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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Orange, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for music composers in the Orange, California area. There are currently 6,500 working music composers in California; this should grow by 14% to 7,400 working music composers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for music composers, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.0% over the next eight years. Music composers generally write and transcribe musical scores.

Income for music composers is about $25 hourly or $53,240 per year on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $19 per hour or $41,270 yearly. Earnings for music composers are better than earnings in the general category of Musical Entertainment in California and better than general Musical Entertainment category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: music adapter, copyist, and songwriter.

There are ninety-two schools of higher education in the Orange area, including fourteen within twenty-five miles of Orange where you can get a degree to start your career as a music composer. The most common level of education for music composers is some college courses. You can expect to spend a short time studying to be a music composer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Music Composer

In general, music composers write and transcribe musical scores.

Music composers apply elements of music theory to generate musical and tonal structures, including harmonies and melodies. They also decide on voices and tone balances required to produce the effects desired in a musical composition. Equally important, music composers have to experiment with different sounds, and types and pieces of music, using synthesizers and computers as needed to test and evaluate concepts. They are often called upon to write changes directly into compositions, or use computer software to make changes. They are expected to score compositions so that they are consistent with instrumental and vocal capabilities such as ranges and keys, using knowledge of music theory. Finally, music composers develop original musical forms, or write within circumscribed musical forms such as sonatas or operas.

Every day, music composers are expected to be able to note differences between sounds as they change tone and volume. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for music composers to talk with producers and directors to define the nature and placement of film or television music. They are often called upon to study films or scripts to establish how musical scores can be used to generate desired effects or moods. Somewhat less frequently, music composers are also expected to write music for commercial mediums, including advertising jingles or film soundtracks.

Music composers sometimes are asked to copy parts from scores for individual performers. They also have to be able to accept commissions to generate music for special occasions and transpose music from one voice or instrument to another to deal with particular musicians. And finally, they sometimes have to transpose music from one voice or instrument to another to deal with particular musicians.

Like many other jobs, music composers must be reliable and believe in innovation and creative thought.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Orange include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Artistic Director. Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.
  • Camera Operator. Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Music Composer Training

Fullerton College - Fullerton, CA

Fullerton College, 321 E Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832-2095. Fullerton College is a large college located in Fullerton, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,500 students. Fullerton College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated four, seven, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

California State University-Fullerton - Fullerton, CA

California State University-Fullerton, 800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831-3599. California State University-Fullerton is a large university located in Fullerton, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,990 students and an admission rate of 60%. California State University-Fullerton has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Music Performance which graduated sixteen and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Orange Coast College - Costa Mesa, CA

Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92628-5005. Orange Coast College is a large college located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,700 students. Orange Coast College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated two, eleven, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Concordia University - Irvine, CA

Concordia University, 1530 Concordia West, Irvine, CA 92612-3299. Concordia University is a small university located in Irvine, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,452 students and an admission rate of 62%. Concordia University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance.

Chapman University - Orange, CA

Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, CA 92866. Chapman University is a medium sized university located in Orange, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,131 students and an admission rate of 50%. Chapman University has 4 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Conducting, bachelor's degree.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.

Long Beach City College - Long Beach, CA

Long Beach City College, 4901 E. Carson St., Long Beach, CA 90808-1706. Long Beach City College is a large college located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,097 students. Long Beach City College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated fifteen, fifteen, five, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Cerritos College - Norwalk, CA

Cerritos College, 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650-6298. Cerritos College is a large college located in Norwalk, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,228 students. Cerritos College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Music Management and Merchandising.

Biola University - La Mirada, CA

Biola University, 13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, CA 90639-0001. Biola University is a medium sized university located in La Mirada, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,893 students and an admission rate of 81%. Biola University has 4 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.

Santa Ana College - Santa Ana, CA

Santa Ana College, 1530 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398. Santa Ana College is a large college located in Santa Ana, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,464 students. Santa Ana College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Cypress College - Cypress, CA

Cypress College, 9200 Valley View, Cypress, CA 90630-5897. Cypress College is a large college located in Cypress, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,990 students. Cypress College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Golden West College - Huntington Beach, CA

Golden West College, 15744 Golden West, Huntington Beach, CA 92647-2710. Golden West College is a large college located in Huntington Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,000 students. Golden West College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated four, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

California State University-Long Beach - Long Beach, CA

California State University-Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-0115. California State University-Long Beach is a large university located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,891 students and an admission rate of 47%. California State University-Long Beach has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Music Performance which graduated five and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.

Hope International University - Fullerton, CA

Hope International University, 2500 E Nutwood Ave, Fullerton, CA 92831-3199. Hope International University is a small university located in Fullerton, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 841 students and an admission rate of 80%. Hope International University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music which graduated three and eight students respectively in 2008.

University of California-Irvine - Irvine, CA

University of California-Irvine, , Irvine, CA 92697. University of California-Irvine is a large university located in Irvine, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,899 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of California-Irvine has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

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For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Orange, California

Orange, California
Orange, California photo by File Upload Bot

Orange is located in Orange County, California. It has a population of over 136,392, which has grown by 5.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Orange, 134, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Orange are priced at $136,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-nine new homes were built in Orange, down from two hundred sixty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Orange are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 28.0% of Orange residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Orange is 8.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Orange residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Orange is home to the El Modena Branch Orange Public Library and the Santiago Golf Course as well as Plaza Historic District and Santiago Oaks Regional Park. Shopping malls in the area include Village Plaza Shopping Center, Villa Park Town Center Shopping Center and Mall of Orange Shopping Center. Visitors to Orange can choose from Anaheim-Days Inn Orange, 7 Crowns Motel and American Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.