Composing Career Bootcamp

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😨 Is Fear Stopping You From Networking? 🀝 networking Oct 10, 2023

(Today’s topic is taken from the Networking module of my Composing Career Bootcamp program. If you want to get paid for your music and are ready to learn some powerful new skills, be sure to check it out!)

I coach hundreds of students in 1:1 sessions, many of whom dream of making music for a living.

But when I ask them what they’ve done to grow their network, the answer is usually ...

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πŸ“š There's More to Storytelling Than Theory 🎬 scoring Sep 26, 2023

Coaching students often ask me how I use theory to navigate the many emotions that music needs to convey for effective storytelling.

Theory is a great way to discover new tools, but what theory won’t do is build your emotional vocabulary. To do that, you need to connect emotional language to the tools you learn.

Here’s what to try:

When you listen to a chord progression, don’t...

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πŸ›£οΈ Learn to Love the Journey ⭐️ highlights 🧠 mindset Sep 19, 2023

One of the most difficult parts about an artistic career is the the lack of a straightforward path.

Because the truth is:

There is no "magic bullet" for mastering composition, finding work, or building an audience.

And I remember feeling that frustration, too.

When I was in college, I attended an orchestral rehearsal for a composer whose wife was my composition teacher. Eager to take advantage...

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πŸ“š 18 Books Every Creative Pro Needs to Read πŸ“š books Sep 05, 2023

The comfort zone of a composer is--you guessed it--writing music.

But the reality of making music for a living is that at least 70% of your time will be spent on non-musical tasks. That includes (but is definitely not limited to):

  • Networking
  • Negotiating
  • Admin & Organization
  • Ongoing communication with clients
  • Bookkeeping
  • Sending & receiving invoices

That's why today, I'm sharing...

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🎻 Is Orchestral Practical or Creative? 🎹 composition Aug 29, 2023

My parents recently got a chance to hear a piece from a live recording session I had with a full orchestra.

After listening, my Mom asked me about how orchestration works as a part of the puzzle of making music.

Some composers see orchestration as this broad color palette filled with endless possibilities. But often if you speak with a seasoned orchestrator, they’ll...

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🎚️ How to Play Your Fader Like an Orchestra 🎚️ production Aug 29, 2023

With just one week left until my Orchestral Mockup Fundamentals course release date, I thought I'd share a little preview from the course itself.

Here's a few strategies I use regularly to perform winds, brass, and strings using just modulation from a MIDI fader:

Some key takeaways:

  • Phrase the dynamics of your lines in accordance with the rising and falling of your melody
  • ...
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😒 Losing Passion for Your Art 🧠 mindset Aug 22, 2023

The irony of full-time creative work is that many people pursue them to escape a 9-5 and do what they love…

…only to work twice as long, through weekends, and with an endless sense of unyielding urgency. 

Rushing to “make it” as a professional composer is a quick and inevitable path to burnout. If you’re feel that urgency, it might be time to pause...

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🀯 The Explosive Music of Oppenheimer πŸ‘‚ listening Aug 22, 2023

I finally got the chance to see Oppenheimer in theaters a few weeks ago, and was quite literally blown away by the incredible score composed by Ludwig Göransson.

In this interview, Ludwig highlights some of the challenges and inspirations behind his score:

While I don't always agree with every choice Göransson makes to picture, I do feel that his willingness to take...

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πŸ“² Find Focus in a Busy World πŸ€– workflow Aug 21, 2023

Having trouble focusing on composing or creating? Here are a few ways to help make it easier:

Turn Everything Off

Nothing is more invasive than your technology buzzing unread notifications all day.Turn off badge notifications and sound for apps.

(The only time my phone buzzes is for a phone call or text message. Every app on my phone has zero red badge notifications.)

Pause Emails


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πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ Six Reasons You're Not Getting Composing Work πŸ’Ό finding work Aug 21, 2023

 It's tough to make money making music.

Here's some harsh truths about why you might not be getting hired (yet):

#1: You're not skilled enough.

Ask people who you trust for their honest opinions on where you're at. Be receptive to their feedback, and continue studying and practicing your craft.

Never stop being a student.

#2: No one knows you exist.

Stop waiting to be "discovered". Start...

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