Reflections on Art and Life
From time to time I receive e-mails from young people wanting to enter the field of music composition. They ask for advice on how to “break into the industry”, how to be successful, and would I please point them in the “right direction”. I usually feel unqualified as I re-evaluate my own path every several months, wondering whether I know anything about this “business” at all.
But here is my top 10 list. Take it or leave it. Add to it or subtract. Comment below on what has worked in your life. Share with others.
1. There is no “right” direction. We all have unique paths to follow.
2. Learn from your mistakes and always follow your gut.
3. Analyze other people’s music – why is it good, why is it bad?
4. Don’t be too proud to have another occupation to put food on the table.
5. Strive to develop your own unique style. Composers are a dime a dozen (or so it seems, since the advent of the music notation software). Why should anyone hire you?
6. Have genuine relationships with all kinds of different people, not just those who can help you break into the industry.
7. Keep doing your own thing. Learn who you are and give voice to “it”.
8. Develop interests outside of music.
9. Respect your body – it fuels your brain.
10. Every time you write music, pretend this is your last project ever and do your best.