Faber Media Music Academy 2013

Faber Media Music Academy is pleased to announce its new course:


Faber Music is delighted to offer the most wide-ranging and ambitious of its part-time Media Music Academy courses to date, running from April to December 2013.

'Composing Media Music' comprises six self-contained four-week modules, each built around one evening session per week, aimed at composers wanting to work in film, TV and associated media. These modules expand the highly-successful Media Music Academy run by Faber in 2011 and 2012’s Composing for Commercials course.

Each module focuses on a specific area of media composition and will run in weekly evening sessions. Most modules will require students to undertake weekly compositional assignments, and some will involve optional practical work days.

Students can choose just one or any combination of modules, benefitting from a rising scale of discounts depending on the number of modules taken.

Course leader Chris Smith [www.thebarbershop.uk.com/quartet/chris-smith], himself a highly successful and renowned composer, has designed the course content and will be the co-ordinating tutor at the evening sessions, as well as offering individual online assistance and feedback with course work. However, the focus of each session will be on the contributions of an illustrious range of leading industry professionals. Some of those already confirmed include composers Ruth Barrett, Paul Farrer, Christopher Gunning, Alan Parker and Marc Sylvan; music supervisors and administrators Maggie Rodford (Air Edel), Amelia Hartley (Endemol) and Dominic Walker (BBC Worldwide Music), along with senior advertising creatives, film directors, talent sourcing agents, film music editors and more. 
This is a practical series of courses, aimed at composers from all musical backgrounds, who aspire to write for audio-visual media, or are already doing so and simply want to get more experience and make new contacts. The emphasis will be on the real life of a working media composer. Each module will provide opportunities to work on ‘real–world’ briefs (to real life deadlines!), with the resulting work being reviewed and ‘critiqued’ by the tutors and contributors.

There will be invaluable networking opportunities, and sessions about how to self-market and find work. There will also be sessions about important business aspects: how the media and music industries work and how the money flows.

Things you need to know:

Entrance Requirements
Application Procedure
Application Deadlines
Chris Smith

Course leader Chris Smith talks about the Media Music Academy 2013:


1. 'Composing for Advertising' [click here for detailed course outline]

Dates:      Wednesday 10th April to Wednesday 1st May (each Wednesday evening 6pm-9pm)
               Optional intensive writing day (date TBC)

2. 'Composing for Popular Entertainment' [click here for detailed course outline]

Dates:      Wednesday 22nd May to Wednesday 12th June (each Wednesday evening 6pm-9pm)

3. 'Composing for Documentaries' [click here for detailed course outline]

Dates:      Wednesday 19th June to Wednesday 10th July (each Wednesday evening 6pm-9pm).

Students will be given a choice of film clips to work to, and will have the option of writing for an ensemble (instrumentation to be announced) and getting their scores recorded by live players in a professional recording studio.. The recording will take place during the daytime on a date to be determined.

4. 'Composing for Animation' [click here for detailed course outline]

Dates:      Wednesday 4th September to Wednesday 25th September (each Wednesday evening 6pm-9pm)

5. 'Composing for Idents, Jingles & Sound Branding' [click here for detailed course outline]

Dates:      Wednesday 16th October to Wednesday 6th November (each Wednesday evening 6pm-9pm)

6. 'Composing for Film and Drama' [click here for detailed course outline]

Dates:      Wednesday 20th November to Wednesday 11th December (each Wednesday evening 6pm-9pm).

Students will be given a choice of film clips to work and, and will have the option of writing for an ensemble (instrumentation to be announced) and getting their scores recorded by live players in a professional recording studio. This option will carry an additional cost to go towards the hire of studio and session musicians. The recording will take place during the daytime on a date to be determined.


Per single module:          £500 (exclusive of VAT)
If two modules taken:    £450 per module (exclusive of VAT)
If three modules taken:  £400 per module (exclusive of VAT)
If four modules taken:    £350 per module (exclusive of VAT)
If five modules taken:     £325 per module (exclusive of VAT)
If six modules taken:       £300 per module (exclusive of VAT)

Applicants may apply to do a single module. If they subsequently decide to do further modules, the applicable discounts will be calculated and deducted from the new course fees.

