Music

  • Production shot from DON GIOVANNI
  • french horns
  • choir and orchestra
  • pianist, clarinetist, and violinist
  • violin section of orchestra
  • wind orchestra

Top 25 Music Schools for Composing for Film and TV

November 25, 2018

drawing of music students over lines of music score
Illustration by: People Too

Reposted from The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter polled more than 600 entertainment pros to compile the annual ranking of the world's elite music programs, from London to Los Angeles.

Every year, when THR surveys key figures in the entertainment industry to determine the most-in-demand music schools in the world, a debate ensues: Are traditional music institutions more valuable than the school of hard knocks? To be sure, the institutions on this annual list offer students the benefits of rigorous instruction and valuable industry access. But one venue that should almost rank as a music school is Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions, which has probably mentored more A-list composers — from John Powell (Solo: A Star Wars Story) to Harry Gregson-Williams (The Meg) — than most top-ranked conservatories.

Composer Henry Jackman studied everywhere from St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir School to Eton College and Oxford, and worked on record production with Trevor Horn, but he credits Remote Control with honing the skills he’s put to work on movie projects like Kong: Skull Island and Captain America: Civil War.

“The thing about Hans is it’s more like a medieval [apprenticeship]," he says. "if you wanted to be a goldsmith and you’re lucky enough that your dad knows the goldsmith, you get thrown in and there they all are with a big furnace doing all these intricate things, and you start pouring water in the furnace on day one and at the end of the year if you’re any good you might be working on some gold pieces — and if you’re not you get thrown out.”

The only problem: The odds of landing a spot at Remote Control are slim without some solid industry connections. For aspiring composers without friends in high places, the best bet is still an established music school. To compile the annual ranking of the world's elite music programs, THR weighed various factors — alumni, facilities, overall reputation — and relied on the results of a survey sent to more than 600 industry professionals, including members of the Society of Composers & Lyricists, and the music branches of AMPAS and the TV Academy. Tuition figures are for one year and, unless stated otherwise, apply to undergrad degrees.


Number 25

Cal State Northridge

While it doesn’t offer a master's, Cal State Northridge’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication does offer a very affordable bachelor's degree in commercial & media composiiton with a focus on film scoring as well as training in songwriting and vocal arranging and their commercial applications. The facilities feature a large scoring lab with 24 stations including iMacs with Logic, ProTools LE and Finale, and a smaller lab with extensive software and sample libraries.

TUITION In-state $6,888

NOTABLE ALUM David Fung

*READ THE ENTIRE LIST


Follow up article posted in CSUN TODAY

Students learning the art of music composition for film and television at California State University, Northridge’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication are getting one of the best such educations in the world, according to entertainment professionals surveyed by T​he Hollywood Reporter.

CSUN appears on the magazine’s Top 25 Music Schools for Composing for Film and TV list, putting it in the company of the world’s elite music programs, along with the USC Thornton School of Music, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, The Juilliard School in New York, Berklee College of Music in Boston, and Royal College of Music in London. The Hollywood Reporter polled more than 600 entertainment pros to compile the annual ranking.

“Winning this ranking illustrates the uniqueness of our programs, and it places us amongst the finest music institutions in the world,” said professor Steven Thachuk, head of Guitar Studies and interim chair for CSUN’s Department of Music. “It’s a testament to our faculty, and especially work of our students, who have gone into this impossibly competitive field and excelled.
 

“Our professors and faculty stay current in a rapidly developing field, which is very difficult,” Thachuk continued. “It requires them to remain professionally active in the field while also teaching at the school. This not only provides the best in training, but allows our students to find worthwhile internships in the film composition discipline.”

The Hollywood Reporter lauded CSUN’s high-tech facilities, which feature a large scoring lab with 24 stations including iMacs with Logic, ProTools LE and Finale, as well as a smaller lab with extensive software and sample libraries. The magazine also noted the affordability of CSUN’s program.

CSUN’s music programs have also been lauded for being among the nation’s best by such publications as Variety ​and The Wrap.