Master of Music in

Composing for Visual Media

The Master of Music degree in Composing for Visual Media is a practice-oriented degree designed to focus on the development of professional competence for students who intend to pursue a career in music as artists and educators.

The degree, including its curricular structure, requirements for admission, continuation and graduation, are guided by the mission statement and purposes objectives of the Los Angeles of Music graduate degree program.

Mission Statement
The Los Angeles College of Music master’s program provides a rich environment where students develop a competitive career path through artistic endeavor, rigorous training, scholarship and unparalleled exposure to the music industry to become influential creative artists, educators, and entrepreneurs.

Purposes/Objectives
Directed by the guiding principle to develop students as successful artistic entrepreneurs, the purposes and objectives, structure and content of the Master of Music and Master of Arts programs focus on in-depth knowledge and competence in a major field of specialization and a breadth of competence through practice and scholarship.

The institution maintains a rigorous admissions policy that aligns with the objectives and goals of the Master of Music programs. The Graduate Studies Committee evaluates applicants for academic accomplishment, musicianship, talent, artistry, and level of commitment.

  • All Master of Music and Master of Arts applicants are required to hold a Bachelor of Music (BM) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music from an accredited institution. Degrees from international institutions are considered with a US equivalency evaluation report from a certified credential evaluator.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 from the applicant’s baccalaureate degree is required for admission.
  • Applicants must submit and essay on their goals in pursuing a career in music and what they expect to gain and contribute to the master’s program.
  • Applicants must pass an entrance audition and demonstrate advanced proficiency in their major field of specialization.
  • Applicants must pass entrance exams that demonstrate competency at the baccalaureate level in Musicianship, Music History, Music Technology and Music Business.
Entrance Exam Overview
  1. Full-score manuscripts in PDF format of three (3) original compositions. Score manuscripts be professionally created, using software such as Finale, Sibelius, or Dorico, and accurately reflect the audio recordings.
  2. Quicktime recordings of submitted compositions with the music in sync to video picture. The compositions should convey an ability to capture mood, color and action through both composition and orchestration. Live recorded works are appreciated whenever possible; however, MIDI-generated recordings, as well as hybrid recordings (MIDI combined with live recordings), are quite acceptable.

Course Highlights

Composer Entrepreneur 1: Collaboration & Communication (3 credits)

This course emphasizes maximizing the composers’ relationship with the director, editors, and producers. The class focuses on collaboration and communication styles within the entertainment industry at large as well as exploring a “Score Pitch”, business skills, contracts, and working within the limitations of budgets. This class consists of two weekly 90-minute lectures.

Writing for Sync (2 credits)

In-depth exploration of styles of songwriting and composition related to varied visual media outlets (Film/TV/Video Games/Apps/etc). This class consists of a weekly one-hour lecture and two-hour lab.

New Music Forum (3 credits)

Interactive course in preparation and performance of premiere work especially composed for graduate performer or performers by graduate composer at LACM. This class consists of a weekly two-hour lecture and two hour lab.

Film Score Orchestration for Live Orchestra Recording Sessions (3 credits)

This course focuses on advanced orchestration techniques and how they relate to orchestrating for different sized orchestral groups within the context of recording a professional film score. Students will work directly with experienced and professional orchestrators in preparing pieces to be performed and recorded with a professional orchestra. This class consists of a weekly two-hour lecture and two-hour lab.

Film Score Mixing (3 credits)

Film music mixing principles, styles, and techniques through exploration of stereo, surround and immersive mixing. This includes the in-depth study of advanced reverb applications and techniques with regard to contemporary sample libraries in conjunction with live recordings. We will explore and develop listening analysis skills and how to implement them into your mixes while applying “defensive” mixing - Streaming to various formats, etc.. The class consists of a weekly two-hour lecture and two-hour lab.

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