Programs of study for composition majors are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills required for the fullest development of their individual creative gifts. Specialized courses for composers include counterpoint, instrumentation/orchestration, form and analysis, notation, score reading, operatic composition, and electronic music. In addition to studying with MSM’s expert faculty, composition students are given opportunities for response to present their work in master classes by world-renowned guest composers and performers.

The composition department supports live performance of student pieces. The department organizes composer concerts ten times each year, and students work with performance majors to prepare solo and chamber works. Every composition student writes an orchestral thesis piece at the end of the program of study, and all these pieces are rehearsed and performed in concert by MSM’s orchestras.

In addition to on-campus concerts of modern work and collaboration with students specializing in contemporary performance, composition majors can take advantage of the School’s location in one of the great capitals of new music. Study in New York City offers unparalleled opportunities for composers to experience live performance, from modern repertoire classics to the latest works from the cutting edge.

Specific courses and degree sequence plans can be found in the Course Catalog.​

Composition Department Handbook

Facilities for Electronic Music Composition


General admission information

Composition Audition Procedures


J. Mark Stambaugh

Acting Department Chair

Composition Faculty

J. Mark Stambaugh  (Acting Chair of Composition)
David Adamcyk  (Contemporary Survey)
Susan Botti  (Composition)
Reiko Fueting  (Theory and Composition)
Marjorie Merryman  (Composition Faculty)