Musicians and Singers

(NOC 5133)

in All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

This group includes musicians, singers, and vocal and instrumental music teachers. Musicians and singers interpret music using their knowledge of voice production, musicianship, melody, and harmony. They perform with orchestras, choirs, opera companies and popular bands in places like concert halls, lounges, and theatres and in film, television and recording studios. Music teachers teach technique, interpretation, and music theory to students through private or group lessons. Music teachers teach in conservatories, academies, and private homes. Musicians and singers usually specialize in music like classical, country, ethnic, jazz, opera, or popular music.

Job Outlook

Limited

Read more

  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 70 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

  • Estimate 60 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 765 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

This occupation is comprised of a mixture of musicians, singers, and music teachers. Most venues are unable to operate normally and meet physical distancing requirements, limiting opportunities for performers to generate income through live performances. Some musicians have been able to perform at smaller venues and through live streaming. Music teachers have fared somewhat better, with private and small group lessons being feasible under current restrictions. Some instructors also offer virtual lessons, which has broadened the accessibility of music lessons at a time when more people are pursuing music as a hobby.

Prospects in this occupational group have been poor in recent years. Most workers are self-employed and do not work full-time or full-year. Musicians may improve their prospects by being willing to travel throughout the province to pursue opportunities. Despite normally poor prospects, certain positions can occasionally be difficult to fill, due to the small size of the occupational group and the specialization of workers in a certain instrument or genre of music.

The median employment income for the 21% of Musicians and Singers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $23,297. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median employment income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

$731

Minimum

$9,283

Median

$44,441

Maximum

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$24.73

Median

$36.29

Maximum

Annual Pay

$945

Minimum

$11,712

Median

$60,447

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

This group includes musicians, singers, and vocal and instrumental music teachers. Musicians and singers interpret music using their knowledge of voice production, musicianship, melody, and harmony. They perform with orchestras, choirs, opera companies and popular bands in places like concert halls, lounges, and theatres and in film, television and recording studios. Music teachers teach technique, interpretation, and music theory to students through private or group lessons. Music teachers teach in conservatories, academies, and private homes. Musicians and singers usually specialize in music like classical, country, ethnic, jazz, opera, or popular music.

Job duties

Musicians:

  • Play one or more instruments as soloists or as members of a musical group before audiences or for recording purposes.

Singers:

  • Sing musical arrangements as soloists or as members of vocal groups before audiences or for recording purposes.

Music or voice teachers:

  • Teach technique, interpretation, and music theory to students through private or group lessons.

Sample job titles

  • accompanist
  • church organist
  • music teacher - private, conservatory or studio lessons
  • musician
  • piano teacher - private, conservatory or studio lessons
  • recording artist
  • session musician
  • singer
  • street musician
  • voice teacher - private, conservatory or studio lessons

Skills

You should be dedicated, motivated, and willing to accept constructive criticism. Talent, creativity, and technical skills are essential. You must be comfortable working with others and performing before an audience. Self-discipline and a good business sense are also helpful.

Job requirements

  • Musical training from a university or college or through private instruction is usually required.
  • Members of orchestras and other professional classical musicians and singers usually require a university degree in music.
  • Membership in a guild or union related to the job or type of performance may be required.

Other considerations

Musical talent and ability, as demonstrated during an audition, are important hiring criteria.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,045

employed in 2016

38.3%

employed full-time

56.0%

self employed

46.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
53.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.7

median age

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

11,000

employed in 2016

53.3%

employed full-time

29.3%

self employed

55.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
44.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.2

median age

Where will I likely work?

63.6%

Halifax

11.5%

Southern

10.0%

North Shore

8.1%

Cape Breton

6.7%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

43.9%

Educational services

39.6%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

5.5%

Public administration

4.9%

Other services (except public administration)

2.4%

Information and cultural industries

What is the age of Employment?

20.0%

35-44

19.0%

65+

18.0%

45-54

16.0%

55-64

16.0%

25-34

11.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

29.7%

15-24

15.9%

35-44

15.7%

45-54

15.4%

25-34

14.9%

55-64

Top levels of education

36.4%

Bachelor

$13,569 median annual income
25.8%

High school

$7,278 median annual income
12.9%

College Diploma

$4,261 median annual income
12.4%

Master

$24,892 median annual income
6.7%

Less than high school

N/A

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

26.4%

Bachelor

$17,829 median annual income
24.9%

High school

$7,552 median annual income
19.5%

College Diploma

$22,120 median annual income
13.7%

Less than high school

$2,922 median annual income
7.9%

Master

$36,173 median annual income

Education & training

Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management

College or University Program

These programs prepare students to organize and manage various aspects of the visual arts, performing arts, and entertainment media industries. They include courses in business and financial management, marketing and fund-raising, labour relations for the arts, event promotion and management, product and artist management, and applicable law.

Institutions providing this program

NSCAD University

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Music

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the introductory study and appreciation of music and the performing arts. These programs include courses in music, dance, and other performing arts media.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Music Performance

College or University Program

These programs prepare students to master musical instruments and performing art as solo and/or ensemble performers. Includes instruction in one or more specific instruments from various instrumental groupings.

Institutions providing this program

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Music Teacher Education

College or University Program

These programs prepare individuals to teach music and music appreciation programs at various educational levels.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Music Theory and Composition

College or University Program

These programs focus on the study of the principles of sound manipulation as applied to the creation of music, and the techniques of creating and arranging music. They include courses in aural theory, melody, counterpoint, complex harmony, modulation, chromatics, improvisation, progressions, musical writing, instrumentation, orchestration, electronic and computer applications, studies of specific musical styles, and development of original creative ability.

Institutions providing this program

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Musicology and Ethnomusicology

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the systematic study of the forms and methods of music art, and the functions of music, in Western and non-Western societies and cultures. They include courses in music theory, musicological research methods, and studies of specific cultural styles such as jazz, folk music, rock, ethnic musical traditions, and the music of non-Western cultures.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Music Teacher

Right to Title: This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional designation. Professional designation shows that the holder has met provincial standards for the job. Employers may require professional designation, but professional designation is not necessary to do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers Association
6158 Lawrence Street
Halifax, NS B3L 1J6

Contacts

Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts
Halifax, NS
Music Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS
Atlantic Federation of Musicians
Halifax, NS
Symphony Nova Scotia Society
Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Choral Federation
Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Tourism Talent
Halifax, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.