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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 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
David Adamcyk Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
Susan Botti Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
Nirmali Fenn Private Instruction
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

WATCH! "Sound: Moves: Us" performed in Sakura Park in November, 2020

Learn more about the Sakura Park concert series featuring the work of MSM composition students.

Success Stories

See All
  • Mar 29, 2021 Composition
    MSM Faculty Member Susan Botti is named a recipient of a Fromm Foundation Commission
  • Jan 20, 2021 Composition
    MSM alumnus’s composition performed at Presidential Inauguration
  • Dec 15, 2020 Composition
    Paolo Marchettini to release debut album

“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.”