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How can someone start their career in music composition as a novice composer?

I am a student in high school taking AP theory and other music classes. I really want to have a career in composing music, whether it be game OSTs, movie scores, or even just those silly songs in the background of advertisements. The problem is, I have no idea how to get into the industry. Like do I just find a place and apply like a normal job? Or do people have to contact me? (and how do I get them to?)
If you have any answers or resources, it'd be highly appreciated 🙏🏻🙏🏻.

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From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Adam’s Answer

You've already received two fantastic responses! Remember, there's a whole world of unconventional opportunities for composers out there. Consider licensing your music for television, movies, and video games. Plus, with the rise of social media, there's a constant demand for fresh music. Why not connect with influencers and content creators and offer your musical talents? These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Wishing you all the best on your exciting journey!
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Pedro’s Answer

1. Educational Foundation:
- Continue with your AP theory and other music classes to build a strong theoretical foundation.
- Consider pursuing a degree in music composition or a related field post high school.

2. Portfolio Development:
- Start creating a portfolio showcasing your original compositions.
- Engage in projects like scoring for school plays, local theater, or indie games to gain practical experience and build your portfolio.

3. Networking:
- Join professional organizations such as the Society of Composers, Inc. or the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
- Attend industry workshops, seminars, and networking events to connect with professionals in the field.

4. Online Presence:
- Build a professional website to showcase your portfolio.
- Engage with communities on platforms like SoundCloud, YouTube, and social media to gain exposure.

5. Internships and Job Applications:
- Look for internships or entry-level positions in studios, advertising agencies, or with composers.
- Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your educational background, experience, and passion for music composition.

6. Continuous Learning and Improvement:
- Stay updated with the latest industry trends and software.
- Consider taking online courses or attending workshops to hone your skills.

7. Freelancing:
- Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork can be starting points for freelance projects.
- Engage local businesses for opportunities in creating jingles or other musical content.
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Kyle’s Answer

Pedro's got some great resources! Just wanted to chime in that a career in music is normally designed by you and the best way to get started is to just start writing music. There are several affordable recording software options available to help you get started, such as GarageBand for Mac users and Audacity for PC users.

Don't hesitate to search the internet to discover people who are already successful in the areas you're interested in. For instance, you can Google composers for films and games, and learn from their experiences and career paths. Remember, your journey will be unique, as this isn't a conventional job where you apply and get hired by a company.

Even if you find yourself working for a major corporation in the future, you'll primarily be a self-employed professional who has mastered the necessary skills for the job. Oh and Berkley College of Music offers a wealth of resources for aspiring musicians like you. Here's hoping this advice provides some guidance!
Thank you comment icon Another completely free DAW is Cakewalk by Bandlab. It used to be a $600 program that is now free and fully featured. There is also Waveform which is free as well. Adam DiTroia
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