Writing Your Own Music by Nicola Winters
What happens to your musical skills when you leave school for university? You may have spent years practising your scales on whichever instrument you chose to play when you first started secondary school. Your parents probably forked out a small fortune in lessons and there have probably been hours spent arguing and nagging about not practising enough to warrant the expense and threats of sanctions unless more practise is done.
You’re probably glad to get away from it all, but, once you’ve got yourself established at university you may surprise yourself by missing the playing of an instrument. It’s at times like these that you may find the urge to write some music of your own and this, in turn, leads to finding like-minded people, forming a band and dreaming of making it rich without the necessity to study and hand in that next assignment!
Whilst some people are quite self-contained, apparently needing no other collaboration and relying simply on their own creativity to write music; others benefit greatly from other people’s input and welcome constructive criticism from family and friends.
People often find it relaxing to write music simply because there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Unless you’re a student studying music composition and are following a specific curriculum; you can never really make a mistake – a refreshing change! Collaborating with others brings so much more to the completed product in terms of originality – no other band would have that same mix of minds so you could end up with a completely unique sound.
Involving a mix of people who have skills with different instruments can also help you create your own individual sound, and if you feel you’re not making progress or you’ve hit a rough spot, perhaps consider introducing a new instrument into the mix which will change the dynamics and may help you out of the rut.
If writing music is something you’d like to do but struggle to actually put into practice, then perhaps choosing specific music composition software would be the right option for you. An example would be Sibelius 7 Academic Student Edition which is sophisticated enough for top composers but simple enough for beginners and students. This software is described as being ‘the easiest way to write music’ – and if you’re unsure that you’ll be able to operate it you have the peace of mind knowing it comes with 90 days of complimentary assisted support.
Writing lyrics is a totally different skill – some artists prefer to start with the lyrics and compose the music around them while others work in reverse. You may find that, whilst you have the talent to write a great melody, you lack the ability to actually put words to your music. Working in collaboration with a wordsmith is a pretty good idea – famous collaborations like Elton John and Bernie Taupin who worked separately with little interaction still managed to write masterpieces which remain popular today.
Whatever you choose – remember to have fun – you’re doing this because you want to – not because you have to!
This is a guest post by Nicola Winters on behalf of Phoenix Software, a student store that provides software for students.
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