How do I get work experience as a composer?

Hi, I am studying music at university and want to be a music composer. Do you have any ideas how I can get work experience in the music industry?


— Paula

Expert answers

Juwon Ogungbe's reply:

Hello Paula.

One thing you can do in the short term is liaise with fellow students that are studying Film and TV production. It's likely that they will need to make films to be assessed on their courses and they'll probably need composers to create music for these.

If your university has any choral groups or chamber music ensembles, you could offer to compose pieces for them. Obviously you should approach the leaders of these groups and offer your services.

If there is a drama group or theatre department, it is likely that they will stage productions and will need music for these. Even if you don't get to compose for these groups, you can get valuable experience working with them as a music director or even as the music director's assistant.

When you create pieces of music for these groups or formats, it will help if you can get them recorded. These will serve as demos to play to similar organisations outside of the university environment. Having demo recordings is very important for any creative musician or composer.

If your university has an education department, it will serve you well to see if you can find out from the relevant auhorities there about possibilities of working on outreach creative learning projects, so you can develop workshop leading and teaching skills, as these are also very useful to composers for developing ideas and earning a living.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to ask more specific questions if you want to.


Juwon Ogungbe.

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