Mark Burrows – Advice for Composers
Mark Burrows – Advice for Composers

a couple of pieces of advice I would
give to young aspiring composers I think I’m still an aspiring composer and I
want to keep being that way one that’s an incredibly practical piece of advice
I would say is that notation software is a very helpful tool it’s a tool so don’t
spend your entire time composing through a computer or through software go get
some staff paper and go off somewhere where you’re not where there’s a piano
or any kind of digital equipment and just be analog being natural and jot
down contours they don’t have to be fully formed melodies just get back in
touch keep a foot in both be digitally savvy and be canet be natural the other
thing I would say to aspiring composers is go hear all the music you possibly
can go to concerts go to every reading session you can start a single file
library failure is on that’s a that’s a big part of life right it’s it’s just
part of everything the role that I think failure plays in the creative process is
there’s a certain level of acceptance I think that comes with work and let’s
like say you’ve send in a piece of music and typically you’re not going to send
in a piece of music if you think it’s bad you’re not going to send in a piece
of music if you think it’s okay you’re gonna send in a piece if you think this
is good this is gonna this is the one when you get a letter back that that
just said simply says no thank you eat so you have to have a certain level
of discernment discerning okay is it no thank you that it’s not a good fit for
this publisher or no thank you do I really need to go back and look at
why is it a no thing and I think that’s true and just in relationships too
there’s all there are all kinds of forms of rejection that aren’t always so easy
to cope with as a piece of paper and every once in a while an editor will
give a very gracious gift which is this was not a good fit and here’s why and if
it’s even one or two sentences that is a tremendous gift because editors don’t
really have that kind of time they barely had the time to deal with the
yeses that they’re going to work through but if it’s one or two sentences like
wow I some good ideas here but the level of difficulty of the music doesn’t fit
the age of the text like for example it’s a the music might be a little
complex but the text is more early Elementary
that’s it that’s a great piece of advice so those failures can be incredible
learning opportunities if you take them as learning opportunities the other
thing that is incredibly important is a piece making it or not making it is not
an assessment of you as a person and if you take the
whatever feedback you get and grow from it then you are succeeding as a person
and I’ve actually started to keep some of my rejection letters I I regret
throwing them away whenever I go to visit schools and I talk about this
exact thing and they all want to see the successes and and that’s great and the
book and all that and then I say hey do you want it do you want to hear a
rejection letter and you’re like yes because they and then I read it and
they’re like oh that’s like an epic bird and I can’t believe they said that and
no and but they they relate to that because we I mean if they’ve any time
they’ve ever gotten a B or C or a D or an F on work it’s one thing to get a bad
grade on work where you know you just mailed it in but when you really tried
and you’re like oh everybody’s been there but we grow
and we’re gonna bit work we’re in class our entire line sometimes the teacher
sits behind a desk and you sit in columns and rows but most of the time
our teachers are just the world around us and we can choose to learn from it or
not and I choose to learn

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