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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you want to be a music composer, the Minneapolis, Minnesota area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 990 working music composers in Minnesota; this should grow 15% to about 1,140 working music composers in the state 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.

Income for music composers is about $26 hourly or $54,980 per year on average in Minnesota. Nationally, their income is about $19 per hour or $41,270 yearly. Music composers earn the same as people working in the category of Musical Entertainment generally in Minnesota and more than people in the Musical Entertainment category nationally. People working as music composers can fill a number of jobs, such as: creative director, musician, and music orchestrator.

There are eighty schools of higher education in the Minneapolis area, including eleven within twenty-five miles of Minneapolis 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. 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 Minneapolis 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

Hamline University - Saint Paul, MN

Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104-1284. Hamline University is a small university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,906 students and an admission rate of 80%. Hamline University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated one student in 2008.

University of St Thomas - Saint Paul, MN

University of St Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105-1078. University of St Thomas is a large university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,960 students and an admission rate of 81%. University of St Thomas has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated one student in 2008.

North Central University - Minneapolis, MN

North Central University, 910 Elliot Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404-1391. North Central University is a small university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,136 students and an admission rate of 29%. North Central University has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, one to two year and bachelor's degree which graduated zero and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Bethel University - Saint Paul, MN

Bethel University, 3900 Bethel Dr, Saint Paul, MN 55112-6902. Bethel University is a small university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,337 students and an admission rate of 81%. Bethel University has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree which graduated one and five students respectively in 2008.

Crown College - Saint Bonifacius, MN

Crown College, 8700 College View Drive, Saint Bonifacius, MN 55375-9001. Crown College is a small college located in Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,229 students and an admission rate of 70%. Crown College has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree.

Concordia University-Saint Paul - Saint Paul, MN

Concordia University-Saint Paul, 275 Syndicate Street North, Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494. Concordia University-Saint Paul is a small university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,644 students and an admission rate of 59%. Concordia University-Saint Paul has a bachelor's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music.

Minnesota School of Business - Plymouth, MN

Minnesota School of Business, 1455 County Rd 101 North, Plymouth, MN 55447. Minnesota School of Business is a small school located in Plymouth, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 520 students. Minnesota School of Business has an associate's degree program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated one student in 2008.

Augsburg College - Minneapolis, MN

Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454. Augsburg College is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,827 students and an admission rate of 56%. Augsburg College has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree.

Institute of Production and Recording - Minneapolis, MN

Institute of Production and Recording, 312 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401. Institute of Production and Recording is a small school located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 312 students and an admission rate of 80%. Institute of Production and Recording has an associate's degree program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

McNally Smith College of Music - Saint Paul, MN

McNally Smith College of Music, 19 Exchange Street East, Saint Paul, MN 55101-2220. McNally Smith College of Music is a small college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 570 students. McNally Smith College of Music has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated one, nine, and eighteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, associate's degree and bachelor's degree.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated one, fifteen, and six students respectively in 2008.

Northwestern College - Saint Paul, MN

Northwestern College, 3003 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55113-1598. Northwestern College is a small college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,022 students and an admission rate of 95%. Northwestern College has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated one student 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: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota photo by BenFranske

Minneapolis is situated in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 382,605. The cost of living index in Minneapolis, 101, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Minneapolis are priced at $451,300 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, forty-five new homes were constructed in Minneapolis, down from one hundred fifteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Minneapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 37.4% of Minneapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Minneapolis is 7.0%, which is the same as Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Minneapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Minneapolis is home to the Saint Josephs Orphanage and the Hiawatha Municipal Golf Course as well as Beards Plaisance and Mississippi Park. Visitors to Minneapolis can choose from COE Mansion Carriage House, Radisson Hotel Metrodome and Best Western Kelly Inn for temporary stays in the area.