Rating the High 20 Music Faculties for Composing for Film and TV in 2021

After weathering extra than a year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic, most song colleges within the U.S. are getting support to in-person classes and ensemble performances with vaccine necessities for college students, college and staff.

While instructors and college students alike are breathing a deliver of relief on the possibility of a return to relative normality, Patrick Kirst, length in-between director of the USC Thornton College of Music, points out that a fleshy college year incorporating a long way off classes by process of Zoom actually resulted in some permanent changes that were advantageous. “I felt for particular that I might perhaps presumably well presumably display obvious issues on Zoom that I couldn’t display in every other case within the college room, issues that are very studio-particular,” he says. “I recount overall, we gave them no lower than the equal abilities as we have given in pre-pandemic classes. Now we’re actually going correct into a hybrid mannequin if indispensable, so we learned from Zoom that lets actually advise this as a certain factor.”

To reside this year’s song college rankings, THR polled the people of Hollywood’s Society of Composers and Lyricists, the Composers Fluctuate Collective, the Alliance of Girls Film Composers, and the song branches of the Motion Represent Academy and Television Academy.

1. USC Thornton College of Music

Los Angeles

USC’s internet admission to to Hollywood composers, directors and soundstages has made it the hurry-to destination for striving composers and placed it on the prime of the checklist this year. The college’s 20-student master’s level program in display veil scoring is now inch by length in-between director Kirst, who took over for Daniel Carlin earlier this year. “We indubitably have the internet web insist online earnings that no diversified college has,” Kirst says. “On legend of we’re in L.A. and because we’re so connected, we can have Thomas Newman [1917] focus on, we had Hans Zimmer [Dune], and additionally they portion their data, they portion their careers. And the college is all working composers.”

A novel diversity scholarship offered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Bleeding Fingers Music goals to sponsor one or two Black college students per college year. “It’s a fleshy ride: housing, everything paid for,” says Kirst, adding that half of the college students on this method are actually ladies folks — up from six final year — making it one of basically the most inclusive capabilities within the country. Furthermore, student composers work straight with movie college students from USC’s College of Cinematic Arts. “We had 50 directors pitch their projects to our college students. That’s a mountainous tent.”

TUITION $60,446

NOTABLE ALUMNI Christopher Lennertz (The Boys), Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)

2. Columbia College Chicago


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Columbia College Chicago
Courtesy of Columbia College Chicago

Columbia provides a two-year master of elegant arts program in song composition for the display veil headed by Kubilay Uner, specializing in movie, tv, marketing, video games and diversified interactive media. Students again a 5-week semester in Los Angeles, interning with decent composers and the utilization of decent musicians and engineers in studio recording and mixing sessions. Emmy-a hit composer and Columbia Chicago alum Joel Goodman (ESPN’s 30 for 30) notes that this method is now now not offered to undergrads — guaranteeing that college students have a loyal composition background earlier than finding out movie scoring — and additionally boasts three composers-in-save, every specializing in a diversified dwelling. Goodman additionally has particular praise for this method’s director: “Kubi is an honest composer working now, and to have any individual of his capability and abilities running this program is a present. He’s additionally dapper talented, launch-minded, extremely creative, exciting to be around and loves what he does — whether or now now not it’s making song or educating song.”

TUITION $13,305

NOTABLE ALUMNI Paul Broucek, Kanye West

3. The Juilliard College

Original York City

Juilliard provides a world-successfully-known conservatory education in pure song besides to its Heart for Innovation within the Arts, which contains media scoring classes comparable to composing for visual media (offered within the autumn), a scoring to image workshop (within the spring) and impartial ticket in emerging and collaborative arts (i.e., the utilization of abilities in composition, offered in each plunge and spring semesters), taught by CFIITA director Edward Bilous. The college’s vaccination necessities for student, college and staff have allowed it to restore its old on-campus finding out and efficiency experiences, the save song college students mingle with those pursuing diversified disciplines, in conjunction with drama and dance.

TUITION $51,230

NOTABLE ALUMNI Laura Karpman (What if …), Bernard Herrmann

4. Berklee College of Music


Berklee earned a pivotal movie role in 2021, because it changed into featured in author-director Sian Heder’s CODA, in which Emilia Jones plays Ruby, a baby of deaf adults (hence the title) torn between closing in conjunction with her family or pursuing a song level on the current college. “Growing up method Boston, Berklee changed into the college to transfer [to] ought to you wished to be a serious musician,” Heder says. “When I changed into picking a conservatory to purpose in CODA, I knew it had to actually feel aspirational, an environment that Ruby would dream about. Berklee felt hip and eclectic, worship a prevent hurry to peep who that you would be in a position to very successfully be as an artist.”

