Composing Film Music for Beginners

During this course we will cover various aspects of being a film music composer. Using both theory and practical exercises, you will learn about the complicated tasks of a film music composer.



Course Level
ECTS credits
Course location(s)
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Working hard on the assigments!


How does music in film work? How to compose film music? How does film music relate to the other ingredients of the sound track: dialogue & sound? How to communicate with the director, editor and sound designer? Film music is one of the most essential elements in audiovisual story telling. To become a film music composer, you will need a lot of exercise and experience in different areas. In this course we take a close look at the creative process of a film composer. How does film music work? How to start? Which compositional strategies and techniques are there to use? How to deal with the other disciplines involved? And what about scoring horror movies, comedy, tv-commercials, documentary, animation, etc? In addition, we will investigate the relationship between the visual track and the sound track through hands-on assignments and the analysis of specific film excerpts.

Working hard on the assigments!

To get a broader perspective, the course will address the ‘construction’ of the media industry (cinema, television, corporate identity and branding, online audiovisual content, games, etc.) in general and the role of music and the music composer in specific. Guest lectures from a renowned film composer and an experienced sound designer are also part of the course programme.

Every afternoon you will be busy composing music for a particular film scene, short film, commercial, trailer or animation. In the morning there will be lectures and presentations which will address the various specific elements in film music (and the related disciplines and contexts) that will help you to get more insight and grip on ‘how to compose film music’. There will be many (individual) moments for feedback from your peers and from the course leader on your work-in-progress. The course will also offer the possibility to differentiate between the course members so everyone can participate on a suitable level. 

The course will take place in a classroom with iMac desktops including Logic and ProTools software + midi keyboards. We ask you however to bring along your own laptop (or desktop computer) with DAW-software that allows midi- and/or audio recording in combination with visuals. You can then connect one of the midi keyboards in the classroom to your laptop. Make sure that you know how your software (Logic, Cubase, Ableton, ProTools, Fruity Loops, whatever) works (the course is not a class about technology!). Working with your laptop also provides you with the possibility, if needed, to work on assignments during closing times of the classroom.  A high quality headphone is highly recommended

day-to-day programme Composing Film Music for Beginners 2024.pdf

Target audience

This course is designed for anyone who is already capable of creating music and is considering to become a film music composer or is interested in the process of composing film music. No previous experience with film music is required. You must however be able to create music using a DAW such as Fruity Loops, Cubase, Logic, ProTools, etc. on your laptop.

Study load

There are about six to eight contact hours per day. These include (guest) lectures, discussion meetings and (individual) feedback sessions on work-in-progress. In the remaining time the student is expected to work on the exercises and assignments.


  • Course fee: €950.00
  • Included: Course + course materials
  • Housing fee: €400
  • Housing provider: Utrecht Summer School

Additional information

The housing costs do not include a Utrecht Summer School sleeping bag. This is a separate product on the invoice. If you wish to bring your own bedding, please deselect or remove the sleeping bag from your order. 


For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

  • Motivation Letter