Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Vancouver, Washington
There are many career and education opportunities for music composers in the Vancouver, Washington area. There are currently 1,560 working music composers in Washington; this should grow by 10% to about 1,710 working music composers in the state by 2016. This is better than 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.
Music composers earn about $26 per hour or $55,270 per year on average in Washington and about $19 per hour or $41,270 per year on average nationally. Incomes for music composers are better than in the overall category of Musical Entertainment in Washington, and better than the overall Musical Entertainment category nationally. Jobs in this field include: film composer, songwriter, and jingle writer.
The Vancouver area is home to forty-eight schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree as a music composer. Music composers usually hold some college courses, so 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 Vancouver 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
Portland Community College - Portland, OR
Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has a one to two year program in Music Performance which graduated eight students in 2008.
Portland State University - Portland, OR
Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has 2 areas of study related to Music Composer. They are:
- Music Performance, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated ten and six students respectively in 2008.
- Conducting, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
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: Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.
The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.