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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Denver, Colorado

Music composers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Denver, Colorado area. There are currently 270 working music composers in Colorado; this should grow 12% to 300 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.

Music composers earn about $8 per hour or $16,920 yearly on average in Colorado and about $19 hourly or $41,270 per year on average nationally. Earnings for music composers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Musical Entertainment in Colorado and better than general Musical Entertainment category earnings nationally. Music composers work in a variety of jobs, including: music arranger, musician, and composer.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Denver where you can study to be a music composer, among sixty-four schools of higher education total in the Denver area. Music composers usually hold some college courses, so it will take a short time to learn 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 Denver 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

University of Colorado Denver - Denver, CO

University of Colorado Denver, , Denver, CO 80217-3364. University of Colorado Denver is a large university located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 17,510 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Colorado Denver has a master's degree program in Music, Other Specialties which graduated five students in 2008.

University of Denver - Denver, CO

University of Denver, 2199 S. University Blvd, Denver, CO 80208. University of Denver is a large university located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,409 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of Denver has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree and postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated twenty-six and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Colorado Christian University - Lakewood, CO

Colorado Christian University, 8787 West Alameda Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80226. Colorado Christian University is a small university located in Lakewood, Colorado. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,583 students and an admission rate of 32%. Colorado Christian University has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, less than one year.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

University of Colorado at Boulder - Boulder, CO

University of Colorado at Boulder, Regent Drive at Broadway, Boulder, CO 80309-0017. University of Colorado at Boulder is a large university located in Boulder, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,191 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Colorado at Boulder has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Music Performance which graduated thirty, thirty-eight, and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

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: Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado photo by David Shankbone

Denver is located in Denver County, Colorado. It has a population of over 598,707, which has grown by 7.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Denver, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Denver are priced at $223,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, eight hundred thirty-seven new homes were constructed in Denver, down from 1,215 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Denver 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 travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 34.5% of Denver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Denver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.0%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Episcopal Church.

Denver is home to the J F Kennedy Municipal Golf Course and the North Marston Filtration Plant as well as Cheesman Park and Bear Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alameda Square Shopping Center, Boulevard Shopping Center and Brentwood Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Denver can choose from Embassy Suites Hotel Denver Downtown, Intown Suites Aurora and Denver Marriott City Center for temporary stays in the area.