Provides composer Marius de Vries, who scored the movie and supervised its reside vocal performances: “The choir that we solid in CODA came nearly exclusively from Berklee. They’re a Berklee a cappella community that we chanced on. It changed into this kind of godsend so that you can work with them because they were in a save to support make contributions to the vocal arrangements, and we were in a save to transfer in and shoot all of those scenes reside as a result of the stage of competence they’d.” The college provides a bachelor of song in movie scoring level that helps college students even after they’ve left the campus for Hollywood. “I actually most neatly-liked how Berklee has a terribly loyal alumni program,” says alum Pleasure Ngiaw, composer of Apple TV+’s interesting short Blush. “[For] college students who moved to L.A. after graduating, there’s a quantity of events right here and indubitably appropriate resources to support us launch. Whether or now now not it’s to get our first internship or get our first job, I indubitably feel that the community is de facto functional in bridging that connection.”

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Composer Trevor Morris leads a class on the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Craig Bailey/Courtesy Of College

For worldwide college students, Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain, boasts its beget scoring program and products and services, a boon to composers worship Amie Doherty (Untamed Spirit). “I come from a shrimp town within the west of Ireland, so how does one internet to Hollywood? Tech strikes so rapidly that I indispensable to internet as much as this level with the tech and internet my foot within the door. I would tell the abilities side of issues changed into the save I actually felt worship I bought basically the most thorough education.”

TUITION $45,468

NOTABLE ALUMNI Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Quincy Jones

5. Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Oberlin, Ohio

Oberlin boasts each a liberal arts education and conservatory practicing in a mountainous different of instrumental efficiency besides to composition, conducting, ethnomusicology, jazz composition, recording arts and production, articulate, and opera theater. The college’s bachelor of song, abilities in song and connected arts level prepares college students for graduate ticket in electroacoustic song, interdisciplinary efficiency and digital media. The program combines song abilities be taught with conservatory classes in song notion, aural talents comparable to gaze finding out, musicology, and extracurricular projects in conjunction with dance and theater efficiency.

TUITION $59,384

NOTABLE ALUMNI Robert Spano (conductor), James Paul (conductor)

6. Original England Conservatory of Music


NEC’s long-standing working relationships with the Boston Symphony, the Tanglewood Festival Refrain, Emmanuel Music and the Boston Chamber Music Society continue to set the 254-year-worn institution one of basically the most prestigious within the country. The college now provides a song abilities focus for undergrads that requires college students to take three abilities capabilities and work independently with a mentor from the college’s college on a venture constructed across the student’s hobby, with areas of ticket that can presumably well encompass scoring for novel media, recording, mixing, production, electronics efficiency and interactivity, pc-aided composition and others. The college additionally provides dual level capabilities with Tufts and Harvard University. Composition alumna Stephanie Economou impartial currently scored Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy.

TUITION $52,730

NOTABLE ALUMNI Alan Hovhaness (classical composer), Ralph Burns (Cabaret)

7. Eastman College of Music

Rochester, Original York

Eastman’s two-year master’s program changed into basically based by Jeff Beal (Netflix’s Home of Playing cards) and is directed by composer Impress Watters, who says that in-person classes and performances have now returned fully to the college. “Doubtlessly the superb news is that Jeff and [singer] Joan Beal have moved to NYC, but fairly than sell their beautiful dwelling studio in Agoura Hills, they have turned it into Eastman West, a save for graduated Eastman media composers who will seemingly be allowed to now now not simplest reside there for a modest price, but they additionally have internet admission to to his improbable studio for their very beget projects. This has been a sizable support to the novel community of four young composers as they launch their careers.”

TUITION $58,520

NOTABLE ALUMNI Angelo Badalamenti (Twin Peaks) Wendy O. Williams (punk icon)

8. UCLA Herb Alpert College of Music

Los Angeles

UCLA Herb Alpert College’s master’s and Ph.D. capabilities offer a specialization in both composition or composition for visual media, with college students completing ticket in song notion, orchestration, song prognosis, abilities, counterpoint (two or extra traces of song that will seemingly be performed simultaneously), efficiency, besides to Western and non-Western song history and traditions. The college’s shrimp student inhabitants of 558 allows for a generous student-to-trainer ratio of 4-to-1, and with 45 efficiency ensembles, the college generates extra than 350 on-campus performances a year. Composer Terence Blanchard has been named the principle Kenny Burrell chair in jazz be taught on the college.

TUITION $13,258 (in-explain); about $66,000 (out-of-explain)

NOTABLE ALUMNI Anthony Kiedis (Red Sizzling Chili Peppers), John Cage (composer-artist)

9. San Francisco Conservatory of Music

San Francisco

SFC’s proximity to Silicon Valley brings with it unparalleled internet admission to to the gaming change’s abilities, abilities and funding, making it one of many surest pathways into the sector of video recreation scoring. Its abilities and applied composition program provides college students firsthand abilities in scoring an in-construction video recreation, whereas they additionally internet the different to file their song at George Lucas’ prestigious Skywalker Sound. Visiting college on this method have included Laura Karpman (Taken), Austin Wintory (Murderer’s Creed Syndicate) and conductor-orchestrator Tim Davies. The college additionally partners with the San Francisco Global Film Festival, giving college students the chance to work straight with filmmakers.

