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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Detroit, Michigan

For those living in the Detroit, Michigan area, there are many career and education opportunities for music composers. There are currently 1,410 jobs for music composers in Michigan and this is projected to grow 11% to 1,570 jobs 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.

Music composers earn approximately $20 per hour or $42,530 annually on average in Michigan. Nationally they average about $19 per hour or $41,270 annually. Earnings for music composers are better than earnings in the general category of Musical Entertainment in Michigan and better than general Musical Entertainment category earnings nationally. Music composers work in a variety of jobs, including: jingle writer, record producer, and music writer.

The Detroit area is home to seventy-three schools of higher education, including ten within twenty-five miles of Detroit where you can get a degree as a music composer. Music composers usually hold some college courses, so 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 Detroit 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 Michigan-Ann Arbor - Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, , Ann Arbor, MI 48109. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is a large university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 40,618 students and an admission rate of 42%. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor has 4 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated eighty-five, thirty-nine, and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated eight, three, and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Conducting, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

Henry Ford Community College - Dearborn, MI

Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128-1495. Henry Ford Community College is a large college located in Dearborn, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,571 students. Henry Ford Community College has an associate's degree program in Music, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.

Wayne State University - Detroit, MI

Wayne State University, 656 West Kirby Street, Detroit, MI 48202. Wayne State University is a large university located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,025 students and an admission rate of 79%. Wayne State University has a post-master's certificate program in Music Performance which graduated three students in 2008.

Eastern Michigan University - Ypsilanti, MI

Eastern Michigan University, , Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Eastern Michigan University is a large university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,137 students and an admission rate of 75%. Eastern Michigan University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Music Performance which graduated eight and eight students respectively in 2008.

Sacred Heart Major Seminary - Detroit, MI

Sacred Heart Major Seminary, 2701 Chicago Blvd, Detroit, MI 48206-1799. Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a small school located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 434 students and an admission rate of 100%. Sacred Heart Major Seminary has a less than one year program in Religious/Sacred Music.

Washtenaw Community College - Ann Arbor, MI

Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-4800. Washtenaw Community College is a large college located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,906 students. Washtenaw Community College has a less than one year program in Music, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills, MI

Oakland Community College, 2480 Opdyke Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304-2266. Oakland Community College is a large college located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,957 students. Oakland Community College has an associate's degree program in Music Theory and Composition which graduated one student in 2008.

Oakland University - Rochester Hills, MI

Oakland University, , Rochester Hills, MI 48309-4401. Oakland University is a large university located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 18,169 students and an admission rate of 78%. Oakland University has 4 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated ten and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.
  • Conducting, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.

Concordia University-Ann Arbor - Ann Arbor, MI

Concordia University-Ann Arbor, 4090 Geddes Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Concordia University-Ann Arbor is a small university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 872 students and an admission rate of 63%. Concordia University-Ann Arbor has a bachelor's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music.

Marygrove College - Detroit, MI

Marygrove College, 8425 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221-2599. Marygrove College is a small college located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,879 students and an admission rate of 43%. Marygrove College has a one to two year program in Religious/Sacred Music.

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: Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan photo by Durova

Detroit is located in Wayne County, Michigan. It has a population of over 912,062, which has shrunk by 4.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Detroit, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Detroit are priced at $108,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-five new homes were built in Detroit, down from one hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Detroit are health care, educational services, and transportation equipment. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.0% of Detroit residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Detroit is 27.0%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Detroit residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.7%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Detroit is home to the Memorial Park Marina and the Detroit Golf Club as well as Chene Park and Mallett Playground. Visitors to Detroit can choose from Corktown Inn, Clark's Motel and Days Inn of Downtown Detroit for temporary stays in the area.