Composition

The Michigan State University composition program thrives at the intersection of the creation, research, and performance of music and sound with other art forms.

Visit the Composition Studio website to learn more about news, events, electronic media and activities of the area.

Meet Our Composition Faculty

Engagement at the highest level

Faculty and students work in acoustic and electronic media, including chamber and large ensembles, real-time interactive performance, video and film, installation, instrument design, and improvisation.

Students study composition in individual lessons with faculty composers and in small, focused courses on specific topics relevant to creating music and art in the 21st-century. A weekly studio class is led by faculty, students, and a variety of visiting composers and performers, fostering lively and engaging discussions that complement the composition curriculum.

Composition students have frequent performance opportunities with professional performers and ensembles and the MSU College of Music top-tier ensembles. They regularly work with symphony orchestras, wind symphonies, contemporary music ensembles, and choral groups. Student composers also organize premier performances of their works in venues on and off campus and participate in a variety of competitions and workshops.

In addition to individual study with faculty and the composition studio class, students study topics relevant to creating music and art, including:

Music for the Motion Picture
Real Time (Electronic Music) Performance 
Projects in Computer Music
Music Preparation and Presentation
Scoring and Advanced Scoring for Orchestra and Band

These courses are taught by faculty in small, focused groups and include a variety of graduate seminars chosen by faculty. The Composition Area at MSU is led by a distinguished faculty of composers who foster a vibrant, creative, supportive environment in which students reflect, grow, and thrive.