Music Composition

<p>I plan on going into music composition, film scoring, or a related field. I was wondering how to figure out which schools specialise in this, or if there was a good way of finding out. Also, if anyone knows much about this field, any help with admissions would be greatly appreicated.</p>

<p>Greg, my son is a senior music comp. major at Peabody Conservatory. When he was starting to search for schools, we checked out several of the specialized directories that deal solely with the fine and performing arts. We particularly liked the Peterson's guide to the Visual and Performing Arts, and found it very helpful, but there are several other guides that are equally good. They all break down the different fields (music, dance, theater, studio art) into specific categories, such as music composition and film scoring, and list the schools that offer those degrees/programs. They provide basic information about the schools, then it's up to you to do further reserach. We found these directories to be a really good starting point, and they helped direct us to schools we might not have thought of otherwise.</p>

<p>As for the admissions process, the main thing you'll need beside the standard application materials is a portfolio of music you've written. For degree programs like music comp, you don't "audition" the way you would if you were applying for a program in voice or trumpet - instead, your portfolio acts as your audition. Depending on the school, you may also be expected to take some basic music theory and/or keyboarding placement tests, but that's usually later in the process. Try to make whatever is in your portfolio clean and readable - it doesn't have to be computer-generated, but it does have to be clear to whomever is reading it. If you don't already have a collection of your written works, start pulling one together NOW. The reviewer will be looking for evidence of talent as a writer, so don't panic if you don't already know everything there is to know about writing music. If you did, you wouldn't need to go to school to study it. However, s/he will want to get a feel for the kind of music you are likely to write, based on what you have already written. If most of your compositions so far have been songs for your rock band, you might not want to apply to a conservatory that will look down its nose at rock and roll. Likewise, if you're mainly interested in "traditional classical" music, you might want to avoid schools that are more interested in jazz or modern music. There are dozens of schools that offer excellent programs in music composition, you just have to determine which ones are better matches for your personal interests. </p>

<p>Good luck on your search. I know that there's another mom whose daughter is in a comp. program, so perhaps she'll have some other suggestions for you.</p>

<p>Wow, thanks a lot! This was just the sort of starting place I was looking for.
As far as my portfolio, I really do need to start working on that. The fact that they don't have to be perfect is very encouraging. I always wondered how they expected you to apply to a composing school with a piece you've already written!</p>