- Composer: What I do and how much I make
- Composer: How I got my job and where I'm going
- Composer: My budget and planning for the future
- Composer: Advice on pursuing a creative career
- What does a composer for media do?
- How do you become a composer for media?
How do you become a composer for media?
Learn about the typical training and education necessary to become a composer.
Becoming a professional composer is highly competitive. If your dream is to write the score for a big Hollywood blockbuster or write the theme song for a popular tv show, you will need to hone both your music and business skills.
Before you can begin writing original music, make sure that your skills as a musician are solid. Piano and guitar are particularly valuable for composition, and most composers are proficient at playing at least one of these instruments. As you perfect your craft, explore different styles of music. Whether your preference is classical or rock, exposing yourself to different forms of music will enhance your understanding and ability to write and arrange music.
This is a career that requires a significant investment in education. A composer can spend a lifetime perfecting their skills at an instrument through formal lessons and practice. To further their understanding of composition and related technologies, such as music notation software, many also pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in this field. Taking business classes can also help you develop financial management and marketing skills that are key to managing clients and projects. When exploring colleges, seek a program with industry ties and look for a location that will enable you to network with producers, advertisers, and artists. These relationships may open the door to your first job opportunity.
Before entering this field, think about the form of media that you would like to write for, whether film, tv, advertising, or video games. Learn the language of that media so that you can better communicate with people in the industry. This will not only help you be hired for projects, but will also make you more effective at communicating with clients to ensure you are on the same page.
Developing a successful career as a composer will require you to network and seek out work. In order to build your portfolio, look for opportunities to write music for student films. Put one hundred percent into each project, even if it doesn’t pay well. Most composers work freelance, and developing a strong reputation will help you develop a pipeline of work to grant you more stability.
This article was adapted from the following sources:
“Become a composer.” careersinmusic.com. Accessed April 9, 2017.
“Become a composer: education and career roadmap.” study.com. Accessed April 9, 2017.
“What education do I need to become a composer?” learn.org. Accessed April 9, 2017.
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