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Details for Musicians, Instrumental


Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.


  • Practice musical instrument performances, individually or in rehearsal with other musicians, to master individual pieces of music and to maintain and improve skills.
  • Perform before live audiences.
  • Specialize in playing a specific family of instruments and/or a particular type of music.
  • Play musical instruments as soloists, or as members or guest artists of musical groups such as orchestras, ensembles, or bands.
  • Play from memory or by following scores.
  • Sight-read musical parts during rehearsals.
  • Audition for orchestras, bands, or other musical groups.
  • Provide the musical background for live shows such as ballets, operas, musical theatre, and cabarets.
  • Transpose music to alternate keys, or to fit individual styles or purposes.
  • Promote their own or their group's music by participating in media interviews and other activities.
  • Make or participate in recordings in music studios.
  • Direct bands or orchestras.
  • Teach music for specific instruments.
  • Compose original music such as popular songs, symphonies, or sonatas.
  • Improvise music during performances.


  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.


  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Related Careers

  • Actors
  • Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Directors- Stage, Motion Pictures, Television, and Radio
  • Film and Video Editors
  • Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education
  • Music Composers and Arrangers
  • Music Directors
  • Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners
  • Photographers
Wages for this career
America's Career InfoNet