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Jobs in composition Obviously, we all here want to write music, get paid writing it, and have our music played consistently. So how do we do it? This thread will probably not be exhaustive but merely an overview. As time progress, you can ask me here publicly and I will answer if I know the answer (maybe we need a "Ask Maestrowick" section here? :w00t: ) College/University The most common thing is to teach college to maintain income. This usually happens after nine years of collegiate studies (bacc, masters and PhD/DMA.) Jobs will either be posted in theory, composition or a combination of both. Now these are faculty positions which are nine-month contracts. There are some staff positions that schools usually like to hire people with terminal degrees ESPECIALLY libraries (these jobs are nice also and pay well. It keeps you in a music environment and places you alongside classical musicians.) Film/TV/Theatre Probably the most lucrative but the hardest to enter. This is the good ol' boys system at its finest. Best way to enter? Find some friends who are majoring in film and do their music. Note: Steven Spielberg is not interested in your music. He has John Williams; he doesn't want you. Create a partnership with others to build your name. There are orchestrator positions but these are not usually posted. If one were to contact a film composer, he might hire you as an orchestrator at $10 per hour with no royalties or as a ghost-writer (that means no credit.) Welcome to Hollywood. Advertising This is also lucrative but doesn't come with much notariety. Contact some of your local ad agencies, they might be willing to give you a chance. You are cheaper than Billy Joel and don't expect to be paid like Justin Bieber. Take the money! Other Commercial Entities Despite slow sales, record companies aren't going anywhere. Write some hits, arrange some strings and choruses. It pays and it's FUN!!!!!!! That girl down the street who is always singing might be a star. She might sound great if someone with some musical training is guiding her. Why not produce her? That's what I did! :phones: Commissions in Composition Ok, this one is real tricky and finicky! :headwall:. Once again, when you go to school, make relationships and write a lot of music. By the time you have matured as a composer, people you have gone to school with will want music from you. Usually in college, you do them for free. YES FREE! :smithy: . A GREAT LIVE RECORDING IS PRICELESS! By the time you graduate, people will not look at you as a freebie but as a professional (that is a whole different topic.) Competitions are great also. I used to be be anti-competitions; however, I see the good in them. I will say don't write specifically for a contest. Use what you have and enter what fits. If you win, they are usually marketed pretty well so good PR always helps! Conclusion The underlying thing here is college (ESPECIALLY for classical composers) and even more so, RELATIONSHIPS. If you are a jerk or an introvert, people might be hesitant to promote and perform your music! Be nice to people. You'll never know who will be next great conductor! :thumbsup:
So we've talked about jobs and we've talked about school? What else is there? Networking! Be nice to people. Go to concerts. Trust me, if they are in this business, you'll need them (AND I DO MEAN TRUST ME) LISTEN/BE HUMBLE This right here is kryptonite to most people. When people critique your work, listen to what they have to say. It might actually help. ASK for help. You are not Mozart. And even if you are, he still took lessons. It is well documented how other composers listened and critique each others work. TYPESETTING (sigh) I sit here in reminiscing of hearing gorgeous musician that was an eyesore. 1) Make sure your parts are correct. 2) "Just because you heard it that way" doesn't mean you have to write it that way. Yeah, Grainger did it, but most people realize how a pain that movement of Lincolnshire Posy is. 4+ 3 + 2+5+7 + 3= six bars of 4/4. You don't have to be difficult. 3) Make sure your parts are correct 4) Realize that a lot of times you'll only get one rehearsal 5) Make sure your parts are correct 6) Make sure your parts are correct 7) In case you forgot, make sure your parts are correct Contests Contest are fun but I strongly disagree writing for a competition. The resentment that might come later is not worth it (Make sure your parts are correct) Marketing Get a website and market yourself. Have music ready to be read online and for listening (Make sure your parts are correct.) Have an email address that's for branding (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org.) Have a calender of your performances ready. (Make sure your parts are correct) Hope this helps!! Much Love and Musically Yours, Chad "Sir Wick" Hughes PS: I'm off to make sure my parts are correct.