TUITION $49,300

NOTABLE ALUNNI Isaac Stern, John Adams (composer-conductor)

10. Indiana University Jacobs College of Music

Bloomington, Indiana

Jacobs’ song scoring for visual media program is inch by program director and accomplice professor Larry Groupé, who additionally is a working composer (2020’s The Outpost). In 2019, Groupé upgraded this method to encompass a master’s level, undergraduate and doctoral minors, and two certificates levels. Every semester, composing college students take allotment in a Hollywood-style recording session on the college’s novel Joshi Studio, collaborate with Indiana University movie college students on projects, again particular presentations with movie change company and abilities internet admission to to the college’s appreciable student physique of professional musicians, who will seemingly be called upon to agree with their song.

TUITION $36,932

NOTABLE ALUMNI Joshua Bell (violinist-composer), Leonard Slatkin (conductor)

11. University of North Carolina College of the Arts

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Even if UNCSA has its beget song college (in conjunction with conservatory practicing in drama, dance, and plot and production), it’s within the abnormal save of offering a two-year master of elegant arts in movie song composition as allotment of its college of filmmaking. “The whole lot about our movie college is extra or much less a studio machine recount,” says composer Chris Heckman, chair of this method. “Students come right here because they’re going to have the abilities of indubitably working with filmmakers and increasing relationships that with a runt little bit of luck take care of it up into the decent world.”

The college’s 4,000-square-foot movie scoring stage, the largest on the East Flit, can accommodate a 75-part symphony orchestra. Notes Hackman, “Our scoring stage is de facto predominant — particularly since so many stages shut down in Original York, it’s demanding to get a stage as spectacular as this.”

TUITION $9,196 (in-explain); $23,899 (out-of-explain)

NOTABLE ALUMNI Atli Örvarsson (Pirates of the Caribbean), Kim Planert (Castle)

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A efficiency of Benjamin Britten’s opera Albert Herring by the Curtis Opera Theatre in Philadelphia.
William M. Brown/Courtesy of College

12. Curtis Institute of Music


Curtis provides bachelor of song, post-baccalaureate diploma, master of song in opera and decent be taught certificates. Tuition is free (advantage-basically based fully scholarships quilt the fleshy label of faculty students’ education), but COVID-connected health funds can add to overall prices (additional monetary support is on hand to quilt expenditures beyond tuition). Students talented ample to tag up for on the college (the acceptance price is a stingy 4 p.c) change into allotment of an exceptionally shrimp inhabitants of about 175 college students, with a noteworthy student-to-trainer ratio of 2-to-1 bearing in thoughts extensive inner most internet admission to and interplay with the college’s college.

TUITION Free after scholarships

NOTABLE ALUMNI Samuel Barber, Nino Rota (The Godfather)

13. Original York University Steinhardt College of Tradition, Training and Human Pattern

Original York City

Steinhardt provides bachelor of song and master of song levels in song notion and composition and in display veil scoring. Students enrolled within the capabilities secure practicing in song notion and song history, from Western song to movie song, and standard to world song traditions. They additionally can ticket instrumentation and orchestration, and secure inner most composition classes, besides to soak up extra than one performances and collaborations. Students can advise the college’s recording studio and have their compositions premiered in a single of the many concert events offered by the college’s Composers Collective, all whereas having internet admission to to a number of of the a sizable quantity of movie, video recreation productions, documentaries and diversified media within the Original York City dwelling.

TUITION $26,885

NOTABLE ALUMNI Elmer Bernstein, Cy Coleman (composer/jazz pianist)

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Students rehearsing at NYU Steinhardt.
Courtesy Of NYU Steinhardt

14. Yale College of Music

Original Haven, Connecticut

Original Haven’s Yale College of Music provides conservatory practicing with a highlight on old acoustic composition, but additionally boasts alternatives to learn digital song, recording ideas and abilities via the college’s media production department and its recording studios, which present abilities in audio-video recording and editing besides to reside streaming and insist advent. The college provides master of song, master and doctor of musical arts levels, and a mixed bachelor of arts/master of song level for college students attempting for out a liberal arts education to spherical out their portfolio. Over the direction of their be taught, composition college students generate ample song to fill a fleshy-measurement recital program, and dealing customer composers meet and work with college students at a composition seminar.

