Thomas L. McKinley, B.M., M.M., A.M., Ph.D.

Thomas L. McKinley, Composition Department Head

Lynn University’s Conservatory of Music offers the Bachelor of Music and the Master of Music degrees for students of composition. Because of the small size and unique nature of the conservatory, students are assured of a highly personalized and individualized education. Through private instruction and a variety of music courses, the composition student is encouraged to explore and pursue the world of music in all its aspects. The composition program at Lynn University has no particular bias with regard to musical “style.”  Student composers are encouraged to explore a variety of styles—whether it be atonal or neotonal, avant-garde or post-modern—in order to find the musical language which best expresses their artistic vision. In addition to taking a wide range of music courses, including theory, history, music skills and instrumental performance, undergraduate composers in the Bachelor of Music program participate in Lynn University’s new and innovative liberal arts core curriculum, The Dialogues of Learning. Another unique benefit for the young composer is the conservatory’s annual New Music Festival, which provides students the opportunity to have original compositions performed in a public setting and allows them to work with respected and accomplished guest composers.  Interested students should feel free to contact composition department head, Thomas L. McKinley.

Application Requirements

Applicants to both the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree programs in composition are required to submit a portfolio of representative original works and, if possible, recordings of these works. Applicants to the Bachelor of Music degree should submit at least two compositions; applicants to the Master of Music degree should submit three compositions. The portfolio of the prospective master’s student should demonstrate an appropriate range with regard to instrumentation and style—music for a variety of different ensembles (chamber, large ensemble, solo, vocal, etc.) should be included. It is expected that a prospective master’s student in composition will have completed a bachelor’s degree, majoring in composition, before starting their studies at Lynn. 

Thomas McKinley, Department Head, Composition