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Music Composers Unite!

With the economy in shambles, and everyone trying to scramble to "take cover" from the job loss and the uncertainly of the future, I begin to wonder if I'm in the right place at the right time. By this I'm meaning being a music major. I keep looking for a prgram that will give me the better hand in composition, even though I fail to realise that I'm already there. Yes, it could be enough that I'm studying techniques of classical and 20th century composition, but at the same time, I feel there is a great deal missing: the mountains of lyrics that I have composed and put to music in the mind as well as some which are imputed partially in finale--when will I be able to use those? Will they sit in this duffel bag forever? Will I be able to achieve the goal of grad school and becoming a professor of composition and theory even with the songs missing from the picture in my life? I'm at the point in the journey where I don't honestly know where I'm going and it scares me to a point where I don't even want to compose anymore. I want these to be musical masterpieces, not stuff that is just left behind. I won't tolerate that. The same with the songs that aren't meant as choral pieces--they need to count for more than just published poetry. I just don't know when the right time will be for them' nor do I know who to get in touch with. I feel that I'm always enrolling in the wrong programs for what my heart wants to do, yet I enjoy and absorb so many influences. There's a deeeper passion though with the songs. I watch so many concerts on you tube that I'm lulled into believing that I can publish my songs and everything would be fine, or that I could go onto being a performer of my own write. Yet again, on the opposite side, I feel as if all of these performers and composers are just enigmas and legends by the same standards and that no one could ever top them. So, I write most of my stuff out of depression and uncertainty. There's just no clear line, because I'm heading into a very uncertain field. Though it is not money which I'm seeking. I just would like the opportunity to get these works off the ground, out of hiding, and performed, commissioned, published, etc.

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Comment by Cody Weinmann on May 25, 2009 at 11:29pm
Hey Lee. Just thought I've give you an update on my progress in the journey. I have to say that every now and then when I get caught up in negativity, I always read this discussion and have new confidence afterward. All I need some times is a nudge in the right direction. Then there comes the exciting task, ( I mean it literally) of deciding which type of music profession I see myself in. The happy predicument I often find myself pondering is that my interests very so much from formal composing and teaching at the university level, to performing and recording songs in the music industry, to composing for movies, to even getting my own practice as a music therapist helping terminally ill patients musically. I wrote an essay to the Tylenol company (for their annual scholarship) explaining how important treating ill children (our most vulnerable and sweetest citizens) musically, and even if they're not ill, to make music available to them in a variety of ways. So you're right. My interests have blossomed in several different fields. I just have no idea which one to choose yet.
Hope all is well,
Cody
Comment by Lee Miller on January 26, 2009 at 3:05am
Hey, glad I was of some help there. What is your ideal for the future? Like I said, deciding what it is you want out of music and where you see yourself being the most content is probably the most important thing you can do right now (maybe you already have!?) But if you can decide on that and visualise it down to the last detail then you're in the perfect situation to make the right decisions and pool al of your energy into achieving that goal.

Also, look into ways of creating revenue, there are all sorts of ways: cover bands, library music, teaching and if it's necessary then yes, a job at the 7-11, as long as you have that crystal-clear vision of your ideal and put that first then you can be sure that, whatever happens, you are trying your best.

And don't worry about what others think (re:People often look at music as an impractical profession) This is your life, not theirs so you have to make it count!

Lee
Comment by Cody Weinmann on January 25, 2009 at 10:46pm
I'm starting to research. That is one of the reasons why I came to the forum to see what different composers are doing and to network with them. By networking and research, I can conquer and I will conquer all these desires. I guess my problem is that I've been riddled with what is the reality so much that it really makes me wonder what to believe. Yes, you did help me cope. Thank you. I'm just really unsure of my decisions at this point, though I do feel I'm in this for good. I came here to fulfill a dream, regardless of what the reality holds for most, regardless what society dictates as practical. People often look at music as an impractical profession, though I do believe that is them who make it impractical. Would you agree with that? A fellow music major that was leaving the department told me of four people who have their Master's in music and are working at 7-11 for a living. That is not using your talent, your skill level. I believe those people didn't go far enough to get what they wanted. They gave up too soon. That will not be me. Thanks. You really made me feel I'm in control of my destiny. Thanks again and take care.
Cody
Comment by Lee Miller on January 25, 2009 at 6:43pm
Every artistic endevour leads us on a path which is paved with seeds of doubt and worry - it is the only way it can be. We must believe that not only are we capable, but that we are worthy too. We all experience pangs of dread at the thought that we will not accomplish our dreams, goals and desires. Sometimes it all seems too good to be true that we may carve a succesful career and leave a legacy worth remembering, and thoughts like that only perpetuate that vicious circle of negative brain activity that seems compulsory for the artist.

Every negative thought you have communicated through your post must be flipped, spun around and slapped in the face until all you are left with are positive opposites of the above statements.

Don't ask if you are going to achieve - INSIST that you will achieve. Be humble of your talents but not to the point of sabotage - we will never stop learning, we will never learn it all but that's not to say that what we have, right now, isn't enough.

When we feel lost or uncertain about what to do next then all we have to do is to focus on the desires that burn deep inside us, the desires that we can physically feel in the pit of our stomachs. As long as those fires stay burning then there is nothing that cannot be achieved because they are, in their essence, the forces that drive us forward.

You CAN be a performer in your own right, but what do you have to do to get there? Do research, make a list and set off on the next leg of your journey, ticking off the destinations one by one.

Will they sit in this duffel-bag forever? Do you want them to? Of course not! What can you do to get them out there? Research, make a list of what you have to do and work through.

Those performers are not enigmas, they just knew what they wanted to do and knew they were going to do it. Know what you want to do and know you can do it. Knowing you can do it will give you the drive and energy to see the tough times through.

Focus your attention on what you want. Refine all the details in your mind so you know EXACTLY what you are aiming for. The Sun shines on us all day and emits its warmth but when we use a magnifying-glass the full potential of its power is revealed. Focus your attention like a magnifying glass on what you want. Spend your time not focussed on what you lack but what you want to achieve, otherwise you will just run yourself into the ground.

You are worthy, it can happen. Now, how can you MAKE it happen?

Hope this helped :)

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