The Program

USC Thornton's Department of Screen Scoring offers a one-year master of music program located in the center of the Los Angeles film and television community. As a professional program, in a unique collaborative setting on the USC campus, we work closely with the USC School of Cinematic Arts. To this end, we currently compose and produce music for 14 different courses in the USC School of Cinematic Arts, ranging from live action narratives and documentaries to animation and video games. Those recording sessions are generally held on campus at the John Williams Scoring Stage with Thornton School of Music instrumentalists and are recorded by engineers from the School of Cinematic Arts. In addition, there are approximately 10 course-related recording and scoring sessions held in industry-favored recording stages throughout the Los Angeles area, including The Bridge, Warner Bros., and Capitol Studios. Ensembles comprised of as many as 65 professional studio musicians perform at these sessions, which are recorded and mixed by award-winning industry engineers.*

Our faculty consists of working professionals from all genres within the industry and includes cinema/television/video-game composers, orchestrators, conductors, music supervisors, music editors, engineers, copyists, and journalists. Our curriculum includes course offerings and/or workshops and master classes in orchestral and electronic scoring; recording, mixing, and editing; music preparation; technology and video games; film-music history; business; collaboration; and entrepreneurialism. We also participate in the Thornton School mentorship program in which a few students from each Thornton program are selected for mentorship by industry members of Thornton's Board of Councilors.

Additionally, the weekly composition forum provides our students with numerous opportunities to interact with industry professionals, including directors, film editors, and film-music workers. Occasionally such sessions are held in the studios of working composers. Click here for a listing of some of our more recent forum guests.

With an emphasis on production work, both on the USC campus and in the Hollywood community, the students participate in ways that prepare them for numerous career options in this multimedia marketplace.

*The Department of Screen Scoring is proud to be in partnership with the American Federation of Musicians, Local 47, and we are grateful to receive the generous, professional support and collaboration of its talented member players.