Hearing one’s music is a very important part of learning how to compose. It can be difficult for fledgling composers to secure performances, but it is worth exploring whether there are any local ensembles willing to look at your music.
I have, probably since the age of 14 or so, identified myself as a composer. I played piano (and also guitar and flute rather unsuccessfully), and have variously performed as a classical pianist, accompanist, duo partner, cocktail pianist, jazz pianist, and even a keyboardist in a rock band, yet because I studied composition at music college, and I now lecture in composition, I never really identified as being a performer.
“I think piece titles are very important! A piece should drape naturally from its title, in the same way a coat hangs off a peg. I often find the music suggests a title, which certainly happened in Summer Anthem, with the title drawing upon the generic association of dance music with the summer season and of this genre with club ‘anthems’, this term often indicating a big hook.”
It is easy to dismiss the Listening Log as less important than the composition component of an assignment, but this is not the case; listening is a crucial part of improving one’s musical ability. Therefore, when assessing, it is wonderful to see the work of students who have fully embraced the Listening Log, and David Lake’s submission is a perfect example of this.
Composing music is hard. Actually, I believe that if you start to find composition easy, it may be likely you are taking shortcuts, and missing opportunities to develop as an artist. Composing music should be hard. Over the last couple of years, however, I have found a way of making the process of writing music seem a little less intimidating.