Becoming a Music Composer: What to Expect

Becoming a Music Composer: What to Expect

Are you considering a career as a music composer? Whether you are just starting out or looking to further your skills in the industry, it’s important to know what to expect on this exciting journey. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of becoming a music composer, from education and training to job opportunities and potential challenges. Stay tuned to discover everything you need to know about pursuing a career in music composition.

Education and Training

Becoming a successful music composer requires a combination of formal education, informal training, and continuous learning. Here are some key aspects to consider when pursuing a career in music composition:

Formal Education

Earning a degree in music composition or a related field can provide a solid foundation for your career. Many universities and music conservatories offer undergraduate and graduate programs in composition, where you can study music theory, harmony, orchestration, and music history. A formal education can help you develop your technical skills and musical knowledge, as well as connect you with experienced composers and industry professionals.

Informal Training

In addition to formal education, informal training can also be valuable for aspiring composers. This can include participating in workshops, masterclasses, and summer programs, as well as networking with other musicians and composers. Informal training opportunities can help you gain practical experience, receive feedback on your work, and expand your professional network.

Continuing Education

Music composition is a constantly evolving field, so it’s important to continue learning and growing throughout your career. This can involve attending conferences, taking online courses, and studying with private instructors. Continuing education can help you stay current with industry trends, learn new techniques and technologies, and refine your creative voice as a composer.

By pursuing a combination of formal education, informal training, and continuing education, you can develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as a music composer. Remember to stay committed to your craft, seek feedback and guidance from experienced professionals, and never stop learning and growing as a musician.

Skill Development

Becoming a successful music composer requires a combination of various skills that need to be honed over time. Whether you are a beginner or already have some experience in music, there are certain skills you need to develop to excel in this field.

Musical Proficiency

First and foremost, a music composer needs to have a strong foundation in music theory and proficiency in playing at least one musical instrument. Understanding key signatures, scales, chords, and rhythm is essential for composing music that is both melodic and harmonious. Additionally, having the ability to read and write sheet music is crucial for communicating your compositions to other musicians.

Composition Techniques

In addition to musical proficiency, a good music composer must also have a deep understanding of composition techniques. This includes knowledge of different musical forms, such as sonata-allegro, rondo, and theme and variations, as well as an understanding of harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration. Experimenting with different compositional styles and techniques will help you develop your own unique voice as a composer.

Software Proficiency

In today’s digital age, proficiency in music composition software is also essential for aspiring music composers. Programs like Logic Pro, Ableton Live, and Sibelius are commonly used in the industry for composing, arranging, and notating music. Familiarizing yourself with these tools and learning how to use them effectively will not only streamline your workflow but also open up new possibilities for your compositions.

By developing your skills in musical proficiency, composition techniques, and software proficiency, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful music composer. Remember, practice makes perfect, so be sure to dedicate time each day to honing your craft and experimenting with new ideas.

Career Paths

Aspiring music composers have various career paths to choose from in the music industry. Whether you dream of being an independent composer, working in film and television, or creating soundtracks for video games, there are opportunities available to suit your interests and skills.

Independent Composer

Becoming an independent music composer allows you the freedom to create your own music and work on a variety of projects, from albums to commercial jingles. As an independent composer, you have the opportunity to collaborate with different artists and producers, as well as build your own brand and following. While it may require more self-promotion and networking, being an independent composer can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice.

Working for Film/TV

Another popular career path for music composers is working in the film and television industry. Film and television composers create original scores and soundtracks to enhance the visual storytelling of movies, TV shows, and commercials. This career path offers the opportunity to work with directors, producers, and editors to create music that complements the visuals and evokes the desired emotions from the audience. Working in film and TV can be a competitive field, but for those with a passion for visual storytelling, it can be a rewarding and exciting career choice.

Game Audio Composer

With the rise of the gaming industry, another career path for music composers is creating soundtracks and audio effects for video games. Game audio composers work closely with game developers to create immersive and interactive soundscapes that enhance the gaming experience. This career path allows composers to experiment with different musical styles and technologies, as well as collaborate with game designers and programmers to create unique and engaging audio content. Game audio composition is a dynamic and fast-growing field that offers opportunities for creativity and innovation.


In conclusion, becoming a music composer is a rewarding journey that requires dedication, passion, and perseverance. By honing your musical skills, studying music theory, and networking within the industry, you can increase your chances of success as a composer. It’s important to embrace challenges, seek feedback, and continuously strive to improve your craft. With determination and hard work, you can achieve your dream of becoming a successful music composer. Remember to stay true to yourself and let your unique voice shine through in your compositions. Good luck on your musical journey!