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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Music composers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 3,400 working music composers in Pennsylvania; this should shrink by 11% to 3,050 working music composers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for music composers, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.0% over the next eight years. In general, music composers write and transcribe musical scores.

A person working as a music composer can expect to earn about $15 per hour or $32,110 yearly on average in Pennsylvania and about $19 hourly or $41,270 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for music composers are better than earnings in the general category of Musical Entertainment in Pennsylvania and better than general Musical Entertainment category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: music producer, musician, and music orchestrator.

There are sixteen schools within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can study to be a music composer, among 156 schools of higher education total in the Philadelphia area. Given that the most common education level 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 Philadelphia 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

The University of the Arts - Philadelphia, PA

The University of the Arts, 320 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102-4901. The University of the Arts is a small university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,405 students and an admission rate of 45%. The University of the Arts has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, two to four year, bachelor's degree, and master's degree which graduated one, forty-five, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Gratz College - Melrose Park, PA

Gratz College, 7605 Old York Rd, Melrose Park, PA 19027-3010. Gratz College is a small college located in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 443 students. Gratz College has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music which graduated four and zero students respectively in 2008.

Eastern University - Saint Davids, PA

Eastern University, 1300 Eagle Rd, Saint Davids, PA 19087-3696. Eastern University is a small university located in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,907 students and an admission rate of 62%. Eastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Music, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Community College of Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA

Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130-3991. Community College of Philadelphia is a large college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,293 students. Community College of Philadelphia has an associate's degree program in Music Performance which graduated four students in 2008.

Temple University - Philadelphia, PA

Temple University, 1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096. Temple University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,343 students and an admission rate of 61%. Temple University 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 seventeen, one, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated five, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Conducting, master's degree.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated six, one, and one students respectively in 2008.

Rider University - Lawrenceville, NJ

Rider University, 2083 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-3099. Rider University is a medium sized university located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,011 students and an admission rate of 74%. Rider University has 4 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Conducting, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty-one and ten students respectively in 2008.

Academy of Vocal Arts - Philadelphia, PA

Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19103-6685. Academy of Vocal Arts is a small school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 27 students. Academy of Vocal Arts has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Music Performance which graduated five students in 2008.

Rowan University - Glassboro, NJ

Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 08028. Rowan University is a large university located in Glassboro, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,271 students and an admission rate of 57%. Rowan University has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated nine and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College - Wyncote, PA

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, 1299 Church Rd, Wyncote, PA 19095-1898. Reconstructionist Rabbinical College is a small college located in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 59 students. Reconstructionist Rabbinical College has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Religious/Sacred Music which graduated one student in 2008.

Immaculata University - Immaculata, PA

Immaculata University, 1145 King Rd, Immaculata, PA 19345-0702. Immaculata University is a small university located in Immaculata, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,855 students and an admission rate of 80%. Immaculata University has an associate's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music.

The Curtis Institute of Music - Philadelphia, PA

The Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. The Curtis Institute of Music is a small school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 162 students. The Curtis Institute of Music has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, two to four year, bachelor's degree, and master's degree which graduated eleven, twenty-one, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Drexel University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,754 students and an admission rate of 68%. Drexel University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

University of Delaware - Newark, DE

University of Delaware, , Newark, DE 19716. University of Delaware is a large university located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,500 students and an admission rate of 58%. University of Delaware has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania - West Chester, PA

West Chester University of Pennsylvania, University Avenue and High Street, West Chester, PA 19383. West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a large university located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,619 students and an admission rate of 47%. West Chester University of Pennsylvania has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Music Performance which graduated one, four, and nine students respectively in 2008.

Valley Forge Christian College - Phoenixville, PA

Valley Forge Christian College, 1401 Charlestown Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460. Valley Forge Christian College is a small college located in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,143 students. Valley Forge Christian College has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Swarthmore College - Swarthmore, PA

Swarthmore College, 500 College Ave, Swarthmore, PA 19081. Swarthmore College is a small college located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,490 students and an admission rate of 16%. Swarthmore College has a bachelor's degree program in Musicology and Ethnomusicology.

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: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.