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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Pasadena, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for music composers in the Pasadena, California area. There are currently 6,500 working music composers in California; this should grow 14% to about 7,400 working music composers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for music composers are expected to grow by about 10.0%. In general, music composers write and transcribe musical scores.

Income for music composers is about $25 hourly or $53,240 yearly on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $19 per hour or $41,270 per year. 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. People working as music composers can fill a number of jobs, such as: music adapter, musician, and music orchestrator.

The Pasadena area is home to 210 schools of higher education, including eighteen within twenty-five miles of Pasadena where you can get a degree as a music composer. Given that the most common education level 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 Pasadena 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

California State University-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

California State University-Los Angeles, 5151 State University Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90032. California State University-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,856 students and an admission rate of 62%. California State University-Los Angeles has a master's degree program in Music Performance which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

University of California-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

University of California-Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405. University of California-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,782 students and an admission rate of 24%. University of California-Los Angeles has bachelor's degree, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree programs in Musicology and Ethnomusicology which graduated one, nine, six, and ten students respectively in 2008.

Antelope Valley College - Lancaster, CA

Antelope Valley College, 3041 West Ave K, Lancaster, CA 93536-5426. Antelope Valley College is a large college located in Lancaster, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,800 students. Antelope Valley 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.

Musicians Institute - Hollywood, CA

Musicians Institute, 1655 McCadden, Hollywood, CA 90028. Musicians Institute is a small school located in Hollywood, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,312 students and an admission rate of 70%. Musicians Institute has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated fifty-two, 232, and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, less than one year which graduated 344 students in 2008.

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.

California Institute of the Arts - Valencia, CA

California Institute of the Arts, 24700 W McBean Pky, Valencia, CA 91355-2397. California Institute of the Arts is a small school located in Valencia, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,374 students and an admission rate of 37%. California Institute of the Arts has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated twenty, zero, and thirty-nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated fifteen, zero, and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Pierce College - Woodland Hills, CA

Los Angeles Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91371-0002. Los Angeles Pierce College is a large college located in Woodland Hills, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,832 students. Los Angeles Pierce College has a less than one year program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated two students in 2008.

Citrus College - Glendora, CA

Citrus College, 1000 W Foothill Blvd, Glendora, CA 91741-1899. Citrus College is a large college located in Glendora, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,501 students. Citrus College has a one to two year and a two to four year program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated fifty-one and zero students respectively 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.

California State University-Northridge - Northridge, CA

California State University-Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330. California State University-Northridge is a large university located in Northridge, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,208 students and an admission rate of 69%. California State University-Northridge has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Music Performance which graduated seventy-five and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Music Academy - Pasadena, CA

Los Angeles Music Academy, 370 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105. Los Angeles Music Academy is a small school located in Pasadena, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 140 students and an admission rate of 96%. Los Angeles Music Academy has a one to two year program in Music Performance which graduated seventy-one students 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.

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has 7 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated fourteen, thirty-two, twenty-seven, and fourteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated seven, seventeen, two, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology, doctor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Conducting, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated eight, twelve, and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree which graduated 52 students in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree.

Claremont Graduate University - Claremont, CA

Claremont Graduate University, 150 E Tenth St, Claremont, CA 91711-6160. Claremont Graduate University is a small university located in Claremont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,045 students. Claremont Graduate University has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, doctor's degree.
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated four and zero students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles City College - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles City College, 855 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Los Angeles City College is a large college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,310 students. Los Angeles City College has a one to two year program in Music Management and Merchandising.

Pepperdine University - Malibu, CA

Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263. Pepperdine University is a medium sized university located in Malibu, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,170 students and an admission rate of 35%. Pepperdine University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Theory and Composition which graduated one student in 2008.

Los Angeles Valley College - Valley Glen, CA

Los Angeles Valley College, 5800 Fulton Avenue, Valley Glen, CA 91401-4096. Los Angeles Valley College is a large college located in Valley Glen, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,550 students. Los Angeles Valley College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated three, one, and one students respectively in 2008.

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LOCATION INFORMATION: Pasadena, California

Pasadena, California
Pasadena, California photo by Morgoth666

Pasadena is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 143,080, which has grown by 6.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pasadena, 167, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Pasadena are priced at $298,000 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, thirty-nine new homes were constructed in Pasadena, down from one hundred thirty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Pasadena are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 41.3% of Pasadena residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pasadena is 9.7%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Pasadena residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Pasadena Church of God, All Saints Episcopal Church and Grace United Methodist Church are among the churches located in Pasadena. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Pasadena is home to the Annandale Golf Course and the Hill Avenue Branch Pasadena Public Library as well as Victory Park and Lower Arroyo Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hastings Ranch Plaza Shopping Center, Hastings Ranch Shopping Center and Plaza Pasadena Shopping Center. Visitors to Pasadena can choose from Best Western Pasadena Inn, Best Western Colorado Inn Pasa and Astro Motel Pasadena for temporary stays in the area.