They sang in middle school and high school choirs as they aged and developed their talent. Choral directors took these budding superstars and worked with them to get them to a point where they would stand out in the crowd. Obviously, not every high school choir member is the next platinum-selling artist. Many won’t earn a dime for their singing abilities. Nonetheless, choral directors pour their time and energy into students who love music just like they do.  Specifically in music education or music performance, choral directors have bachelor’s degrees in music. As part of their curriculum, those who have music education degrees become licensed teachers. They also gain practical experience student teaching during their final year. They do not walk out of school licensed to teach but music performance majors have some music education classes. In case they decide later to go into teaching, performance majors often seek alternative certification. Alternative certification programs teach people to teach and administer a licensing exam. Some choral directors have advanced degrees. Some school districts prefer that choral directors have master's degrees.

Choral director

The amount of experience required for choral director jobs depends on the school district and principal posting the job. Some districts and principals require several years of experience while others are fine with brand new teachers. Choral directors oversee vocal music programs at middle schools and high schools. They instruct vocal music classes and sponsor the school choir as an extracurricular activity. They select music to be sung at contests and other performances. Choirs compete for independent ratings and against one another at contests. Other performances include choir concerts, community events and graduations. Some of these performances require collaboration with the school band director. Choral directors select the music to be performed based on the choir members’ ability. They also choose soloists if the selected music dictates and hire accompanists. Not only can choirs compete with one another as large groups, soloists and small ensembles can compete as well. Participation in these contests are often above and beyond the requirements of being a choir member. Those with above average talent tend to gravitate toward these competitions. Choral directors help students prepare for these competitions. The choral director ties together the loose ends around the trip such as arranging for transportation in addition to the musical aspects of competition.  Many schools started show choirs like the ones on the series as the popularity of the television show Glee grew in the early 2010’s. Show choirs sing popular pieces while executing choreography. Show tunes and popular music hits are common in show choir repertoire. This is a departure from the stand and sing performances reminiscent of opera. Show choir performances are more akin to Broadway musicals than operas. They blend the worlds of choral music and theater arts. The movement and staging facets are new to many in the profession, while they certainly have the musical talent to pull off these shows.