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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

Composition Faculty and Instructors

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

Success Stories

See All
  • Aug 4, 2020 Composition
    Adolphus Hailstork selected as Composer of the Month
  • Jul 10, 2020 Composition
    Anna Clyne included in NPR Music’s Favorite Songs of 2020
  • Jun 30, 2020 Composition
    Composer Adolphus Hailstork to write requiem cantata for George Floyd

“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.”