Composing Career Bootcamp

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🤯 John Powell Doesn’t Hear Notes 🎹 composition Dec 05, 2023

When I was in college, I was taught that the best composers hear their music BEFORE they write it.

The formal term for this skill is audiation—the ability to hear or comprehend music when sound isn’t—or never was—present.

(If you’ve never tried this before, give it a shot. Sit in front of your DAW or instrument, and don’t play a note until you hear it in your...

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🆘 Why Most Composers Can't Go Full-Time 💼 finding work Nov 28, 2023

I Surveyed Composers Just Like You

I asked composers on the Composing Career Bootcamp Wait List to fill out a brief survey which you can check out here.

Of those composers, over 50% of them had landed paid work, but were still struggling to do it full-time.

So getting paid something for composing is pretty common, but transitioning to doing it...

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🏋️ Composing Careers Need Practice, Too ⭐️ highlights 💼 finding work Nov 21, 2023

If you’re trying to make composing a full-time profession, your practice routine needs to change.

Think of it like exercise.

The left side of your body is your craft...

  • Composing
  •  Orchestrating
  •  Mockups
  •  Scoring

... and the right side of your body is your business:

  •  Networking
  •  Marketing
  •  Pitching
  •  Negotiation
  •  Communication
  •  Project...
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Weekly Listening: “I’m Helping the Idiot” (The Witcher S1) 👂 listening Nov 14, 2023

I’m late to the game on this soundtrack, but WOW is it good.

Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli created an incredible musical landscape for the opening season of Netflix’s interpretation of The Witcher, performing and recording 50+ homemade and ancient instruments in their home studio.

The resulting soundtrack feels genuine and rustic—the imperfections of live performances...

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🤞 Is That “Exciting Opportunity” Just Another False Promise? 💼 finding work Nov 14, 2023

Sometimes we’re offered opportunities that feel too good to be true.

They usually are.

It’s not that people mean to mislead or deceive you (always).

It’s that they don’t always know what they want.

Here’s how to navigate common obstacles when an “exciting opportunity” comes your way:



False opportunities are abstract and undefined.


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🛠️ The Gear You Need to Compose Full-Time 🎚️ production Nov 07, 2023

It can often be overwhelming to see big-name film composers with massive setups and thousands of dollars worth of gear.

But here’s the good news:

You don’t need all of that to start getting paid to make music.

Here’s what my setup looked like in 2016:

I’ve got a laptop propped up on a wooden board on a dual keyboard stand, sitting in-between my Yamaha HS5 monitors...

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Throwback Tuesday: God of War - Ragnarok 🎹 composition Nov 07, 2023

Next Thursday marks the 1-year anniversary of one of the coolest games I’ve ever watched.

God of War: Ragnarok had it all—a phenomenal story, lush gameplay and graphics, and an incredible soundtrack by the one and only Bear McCreary.

I dissected Bear’s character themes in this video (which amazingly caught Bear’s eyes leading to a cool chat with him!)

With composers...

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🙌 Sharing a Student Win! 💼 finding work Oct 31, 2023

For today’s video, I wanted to share a huge win from one of my awesome students, Vasiko Machabeli.

Vasiko recently had the opportunity to score his first client project, which was a huge win. But even cooler was that the client found him through his YouTube channel!

I’m a huge believer in the power of social media and an online presence to bring clients and collaborators to...

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🤔 The Hunt for the Adjective 💬 communication Oct 31, 2023

Collaborators and clients don’t always say what they mean.

One of the most important phases for a composer is the “spotting” session, when the composer and director discuss where music should and shouldn’t be, and any overarching moods, themes, or styles.

Spotting sessions can happen synchronously either in-person or via a call, but in my experience often happen...

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🎻 MIDI Strings Programming Tips 🎚️ production Oct 24, 2023

Today’s video shoutout goes to Simon Passmore, a fantastic composer and mockup wizard who I’ve had the pleasure of working with on several projects!

Simon has some tips in his newest video that are almost too good to be free. But free they are, so enjoy

I especially love his suggestion of practicing a VST before recording it. VSTs are a lot like learning new instruments unto...

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