CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become a composer.
Is becoming a composer right for me?
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Frequently Asked Questions
How to become a Composer
When filling out a job application for a composer position, there is rarely a degree requirement for the job. In fact, there is rarely any application at all. For example, aspiring film score composers usually spend years working a side job while trying to land scores for independent films. Once they have developed a substantial portfolio, an agent may pick them up and begin marketing them for more commercial projects.
While a degree is not required in all cases, it remains a useful tool for composers who want to hone and master their skills before jumping into a highly competitive industry. Many accredited schools have recognized the need and now offer bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees with a major in composition. Students also have the opportunity to pursue an advanced masters or doctoral degree, and certificates or associate's degrees are available for those seeking a less long-term educational commitment.
Still, a degree is no guarantee of a career in composing. The real components of a successful composer are a mixture of raw talent, individual style and unwavering dedication. Once a candidate begins to develop a portfolio, talent and individual style will set him apart from the rest of the potentials. Still, every candidate will face rejection in this highly competitive field, so rock solid determination and the ability to network effectively is essential to success. The qualities most often seen in successful composers are intelligence, competence, trustworthiness, organization, friendliness, professionalism and a genuine passion for the art form.