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So, You Want to Succeed as a Composer?

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You will need:

1) to be musically gifted to start with:

- being a gifted musician doesn’t necessarily mean you do well at academics
- often youthful rebellion is a sign of creativity and independence
- turn negative energy into something positive
- get honest opinions from people you respect

2) a healthy work ethic

- write music every day - at least something - even when you don’t feel inspired
- hone your craft
- keep everything you write - one day it may come in handy

3) thick skin and self confidence: be ready to:

- be underpaid for your efforts
- have your music put down - rejected, by fellow musicians and publishers
- be a loner - not many people in this world can relate to you
- self confidence is often mistaken for arrogance - learn to forgive

4) to have a certain humility - realize that you are “gifted”

- give back to the Gift Giver with your work (Bach: “Soli Deo Gloria”)
- good music benefits the community - don’t forget
- take criticism with grace
- be ready and willing to go back to the drawing board
- be thankful to work for no pay (we have a tremendous privilege)
- be a tent maker - find a job that pays the bills in the meantime

5) to listen, listen, listen to good music of all styles (e.g. Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band - Beatles)

6) to connect with your community in an attractive and assertive way.

- don’t wait to be discovered - it won’t happen that way
- Knock on doors. - ignore “don’t call us, we’ll call you”
- join a group of performers -
- be a participant - learn the limitations and possibilities first hand
- write music that is user friendly (it can still be complex) - watch the voice leading
- work on being attractive as an individual - gregarious, well groomed,
- interested in others and their musical pilgrimage
- “what goes around, comes around” - it’s the truth

7) to get your music out there - start now

- nothing beats a great recording and attractive sheet music
- then find an appropriate publisher - or self publish (PDF files)
- website - with sound samples, calling card, etc.
- use the internet to make connections
- one on one meetings with key people
- there are a million groups out there looking for new exciting music so offer your services!

8) marry a great spouse - your best friend - greatest asset - someone who really believes in you

Famous Composer Quotes that Inspire Me