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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Kansas City, Missouri

If you want to be a music composer, the Kansas City, Missouri area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,230 jobs for music composers in Missouri and this is projected to grow 9% to about 1,340 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

Income for music composers is about $27 per hour or $56,800 per year on average in Missouri. Nationally, their income is about $19 hourly or $41,270 annually. Earnings for music composers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Musical Entertainment in Missouri and better than general Musical Entertainment category earnings nationally. People working as music composers can fill a number of jobs, such as: arranger, musician, and copyist.

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of Kansas City where you can study to be a music composer, among seventy-one schools of higher education total in the Kansas City 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 Kansas City 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

MidAmerica Nazarene University - Olathe, KS

MidAmerica Nazarene University, 2030 E College Way, Olathe, KS 66062-1899. MidAmerica Nazarene University is a small university located in Olathe, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,762 students and an admission rate of 73%. MidAmerica Nazarene University has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree.

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary - Kansas City, MO

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 5001 N. Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, MO 64118-4697. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is a small school located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 668 students and an admission rate of 40%. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has an associate's degree and a master's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music.

University of Missouri-Kansas City - Kansas City, MO

University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5100 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110. University of Missouri-Kansas City is a large university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,481 students and an admission rate of 73%. University of Missouri-Kansas City has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree which graduated seventeen, twenty, two, and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated four and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Conducting, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.

Park University - Parkville, MO

Park University, 8700 NW River Park Dr, Parkville, MO 64152-3795. Park University is a large university located in Parkville, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,457 students and an admission rate of 78%. Park University has a bachelor's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Music Performance which graduated one and six students respectively in 2008.

William Jewell College - Liberty, MO

William Jewell College, 500 College Hill, Liberty, MO 64068-1896. William Jewell College is a small college located in Liberty, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,210 students and an admission rate of 63%. William Jewell College has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

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

Avila University - Kansas City, MO

Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145-1698. Avila University is a small university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,939 students and an admission rate of 50%. Avila University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated one student in 2008.

Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary - Kansas City, MO

Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary, 15800 Calvary Road, Kansas City, MO 64147-1341. Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary is a small college located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 300 students and an admission rate of 79%. Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

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

CERTIFICATIONS

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

LOCATION INFORMATION: Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri photo by Dillard421

Kansas City is situated in Jackson County, Missouri. It has a population of over 451,572, which has grown by 2.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Kansas City, 78, is well below the national average.

The top three industries for women in Kansas City are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 25.7% of Kansas City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Kansas City is 11.3%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Kansas City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 51.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Glenwood Church, Antioch Church and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are among the churches located in Kansas City. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Kansas City is home to the Ozanam Boys Home and the Watts Mill Center as well as Central Park and West Terrace Park. Shopping malls in the area include Antioch Shopping Center, Wornall Village Shopping Center and Winwood Shopping Center. Visitors to Kansas City can choose from Budget Host Inn, Days Inn and Embassy Suites Hotel Kansas City Internatinl Arprt for temporary stays in the area.