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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in San Diego, California

Music composer career and educational opportunities abound in San Diego, California. Currently, 6,500 people work as music composers in California. This is expected to grow 14% to about 7,400 people 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%. 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 hourly or $41,270 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Musical Entertainment, people working as music composers in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Musical Entertainment nationally. People working as music composers can fill a number of jobs, such as: songwriter, arranger, and music writer.

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of San Diego where you can study to be a music composer, among sixty schools of higher education total in the San Diego area. 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 San Diego 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

MiraCosta College - Oceanside, CA

MiraCosta College, One Barnard Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056-3899. MiraCosta College is a large college located in Oceanside, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,910 students. MiraCosta College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated thirteen, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.

San Diego City College - San Diego, CA

San Diego City College, 1313 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101-4787. San Diego City College is a large college located in San Diego, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,372 students. San Diego City College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated zero and two students respectively in 2008.

San Diego Mesa College - San Diego, CA

San Diego Mesa College, 7250 Mesa College Dr, San Diego, CA 92111-4998. San Diego Mesa College is a large college located in San Diego, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,460 students. San Diego Mesa College has a less than one year program in Music Management and Merchandising.

San Diego State University - San Diego, CA

San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182. San Diego State University is a large university located in San Diego, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 34,889 students and an admission rate of 44%. San Diego State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Music Performance which graduated twenty-nine and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Southwestern College - Chula Vista, CA

Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Rd, Chula Vista, CA 91910-7299. Southwestern College is a large college located in Chula Vista, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,997 students. Southwestern College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated two, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.

University of California-San Diego - La Jolla, CA

University of California-San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093. University of California-San Diego is a large university located in La Jolla, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,469 students and an admission rate of 42%. University of California-San Diego has a doctor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated two students in 2008.

Point Loma Nazarene University - San Diego, CA

Point Loma Nazarene University, 3900 Lomaland Dr, San Diego, CA 92106-2899. Point Loma Nazarene University is a small university located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,681 students and an admission rate of 78%. Point Loma Nazarene University has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.

CERTIFICATIONS

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

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

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Diego, California

San Diego, California
San Diego, California photo by FlickreviewR

San Diego is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 1,279,329, which has grown by 4.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Diego, 141, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Diego are valued at $323,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-one new homes were constructed in San Diego, down from seven hundred forty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Diego are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.0% of San Diego residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Diego is 10.5%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Diego residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Penasquitos Nazarene Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Paul E Kidd African Methodist Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in San Diego. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

San Diego is home to the Zlac Rowing Club and the Rancho Los Penasquitos Golf Course as well as Adobe Bluffs Park and John F Kennedy Park. Shopping malls in the area include San Diego Factory Outlet Shopping Center, San Carlos Shopping Center and Montgomery Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Diego can choose from Best Western Posada at the Yac, Beachfront San Diego and Banana Bungalow Hostel San Diego for temporary stays in the area.