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The Composition program equips students with the knowledge and skills to help push their creative potential to its fullest.

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 composers include:

  • Counterpoint
  • Instrumentation / orchestration
  • Form and analysis
  • Notation
  • Score reading
  • Operatic composition
  • 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.

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

In this video, created by alumnus Vasily Ratmansky (BM ’20), MSM composition students speak about their 2019/2020 thesis compositions, and what it’s like being at MSM and in New York City.

Composition Faculty and Instructors

Reiko Fueting Department Chair; Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
Susan Botti Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
Marjorie Merryman Private Instruction
David Adamcyk Electronic Music
Hayes Biggs Composition Course Faculty
David McDonald Composition Course Faculty
J. Mark Stambaugh Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty

“MSM has definitely been the best place for me to improve and prepare to embark on the challenging adventures of the real world. It is making me a more thoughtful musician.”