how hard is it to become a composer?
hello, My name is Rose-Marie Walker and the one thing i want more than anything is to become a composer like you! I am 16 years old so it's obviously the time to start thinking about what career paths i want to go down- well, there is only one for me. so basically, my question is How you become a composer and if it was ever easy? i didn't do music for GCSE and i am not doing it for A levels but i really want to go to some kind of university that does composing as a course. i spend every day after school practicing my own composed songs and teaching myself songs that you and Alan Menken composed- i am always so happy when i sit down at the piano!
Sorry for the kind of long introduction, i had a lot to say as i've never really talked to a famous composer ever before so it's a real honour to be able to say these kind of things to you! I can't imagine what it will be like actually meeting you! I am just so passionate and confident about becoming a composer! i am a truly big fan of your's not forgetting Alan Menken's of course as i know he worked with you over various projects Which by the way, the songs for 'Pocahontas' and 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' were absolutely phenominal! They literally blew me away!! I thought the lyrics were astounding, clever and very, very beautiful They really summed up each character perfectly. Not forgetting the Prince of Egypt ofcourse- a masterpiece! I particularly loved 'The plagues' i thought the idea of entwining the 'All i ever wanted' song into it was especially clever!
Carol De Giere, the author of your book 'Defying Gravity' recommended that i should purchase it- so i did, and since then i've found it very hard to put down! Carol is a brilliant author who tells everything in great detail it's as though i'm actually living it whilst i'm reading it So, i'm very glad that i bought it!
So, back to the question! Would i be able to become a composer even if i have never had any kind of "training" in that area? i can't really guess how hard it is to become a composer. I know Alan Menken had an interest in music at a very young age so that sealed his fate as to become a composer easily!
Thanks for taking your time to read this and good luck with your opera!
Dear Rose-Marie: Thanks for your message and the positive comments about my work. Although I did study piano, composition, and theory, etc., many composers of popular music and even film scores have had little or no formal training. For instance, take Irving Berlin, one of the greatest songwriters of all time, or the present day where many of our most talented pop songwriters never studied music. I may be mistaken, but I believe I have read that this is even true of such gifted film composers as Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman. Of course, musical training can certainly be valuable, particularly music theory, since it can expand your horizons and give you a far richer palette to draw from. And it's never too late to start! But more than anything, to become a composer you should, well, compose -- which it sounds as if is exactly what you're already doing. I wish you all the best in your pursuit of your dreams, Stephen Schwartz