Episode 1 – Self Preparation

My guess is this, if you are interested in learning how to compose music, you have probably already started composing in some form or another.
In my opinion, there are three key components to getting started:

1. The desire to compose.

2. The ability to reproduce accurately what you hear in your head, either on paper, on the computer or on your instrument.

3. The will and determination to follow through and actually reproduce your inner most musical thoughts in some audible form.

Key component number 1 is easy! If you are reading this article you already have expressed the desire to compose.

Key component number 2 is not so easy and will take some work. If you are serious about pursuing composition you will need to develop your ear. By this I mean two things:

1. Listening skills

2. Aural dictation skills (writing/reproducing accurately what you hear)

A composer needs to be able to listen on two levels, internally to his/her own musical thoughts and externally to the music around him/her.
In addition a composer needs to be able to write down or reproduce what he/she hears – accurately. This is called aural dictation. This could be as simple as reproducing the melodic line playing over and over in your head, or as complex as reproducing a full 65 piece orchestral piece that is invading your thoughts.
Both of these skills can be taught and developed from their simplest forms to their most complex form. If you are interested in developing these skills, please contact me and I will do what I can to help you.

That brings me to key component number 3 – the will and determination to follow through. This cannot be taught. You either have the will and determination to follow through and do this . . . or you don’t. The choice is yours.

It is my hope that if you already possess two of these key components that you will do what you can to jumpstart your will and determination into action. The Salvation Army needs good, spiritually motivated composers like you . . . so get writing!!!

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