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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for music composers in the Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee area. There are currently 1,400 jobs for music composers in Tennessee and this is projected to grow by 9% to about 1,520 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%. Music composers generally write and transcribe musical scores.

The average wage in the general category of Musical Entertainment jobs is $17 per hour or $49,700 per year in Tennessee, and an average of $19 per hour or $40,353 per year nationwide. People working as music composers can fill a number of jobs, such as: song writer, music producer, and music adapter.

The Nashville-Davidson area is home to fifty schools of higher education, including nine within twenty-five miles of Nashville-Davidson where you can get a degree as a music composer. Given that the most common education level 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 Nashville-Davidson 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.
  • 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

Nashville State Technical Community College - Nashville, TN

Nashville State Technical Community College, 120 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37209-4515. Nashville State Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 7,716 students and an admission rate of 71%. Nashville State Technical Community College has a one to two year program in Music, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Trevecca Nazarene University - Nashville, TN

Trevecca Nazarene University, 333 Murfreesboro Rd, Nashville, TN 37210. Trevecca Nazarene University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,366 students and an admission rate of 68%. Trevecca Nazarene University has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.

Lipscomb University - Nashville, TN

Lipscomb University, One University Park Drive, Nashville, TN 37204-3951. Lipscomb University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,054 students and an admission rate of 75%. Lipscomb University has 3 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree.

Cumberland University - Lebanon, TN

Cumberland University, One Cumberland Square, Lebanon, TN 37087. Cumberland University is a small university located in Lebanon, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,351 students and an admission rate of 59%. Cumberland University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated one student in 2008.

Free Will Baptist Bible College - Nashville, TN

Free Will Baptist Bible College, 3606 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37205-0117. Free Will Baptist Bible College is a small college located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 313 students. Free Will Baptist Bible College has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University, 2101 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37240. Vanderbilt University is a large university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,093 students and an admission rate of 25%. Vanderbilt University has 4 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.
  • Voice and Opera, bachelor's degree.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

Middle Tennessee State University - Murfreesboro, TN

Middle Tennessee State University, 1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. Middle Tennessee State University is a large university located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,872 students and an admission rate of 65%. Middle Tennessee State University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Management and Merchandising which graduated 266 students in 2008.

Fisk University - Nashville, TN

Fisk University, 1000 17th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208-4501. Fisk University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 726 students and an admission rate of 54%. Fisk University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance.

Belmont University - Nashville, TN

Belmont University, 1900 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212-3757. Belmont University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,075 students and an admission rate of 63%. Belmont University has 4 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree.
  • Music, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated eleven and seven students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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

LOCATION INFORMATION: Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee
Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee photo by Kaldari

Nashville-Davidson is located in Williamson County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 596,462, which has grown by 9.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Nashville-Davidson, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Nashville-Davidson are priced at $196,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,483 new homes were constructed in Nashville-Davidson, down from 3,070 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Nashville-Davidson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 29.7% of Nashville-Davidson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Nashville-Davidson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.