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The Composition program equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to be creative while engaging with the specific context of our time.

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Music (BM)
  • Master of Music (MM)
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Other Studies

  • Professional Studies Certificate (PS)

Program Details

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 undergraduate students include:

  • Composition Forum
  • Instrumentation
  • Orchestration
  • Electronic Music
  • Undergraduate Form and Analysis
  • Composing for (and with) the Voice
  • Living in Sound: The Theory of Listening and Sound Art
  • Acoustics and Tuning Systems
  • Experimental Indeterminate Music and Improvisation

Specialized courses for graduate students include:

  • Composition Forum
  • Advanced Orchestration
  • Graduate Form and Analysis
  • Electronic Music
  • Score Reading

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.

Audition & Prescreening Information

Prescreening & Audition Procedures

Handbook for Current Students

Composition Department Handbook

Plan of Study & Course Descriptions

Plan of Study: Composition
MSM Course Catalog

Meet Current MSM Composition Students

Learn more about the students in the 2020-2021 MSM Composition program


Watch videos from the MSM Composition program

Composition Faculty and Instructors

Reiko Fueting Department Chair; Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
David Adamcyk Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
Susan Botti Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
Nirmali Fenn Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
Marjorie Merryman Private Instruction
J. Mark Stambaugh Private Instruction

Hayes Biggs Composition Course Faculty: Undergraduate Form and Analysis
Paolo Marchettini Composition Course Faculty: Score Reading
David McDonald Composition Course Faculty: Instrumentation/ Orchestration

Success Stories

See All
  • Jun 25, 2022 Composition
    Toronto Symphony Orchestra names MSM alumna Alison Yun-Fei Jiang (BM ’15) as RBC Affiliate Composer
  • May 11, 2022 Composition
    Two MSM alumni named the two finalists for the 2022 Pulitzer Prizes award for music
  • Apr 4, 2022 Composition, Jazz, Vocal Arts
    MSM alumni and faculty members win 2022 GRAMMY Awards

“The Composition Department and greater new music community at MSM has allowed me to flourish as an artist. I have discovered things about my compositional voice that I would have never thought possible, had it not been for my colleagues and professors at this school.”