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  • Writer's pictureJack Hughes

ARTICLE: Networking Tips For Young Composers - How To Get The Most Out Of Every Encounter.

Updated: Oct 17, 2023


"It’s not what you know, its who you know", is a phrase often heard in creative industries. This is not always true – as composers we need to work hard to develop our practice in order to produce a good result. However, much of this develop can come from ‘picking the brains’ of those older, and more experienced than ourselves.


In this article we will explore some advice to those at the beginning of their careers, who may be a little anxious when trying to make connections in the industry.

Guest article from Genevieve Fisher


Posture and eye contact

Meeting new people, particularly those more experienced than ourselves, can be very

daunting. Often this can affect our confidence and consequently limit how much we can get out of an encounter.


To appear more confident use open body language. Unfold your arms and speak with your hands; stand straight, with your shoulders down and ground your feet firmly, and then…relax. Your heart may be racing, but by opening up your body language you can not only convince others of your confidence, but also yourself.


Equally, if you smile (even if you don’t feel overly happy) and keep eye contact with

whoever you are talking to, you can encourage conversation and emit an outgoing and

friendly persona.

Good posture and eye contact can help you to make a strong first impression when connecting with others.


Making conversation and tone of voice

Much like when writing an email, it is best to start most introductions in a polite and formal manner, and gradually, as the conversation unfurls, mirror the tone and formalities or informalities of the person you are talking to, whilst remaining polite and friendly. Learning to judge conversations in this way is a skill in itself and, much like composition, it comes with practice.


Throughout a conversation, enthusiasm and positivity help form insightful, constructive, and long-lasting relationships. Pick out similarities between your interests: if the opportunity presents itself, do not be afraid to ask questions. This is a fantastic way to maintain a conversation, whilst gaining invaluable knowledge. Keep a curious mind and actively contemplate the answers – even if you don’t agree, it is valuable to view things from an alternative perspective.


Developing your conversational skills will help you to get the most out of your professional interactions.


Keep in touch

Once you have met new peers keep in touch. This does not have to be a weekly event – it would be very full-on and leave little time for actual projects! However, by getting in touch occasionally you can keep a comfortable distance whilst maintaining a healthy, insightful, and beneficial working relationship. Be open to welcoming your peers’ insights into your own projects. A network isn’t just for securing opportunities, but to support you through difficult problems and in areas you may be less experienced in, so by working together you can maintain a positive relationship.

Once you have made a new connection, stay in touch with them and check in from time to time.

Listen!

Most importantly, listen to what people have to say. Everyone has different experiences and backgrounds, and the best way to grow as a composer and to grow a network is to listen. Actively show interest in what your peers say by maintaining eye contact and asking appropriate questions. After a conversation try writing notes down so you don’t forget - maybe the names of interesting or important people and pieces, or just some good advice.

Be an active listener. Respond and reflect on what people tell you and retain the information for later.

Conclusion

In conclusion, networking is an essential part of a career in the creative industries. By working to continually develop your interpersonal skills as well as your musical abilities you will place yourself in the strongest position for success as a film composer. This was a guest article from Genevieve Fisher.

We hope you enjoyed checking out this post. Consider subscribing to our mailing list for more tips, guides and details of future orchestral recording sessions.

 



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