Becoming a music composer is a vision to many, particularly with video games and movies on the rise in popularity with great soundtracks. The path to becoming a composer of music can be somewhat confusing and is not always straight forward. Try to practice playing music every day, get a degree in an area you like, and score an internship in your future to get a position as a music composer.
Learning Skills and Practicing
1. Learn how to read music, and compose it. It is integral to you as a composer to be able to read and write music so you can do your work. Take an online course or watch free tutorials to comprehend how to write music from scratch. Or, take musician’s classes to get professional help.
- You can improvise music to go along with a piece of media, or just get by without writing down. And in this career direction, reading and writing music would be very helpful to you.
2. Participate in a chorus or join a band to get music play experience. You need to grasp how it works and what it takes to play it, in order to write music. Join a choir or band to keep up with your musical knowledge as you work towards becoming a composer. Choose a party that can perform the same kinds of music you ‘re interested in, such as jazz or classical.
3. Watch videos you want to come up with ideas. Choose movies to watch that have good scoring to get an idea of what directors are looking for if you want to be a film scorer or even some other form of the composer. Look for music-based films that help tell a story and enhance the experience of the audience.
- Many different media styles have scores and compositions you can listen to. To widen your horizons, consider sampling TV shows, video games, and classical pieces.
4. Watch short library videos about how to use them. Many composers are using sample libraries to create music and not live bands. Visit YouTube to watch videos on how to use sample libraries on your computer, or take online or in-person courses to begin your practice.
- They can occasionally use a live band instead, depending on the budget a composer has. That is not the rule though.
Getting a Degree
1. To focus on movies, get a Bachelor’s degree in film scoring. If you think you want to be a film scorer, then seek a Bachelor’s degree in film scoring to base your education on cinema. You’ll get a short film scoring experience and learn how to use music to tell a story.
- You’ll even learn how to accompany a movie with an orchestra.
3. Graduate with a Bachelor’s degree for a broad degree in composition. If you’re not sure you want to focus specifically on films, then leave your education slightly more open and get a composition degree. This degree will give you a wide array of skills, such as how to score different media pieces using modern technology and live bands.
- You might want to focus on your degree as you determine what particular career path you want to take after graduating.
4. To further your personal style pursue a Master’s degree in composition. While employers typically only look for composers with a Bachelor’s degree, if you would like to hone in on your own style of composing music you can obtain a Master’s in composition. You’ll most likely be composing a 30-minute piece and being asked to execute it before graduating.
Finding a Job
1. Build your career portfolio online. Impressing future employers would be much easier if you are willing to show them an example of what you have done in the past. Build yourself a simple website and list any and all of the projects you’ve worked on or completed.
- To please your future employers, select videos and compositions which are your best work.
2. Look online for job offers. Many film studios and video game firms will post online employment opportunities. Keep an eye out in your area for job openings, and try to apply to as many opportunities as possible. California companies also tend to recruit new people for jobs, because they are close to Hollywood.
- Even if you don’t live close to any major movie studios, you could find remote work from your phone.
3. Get a practicum to get your foot in the door. Some companies do not have any real work openings but many of them will have free internships. Practices usually don’t pay well, but they will let you expose your work to people and prove you ‘re a good worker. Apply for internships, although they aren’t exactly what you’d like to do in the long term. This may later potentially move you into an actual job.
4. Take some job that you can get to play. As soon as you start searching, you may not find your dream job, and that’s good. Try to take as many jobs as you can when you start, to gain experience, even if they don’t pay the best. You can add any work you do to your portfolio.
- Be careful about jobs that don’t pay anything at all, or promise exposure. Your time is valuable, and even if you are just starting out, you should be paid for your work.