KMI offers private lesson instruction in music composition, provided by very highly qualified and experienced teachers. The Composition Department hosts very rigorous programs that include private instruction in composition and intense musicology courses. Composition may be studied as a primary or secondary, and study of the piano is not required for the beginning levels.
KMI currently offers music composition in three ways: 1) private lessons; 2) as part of piano lessons; and 3) classroom instruction. For composition as part of piano lessons, see PIANO DEPARTMENT and for classroom instruction, see MUSICOLOGY. Any students interested in enrolling with one of our highly qualified teachers for PRIVATE COMPOSITION lessons at any level, continue reading this department section.
Admission: Students wishing to study ONLY music composition as their PRIMARY INSTRUMENT must have completed the Core Curriculum in piano study, or its equivalent, or must be currently studying piano either at KMI or with another piano teacher. Students wishing to study music composition as their SECONDARY INSTRUMENT must be studying a primary instrument privately either at KMI or with another teacher.
Theory: Composition requires solidy and more extensive knowledge of music theory. The KMI faculty will assess all composition students recording theory knowledge and may recommend theory materials (workbooks) in addition to what is required for their regular instrumental study.
Composition Worksbooks: KMI director, Lee W. Kikuchi, has authored a series of very comprehensive composition workbooks, which are equivalent to a method system for composition. At each level the student's knowledge of music theory is expanded, notational skills refined and composition techniques taught and developed. The series is called Creating Music, and sample copies can be downloaded from the website.
Performances: Students are welcome to perform their own compositions at regularly scheduled KMI re-citals. In addition, the faculty at KMI will do everything possible to secure performances of at least two of the students’ other works annually which require other mu-sicians or which have been composed for an instrument the student does not play. Priority will be given to se-curing student performances of the works, and if that is not possible faculty performances will suffice as a second choice.
Instrument Study: Even though the piano is the most important instrument for all composers to learn, all composers should also have some knowledge of how to play various other instruments. Any students serious about the study of composition should pursue one in-strument in each family (string, brass and woodwind) for about a year each in order to gain some knowledge of their abilities and restrictions and to learn how to write effectively for the instruments in those families, and should pursue at least one orchestral instrument to an advanced level.