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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Eugene, Oregon

There are many career and education opportunities for music composers in the Eugene, Oregon area. About 600 people are currently employed as music composers in Oregon. By 2016, this is expected to grow 15% to 700 people employed. 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 $17 per hour or $35,500 annually on average in Oregon. Nationally, their income is about $19 hourly or $41,270 annually. Incomes for music composers are better than in the overall category of Musical Entertainment in Oregon, and better than the overall Musical Entertainment category nationally. Music composers work in a variety of jobs, including: music orchestrator, music arranger, and jingle writer.

There are seven schools of higher education in the Eugene area, including three within twenty-five miles of Eugene 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 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 Eugene 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

Northwest Christian University - Eugene, OR

Northwest Christian University, 828 East 11th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401-3745. Northwest Christian University is a small university located in Eugene, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 534 students and an admission rate of 54%. Northwest Christian University has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Eugene Bible College - Eugene, OR

Eugene Bible College, 2155 Bailey Hill Rd, Eugene, OR 97405. Eugene Bible College is a small college located in Eugene, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 150 students and an admission rate of 78%. Eugene Bible College has a bachelor's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Oregon - Eugene, OR

University of Oregon, 110 Johnson Hall, Eugene, OR 97403. University of Oregon is a large university located in Eugene, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,435 students and an admission rate of 87%. University of Oregon 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 two, fifteen, and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated four, four, and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Conducting, master's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 1 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: Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon photo by Ccmpg

Eugene is located in Lane County, Oregon. It has a population of over 150,104, which has grown by 8.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Eugene, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Eugene cost $197,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-one new homes were constructed in Eugene, down from two hundred ninety-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Eugene are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 37.3% of Eugene residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Eugene is 9.9%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Eugene residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 24.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

Eugene is home to the Eugene Country Club and the Balboa Park Drag Strip as well as Acorn City Park and Monroe City Park. Visitors to Eugene can choose from Hawthorn Inn & Suites, Best Value Inn and Marriott Residence Inn for temporary stays in the area.