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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in New Orleans, Louisiana

Music composer career and educational opportunities abound in New Orleans, Louisiana. The national trend for music composers sees this job pool growing by about 10.0% over the next eight years. In general, music composers write and transcribe musical scores.

The income of a music composer is about $22 per hour or $45,960 per year on average in Louisiana. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $19 hourly or $41,270 annually on average. Music composers earn more than people working in the category of Musical Entertainment generally in Louisiana and more than people in the Musical Entertainment category nationally. People working as music composers can fill a number of jobs, such as: music arranger, creative director, and film composer.

There are thirty-two schools of higher education in the New Orleans area, including six within twenty-five miles of New Orleans 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 training to become 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 New Orleans 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.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • 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 New Orleans - New Orleans, LA

University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148. University of New Orleans is a large university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,428 students and an admission rate of 55%. University of New Orleans has a master's degree program in Music Performance which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Loyola University New Orleans - New Orleans, LA

Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118-6143. Loyola University New Orleans is a small university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,474 students and an admission rate of 61%. Loyola University New Orleans has 4 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree and master's degree.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary - New Orleans, LA

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 3939 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70126. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is a small school located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,272 students and an admission rate of 100%. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has less than one year, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Religious/Sacred Music which graduated thirteen, zero, one, zero, six, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Xavier University of Louisiana - New Orleans, LA

Xavier University of Louisiana, One Drexel Drive, New Orleans, LA 70125-1098. Xavier University of Louisiana is a small university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,236 students and an admission rate of 66%. Xavier University of Louisiana has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree.

Dillard University - New Orleans, LA

Dillard University, 2601 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70122. Dillard University is a small university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 851 students and an admission rate of 35%. Dillard University has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Tulane University of Louisiana - New Orleans, LA

Tulane University of Louisiana, 6823 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118-5698. Tulane University of Louisiana is a large university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,157 students and an admission rate of 27%. Tulane University of Louisiana has a bachelor's degree program in Music, Other Specialties.

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: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana photo by Krakers

New Orleans is located in Orleans Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 311,853, which has shrunk by 35.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in New Orleans, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in New Orleans cost $139,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, eight hundred eighty-two new homes were built in New Orleans, down from 1,026 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in New Orleans are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 25.8% of New Orleans residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in New Orleans is 9.8%, which is greater than Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of New Orleans residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.1%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Catholic Church, Iglesia Bautista Getsemani and Mars Hill Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in New Orleans. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

New Orleans is home to the Keller Market and the New Orleans Country Club as well as Harris Playground and Hardin Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Carrollton Shopping Center, Read Boulevard Shopping Center and Read Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to New Orleans can choose from Rampart Street Connection, Lafitte Guest House and HAMPTON INN & SUITES CONV CTR for temporary stays in the area.