What to Expect
- Perform as a member of parade band, concert band, jazz or rock band, and small groups and combos performing in styles including classical, march, soul/funk, pop, and country/bluegrass
- Conduct, rehearse and perform in these groups for radio, TV and live performances
- Compose, transcribe and arrange music for all types of ensembles
- Perform public concerts and provide music for military ceremonies, educational outreach programs, and parades
- Perform for Navy personnel and their families, for the general public and at diplomatic functions
Navy Musicians can be assigned to play in one of the Navy’s two Premiere Bands: the United States Navy Band Washington, D.C. or the Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, MD. They may also perform in one of 11 Navy Fleet bands stationed around the world. In this career, the world is your stage—you may travel to a variety of locations, boosting morale and instilling patriotism while representing the U.S. Navy.
There is no typical Navy Day as a Navy Musician. Musicians rehearse for musical excellence, performing in various musical styles and groups for military members and the public.
Training & Advancement
Upon completion of initial training at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, (known as Boot Camp), those pursuing a Musician role report to the Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach, VA, where they receive formal Navy training at “A” School for 21 weeks. Here, they develop a knowledge of applying their musical skills to a Navy environment in concert bands, parade bands, and small specialty ensembles.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.
Specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields in the civilian world.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training for a Navy Musician can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education.
You may also continue your education through undergraduate degree opportunities like the Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Qualifications & Requirements
A high-school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor. Positions in the music field are very limited, and qualified applicants must demonstrate a high level of musical skill and knowledge prior to being accepted. Applicants must also pass an official audition and meet all qualifications for enlistment in the Navy.
Note that strict appearance requirements must be met in order to be considered.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you are a civilian, prior enlisted, or currently serving.
Contact a Navy Recruiter, or contact the Navy Music Audition Supervisor via email or phone to learn more.
There are no part-time opportunities available as a Navy Musician. If you’re interested in other part-time careers in the Navy Reserve, you can talk to a recruiter or review more careers at your own pace here.