Online Music Composition Degrees and Courses

Music composition requires hands-on practice with musical instruments, so fully online degree programs in this field of study are not available. However, some on-campus music composition programs offer online coursework, and you can also find standalone online courses in individual subjects, like harmony. Read more about your on-campus and online options for studying music composition, and get info about choosing a school. Schools offering Ethnomusicology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Consider studying music composition online through degrees and courses in certificate and bachelor's degree programs. Although it's more common to earn credit through on-campus programs in this area of study, online options do exist.

Are There Online Degrees or Courses in Music Composition?

Music composition degree programs are typically not offered online because nearly all facets of any music composition program require hands-on activity. This includes the admission process. In addition to submitting a number of original compositions as part of your application, you must also submit to a live interview and perform an audition piece on your primary instrument.

If you don't wish to earn a college degree, individual courses in music composition are available online from various sources. Chief among these sources is the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which offers a number of free online courses in music composition, harmony and counterpoint. Also, several commercial sites offer individual online courses in various aspects of music composition, including course sequences that lead to a certificate of accomplishment.

Some colleges do offer components of their music composition program online. Generally these portions of the program emphasize the use of computer technology in certain types of music composition, such as electroacoustic music

How Should I Choose a School?

A simple Internet search for 'online music composition courses' will yield a number of commercial sites offering individual courses and certificate programs in such areas as lyric writing, melody writing, musical notation, commercial songwriting techniques and orchestration. However, if you are looking for an accredited music school, the website for the National Association of Schools of Music is useful. They have a database of over 600 music degree programs in the United States that have met the standards of quality set by the association. Once you locate a school of interest, you can visit its website to see if any online courses are offered.

What Will I Learn and What Courses Will I Take?

The online courses, whether offered standalone or as part of a certificate program, will provide instruction in topics like music composition theory, composing using computers or composing for specific genres. A full music composition program leads to a Bachelor of Music in Composition or similar degree title.

A bachelor's degree program requires a number of general education courses, including English composition, mathematics, natural science, social science and humanities. You'll study music history and may explore baroque, romantic and renaissance music. A number of music theory courses make up the curriculum, and you may be required to participate in a major ensemble, such as symphony band, orchestra, wind ensemble, choir or jazz band. Your concentration in music composition consists of classroom instruction in fundamentals, studio instruction, orchestration, electronic music and analog synthesis. A final portfolio and live presentation of an original work is typically required.

Which Schools Offer Online Certificates in Music Composition?

Choose from these online certificate programs. Areas of study include music business, in addition to various offerings related to music composition.

  • The Berklee College of Music offers various online certificate programs in music composition
  • Valley City State University offers an online music certificate in composition
  • Mesa Community College offers an online Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Music Business

Which Schools Offer Online Bachelor's Degrees in Music Composition?

  • Valley City State University offers an online Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (B.A./B.S.) degree program in Music
  • The Berklee College of Music offers an online Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.) degree program in Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games
  • Full Sail University offers an online Music Production bachelor of science degree program

Students interested in studying music composition online can do so via bachelor's degree programs. Online courses are also provided through online certificate programs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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