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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Composers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Music composers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. There are currently 2,320 working music composers in Wisconsin; this should grow 8% to about 2,500 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.

Income for music composers is about $24 per hour or $50,390 yearly on average in Wisconsin. 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 Wisconsin, and better than the overall Musical Entertainment category nationally. Music composers work in a variety of jobs, including: record producer, music adapter, and film composer.

There are thirty-nine schools of higher education in the Milwaukee area, including four within twenty-five miles of Milwaukee 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. 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 Milwaukee 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

Concordia University-Wisconsin - Mequon, WI

Concordia University-Wisconsin, 12800 N Lake Shore Dr, Mequon, WI 53097-2402. Concordia University-Wisconsin is a medium sized university located in Mequon, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,549 students and an admission rate of 62%. Concordia University-Wisconsin 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, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

Milwaukee Area Technical College - Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233-1443. Milwaukee Area Technical College is a large college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 18,780 students and an admission rate of 54%. Milwaukee Area Technical College has an associate's degree program in Music Performance which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Mount Mary College - Milwaukee, WI

Mount Mary College, 2900 N. Menomonee River Pky, Milwaukee, WI 53222-4597. Mount Mary College is a small college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,821 students and an admission rate of 58%. Mount Mary College has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Religious/Sacred Music.

Cardinal Stritch University - Milwaukee, WI

Cardinal Stritch University, 6801 N Yates Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53217-3985. Cardinal Stritch University is a medium sized university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,300 students and an admission rate of 90%. Cardinal Stritch University has a bachelor's degree program in Music Performance which graduated three students 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: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin photo by Towpilot

Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 604,477, which has grown by 1.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Milwaukee, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Milwaukee cost $167,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-six new homes were built in Milwaukee, down from one hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Milwaukee are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 18.3% of Milwaukee residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Milwaukee is 10.6%, which is greater than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Milwaukee residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Epiphany, Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church and German Full Gospel Church are among the churches located in Milwaukee. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Milwaukee is home to the Caroline Hall and the Wood as well as Cannon Park and Fifth Ward Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Juneau Village Shopping Center, Times Square Shopping Center and Grand Avenue Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Milwaukee can choose from Edge-O-Town Motel, Manor House Hotel and Days Inn West Allis for temporary stays in the area.