No matter what style the band, how big or how small, music directing can come with many challenges, but is very rewarding. As a music director, some responsibilities will include arranging tunes, writing out lead sheets, running rehearsals, communicating with the bandleader, arranging vocal harmonies, and directing the band in the live setting. Out of all of these responsibilities, proper communication is of the upmost importance! You need to be able to communicate both musically and logistically. Musically, everyone in the band must understand what is going on, whether in rehearsal or on the gig. Logistically, band members need to be informed correctly and promptly, so the band can function smoothly. Dealing with multiple people can be difficult, as there are a bunch of different personalities. However, always approach each situation as objectively and professionally as possible, regardless of the situation!
Music directing a Top 40 Band can be difficult in its own way. Here’s why: Most bands have people in the band who do not read music, whether it is a vocalist or instrumentalist...or yourself! If this is the case, extra rehearsals will be required and extra assistance in those rehearsals will be needed as well. Most importantly, be patient. You do not need to be “academically” trained to be a good musician. Look at Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King, for example. Yes, reading capabilities help, but that does not warrant a good musician. I know more good musicians who are amateurs than professionals. If you do not read music, but someone else in the band does, do not be afraid to ask for help. A humble approach will always bode well rather than an ignorant arrogance.