To What Degree: Teaching Musical Composition

Higher Education Arts Data Services (HEADS) is a joint activity of the National Association of Schools of Music, Art and Design, Dance and Theatre. Each year, information on enrollment, degrees awarded, salaries, rank, budget, and ethnicity is collected and compiled for distribution.

The following is a compilation of information from the 2000-01 HEADS report in music. This annual report surveyed 533 public and private institutions that offer degree programs in music. For our purposes we will concentrate on statistics related to composition.

  • 148 institutions offered undergraduate majors in composition during 2000-01. A total of 1120 students were enrolled as composition majors in Fall 2000. 176 degrees were awarded between July 1, 1999, and June 30, 2000.
  • 115 institutions offered the masters degree in composition during 2000-01. 506 students were enrolled as majors in Fall 2000. 173 degrees were awarded between July 1, 1999, and June 30, 2000.
  • 46 institutions offered the doctoral degree in composition during 2000-01. A total of 336 students were enrolled as majors. 68 degrees awarded between July 1, 1999, and June 30, 2000.

Those aspiring to careers in higher education may also be interested in information related to salary. This data refers only to public institutions with 401+ majors (42 institutions reporting) and is not specific to those who teach composition:

Salary for Full Professor: lowest = $19,988; highest = $138,000.

Salary for Assistant Professor: lowest = $25,110; highest = $63,500.

From To What Degree: A HyperHistory of Teaching Musical Composition
By Marilyn Shrude
© 2002 NewMusicBox