How to Pursue a Career as a Music Composer

How to Pursue a Career as a Music Composer

Are you passionate about music and dreaming of pursuing a career as a music composer? This article will guide you through the steps you need to take to turn your passion into a successful profession. From gaining the necessary skills and education to building a portfolio and finding opportunities, we will cover everything you need to know to kickstart your career as a music composer. So, let’s dive in and start your journey towards becoming a successful music composer!

Education and Training for Music Composers

Formal Education

In order to pursue a career as a music composer, it is beneficial to have a formal education in music. This can include obtaining a degree in music composition or music theory from a reputable music school or university. A formal education can provide you with a solid foundation in music theory, composition techniques, and music history.

Music Theory

Music theory is an essential component of a music composer’s education. Understanding the principles of music theory, such as harmony, melody, rhythm, and form, is crucial for creating well-crafted compositions. Music theory classes can help you develop your ear for music, analyze musical works, and understand the underlying structure of music.

Composition Techniques

Learning composition techniques is another vital aspect of a music composer’s education. These techniques can include studying different genres and styles of music, experimenting with various musical forms and structures, and honing your skills in orchestration and arrangement. By mastering composition techniques, you can develop your own unique voice as a composer and create original, compelling music.

Skills and Qualities Needed


One of the most important skills needed to pursue a career as a music composer is creativity. Composers must be able to come up with unique and innovative musical ideas that will capture the attention of their audience. They must be able to think outside the box and push boundaries to create music that stands out.

Musical Talent

Another essential skill for a music composer is musical talent. Composers must have a deep understanding of music theory, harmony, and composition techniques. They must be proficient in playing at least one instrument and have a strong ear for melody and rhythm. Without musical talent, it is challenging to create high-quality compositions.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is crucial for a music composer. Composers must pay close attention to every note, chord progression, and arrangement in their compositions. They must ensure that every aspect of their music is polished and refined to create a cohesive and impactful piece. Without attention to detail, compositions can sound sloppy and lack the professional touch that sets them apart.

Building a Portfolio

One of the key steps in pursuing a career as a music composer is building a strong portfolio that showcases your skills and creativity. A portfolio is essentially a collection of your work that demonstrates your range as a composer. This can include original compositions, arrangements, and collaborations with other artists.

Creating Original Pieces

Creating original pieces is essential for a music composer looking to establish their own unique style and voice. Experiment with different genres, instruments, and techniques to push your creative boundaries and develop a diverse collection of work. Consider using music software or recording equipment to bring your compositions to life.

Collaborating with Artists

Collaborating with other artists can help expand your creative network and provide new opportunities for growth and exposure. Working with musicians, singers, and producers can bring fresh perspectives to your compositions and lead to exciting new projects. Be open to collaboration and be willing to compromise and communicate effectively with your collaborators.

Showcasing Work

Once you have built a strong portfolio of original pieces and collaborations, it’s important to showcase your work to a wider audience. Utilize online platforms such as SoundCloud, YouTube, and social media to share your music with listeners and industry professionals. Consider performing live shows or submitting your work to music competitions and festivals to gain recognition and build your reputation as a music composer.

Finding Job Opportunities

As a music composer, it is important to actively seek out job opportunities in order to grow and advance in your career. One of the most effective ways to find job opportunities is through networking.


Networking is crucial in the music industry, as it allows you to connect with other professionals who can help you find job opportunities. Attend industry events, join music composer forums, and reach out to other composers for advice and potential job leads. Building a strong network can open up doors to new opportunities and collaborations.

Freelancing vs. Full-time Positions

When pursuing a career as a music composer, you will have the option to work as a freelancer or seek full-time positions with companies or organizations. Freelancing allows for more flexibility and creative freedom, but full-time positions offer stability and benefits. Consider your personal preferences and career goals when deciding which path to take.

Utilizing Online Platforms

In today’s digital age, it is essential to utilize online platforms to showcase your work and connect with potential clients. Create a professional website or portfolio to display your compositions, and consider joining platforms like SoundCloud, Spotify, or YouTube to reach a wider audience. Online platforms can help you attract new clients and build your reputation as a music composer.

Advancing Your Career

As a music composer, there are several ways to advance your career and become more successful in the industry. Continuing education, seeking mentorship, and staying updated with industry trends are all essential components of advancing your career.

Continuing Education

Continuing your education as a music composer is crucial for staying relevant and competitive in the industry. Consider enrolling in music composition courses, workshops, or seminars to enhance your skills and knowledge. Additionally, staying current with advancements in technology and music production tools can help you create innovative and high-quality compositions.

Seeking Mentorship

Finding a mentor in the music industry can provide valuable guidance, feedback, and support as you navigate your career as a composer. Look for experienced composers or music professionals who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with you. A mentor can help you improve your compositions, make connections in the industry, and overcome challenges along the way.

Staying Updated with Industry Trends

The music industry is constantly evolving, with new trends and styles emerging all the time. To stay competitive as a music composer, it’s important to stay updated with industry trends and developments. Follow industry publications, attend music conferences, and engage with other composers and musicians to stay informed about the latest trends and opportunities in the industry.

By continuing your education, seeking mentorship, and staying updated with industry trends, you can advance your career as a music composer and achieve greater success in the industry.


In conclusion, pursuing a career as a music composer can be a rewarding and fulfilling path for those passionate about creating music. By honing your skills, networking with others in the industry, and staying persistent in your pursuit of opportunities, you can carve out a successful career as a music composer. Remember to stay true to your unique style and continue to grow and evolve as an artist. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve your dreams of making a living through your passion for music composition.