TUITION Free after fleshy tuition award and fellowship

NOTABLE ALUMNI Marco Beltrami (A Composed Space), Andrew Norman (contemporary classical composer)

15. Royal College of Music


RCM provides a two-year master’s program for college students. The master of composition for display veil takes impartial appropriate thing about London’s hub of circulate image, tv and marketing production and makes a speciality of good talents. Students again networking events and workshops with movie and tv production mavens and collaborate with college students from London’s prestigious movie colleges. As one of many sector’s main conservatories, RCM additionally provides bachelor’s levels in song and master’s levels in song, song efficiency and composition besides to postgraduate-stage classes in composition for display veil.

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American student Emily Sierra performs after being offered with the President’s Award by Prince Charles in each place in the Royal College of Music’s annual awards ceremony.
Matt Dunham – WPA Pool/Getty Photos

TUITION 25,300 pounds (about $33,800)

NOTABLE ALUMNI Alexandre Desplat (The French Dispatch), Neville Marriner (violinist-conductor)

16. Columbia University within the City of Original York

Original York City

Columbia CNY provides a two-year sound arts MFA program that admits appropriate two to four college students a year, with a curriculum of both person or collaborative be taught projects specializing within the combination of sound in media, with internet admission to to the sound art and song college in conjunction with visual arts, engineering and diversified personnel at some level of the college. Students on this method work within the studio with visiting artists and abilities a week’s price of actions with a truly crucial artist every semester. Linked capabilities encompass sound: superior matters I & II; sculpture; pc programming for song and art; song, math and notion; and ethnology of sound. The college’s song efficiency program sides concentrations in composition, ethnomusicology, historical musicology and song notion.

TUITION $60,514

NOTABLE ALUMNI Ira Gershwin, Pat Boone

17. Musicians Institute

Los Angeles

If you happen to’re in search of to get a extra cheap technique to enter the Los Angeles song scene with a highlight on rock ‘n’ roll instruction, Musicians Institute provides master and bachelor of song levels in conjunction with accomplice of arts and accomplice of science levels. A bachelor’s level program in song composition for visual media provides college students instruction in arranging, scoring, orchestration, song notion, ear practicing and song history, and its campus, located within the coronary heart of Hollywood, boasts a sizable quantity of recording studios and internet admission to to L.A.’s song change mavens. The college additionally provides a mountainous different of on-line classes in conjunction with in-person instruction.

TUITION $27,540

NOTABLE ALUMNI David Becker (jazz guitarist), Kevin Fowler (singer-songwriter)

18. Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program — Seattle Film Institute


PNFS provides a master of song in movie composition program (basically the most straightforward one within the U.S.) inch by Hummie Mann. The program introduced an on-line/low residency structure that allows college students to again a long way off classes besides to 1- and two-week residencies in Seattle three cases in each place in the college year for in-person workshops and recording sessions. Students undertake 10 scoring projects that non-public conducting reside recording sessions, besides to engaged on a long way off sessions and producing digital and synth ratings. They additionally get out contend with the overall most recurrently used system within the change. Other instruction involves mixing, songwriting, industrial and networking, and composition and sound plot for interactive video games. Students can originate a master’s level in 40 weeks and hurry away this method with an honest skill web insist online and demo reel.

TUITION $40,040

NOTABLE ALUMNI Brendon Williams (video recreation composer), Bobby Brader (composer-orchestrator)

19. University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

Even if it doesn’t have a loyal media scoring program, UNT’s composition program is one of many largest within the nation, boasting around 70 college students and a substantial array of approaches and disciplines. The campus’ Heart for Experimental Music & Intermedia (CEMI) contains six production studios and the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater. Coming to The US 2 composer Jermaine Stegall entered the composition program as a stepping stone to additional education and work in Los Angeles. “It regarded worship the overall tools that I indispensable were there,” Stegall says. “The director of this method [Joseph Klein] instructed me up front, with my ardour for movie song, that that’s now now not what they convey us, but they’ll absolutely can enable you hone the abilities which that you would be in a position to need ought to you were composing proper song.”

TUITION $38,794 (sensible per semester, out-of-explain); $26,554 (in-explain)

NOTABLE ALUMNI Christopher Younger (Pet Semetary), Don Henley

20. Los Angeles College of Music

Los Angeles

LACM provides a 20-month accomplice of science level and a 38-month bachelor of science level in song production; then on-line level capabilities covering three areas of ticket: composition, production and the industrial side of managing song. The college additionally has a bachelor of song level program in composing for visual media that provides education in musical method, abilities, song industrial units and the capability to work each independently and with producers, directors and musicians to be triumphant. Candidates for this method have to audition with audio tracks accompanied by notated ratings, besides to a written description of their involvement with their rating submissions and their pc talents and prior studio and song abilities.

TUITION $32,600

NOTABLE ALUMNI Jean Dolabella (multi-instrumenalist), Tal Wilkenfeld (singer-songwriter)

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