Advice for new composers.
I’ve been asked a few times recently for that one word of advice that I’d have for new composers (I’m still a new composer, btw). As much as we all get tired of the normal cliches there is one that I feel has been huge in my life as a composer.
Follow your heart! Follow your muse!
When I first began composing I was fairly new to choral music and my output was quite frequent. I was full of creative ideas some good, and some not so good. As I became more and more informed on what was out in the larger music world, my composition well dried up, so to speak. It may not have helped that I was also newly married and working at starting a family.
However a big thing that happened was as I explored more and more choral music, I began to desire to create good works like some of my favorite composition heroes. My output no longer satisfied me as I felt it didn’t match up to that of today’s best composers. Because of this I went through a very dry spell. A spell where I wrote almost nothing.
“Follow your heart and create the music that is inside you. Stop trying to be someone you aren’t and be you.”
Then one day I was listening to an interview with a fairly popular choral composer and he said (in my own words) “Follow your heart and create the music that is inside you. Stop trying to be someone you aren’t and be you.” Wow! That changed me. Suddenly when I left behind those high ideals and followed my inner muse, the music again began to come.
Yes my style is still informed by what I listen to but I’ve learned to embrace my personal style and now, I feel very creative. Very able to write. And, very inspired.
Go! Follow your Heart! Write! Every day!