Students in full-time education will be entitled to a 20% discount from all course fees. BASCA members are entitled to a 10% discount.
An ‘early-bird’ discount will apply to students who apply for one or more modules by 31st January 2013.


These modules are aimed at young working professionals and those aspiring to be so. Experience of composing music is therefore essential; experience of writing to picture is strongly recommended but not essential. Applicants will be asked to submit examples of their music, either as scores or sound recordings. Some proficiency in a commonly-used composing software programme (Cubase, Logic) is essential for all modules except 'Composing for Film and Drama'. In this module, proficiency is strongly recommended but not essential.


In order to apply, please print out and fill in the attached PDF application form and send it, together with at least one example of your music (on CD, DVD or a downloadable file) to:
Richard Paine
Faber Music Ltd
Bloomsbury House
74/77 Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DA
Packages should be marked ‘Media Music Academy’
Alternatively, electronic submissions may be sent to: Media@Fabermusic.com, with ‘Media Music Academy ’ in the subject line. If sending multiple files, please group these into one downloadable folder. Music files of more than 5Mb should be sent via You Send It or equivalent.


Module 1:    Friday 15th March 2013
Module 2:    Friday 26th April 2013
Module 3:    Friday 24th May 2013
Module 4:    Friday 19th July 2013
Module 5:    Friday 13th September 2013
Module 6:    Friday 25th October 2013


Theo Vidgen,
composer (http://www.theovidgen.com), who attended both the ‘Media Music Academy’ in 2011, and ‘Composing for Commercials’ in 2012:

"These courses have been some of the most enlightening experiences I have had since working in screen music. The course leaders Philip Sheppard and Chris Smith gave me a really thorough insight into how the industry works.  They introduced key vocabulary used by music editors, directors, creatives and composers and drew on their first hand experiences as working composers to answer any questions we asked. I especially valued the opportunity to play Philip and Chris my soundtracks and scores that were written as part of the coursework and have their feedback and guidance for how to develop them. The sessions led by Richard Paine, Director of Commercial Rights and Business Affairs at Faber, were invaluable as he explained, amongst other things, what a contract would look like and how copyright works. Crucial knowledge if you want to make a living!

One of the most important aspects of both courses was the fact that all the students were really friendly and we helped each other. If anyone was less confident about the technology side or had questions about how to make parts for players another student would volunteer to help. It was really enjoyable talking to all the other students and learning from each other and sharing our own experiences – I have since worked with several of them professionally.

As a direct result of attending the Faber courses I have had the opportunity to work on some fantastic projects and have furthered my career as a composer and arranger. I'm currently writing tracks for EMI Production music and working at Abbey Road Studios as Howard Shore's assistant on 'The Hobbit'. I have also just written the soundtrack for Thomson's new advertising campaign 'The Thomson Dreamliner – Holidays Just Got Better'. I'm incredibly proud of the work I've done on these projects and each one is directly or indirectly thanks to attending the Faber courses.

I recommend these courses to anyone who is keen to work in the film, television or advertisement industries. I had a wonderful time and they gave me the opportunity to make new contacts and the tools I needed to move forward."

Tom Green
, composer (http://apollomusictomgreen.wordpress.com/), who attended the ‘Composing for Commercials’ course, 2012

"Faber's 'Music for commercials' course offers an excellent overview of this sector of the music industry, composer Chris Smith drawing not only on his own very considerable experience, but also those of industry pros from all sectors. Students receive advice, tips, and weekly 'homework' that involves writing music for existing commercials, their work then being appraised not only by Chris but also a panel of industry experts, at the end of the course. An invaluable 'real-life' introduction to a difficult and competitive sector of the  industry, suitable for both music students fresh out of college, and more experienced composers from other sectors. The course concentrates not only on the specific musical skills required, but also presentation, attitude, working with directors and producers, and the best ways to go about getting briefs. Those looking for a surefire way to get work should look elsewhere (try on the moon - such a thing doesn't exist on this planet) but for those prepared to try their luck, this course can give you a real edge over the competition. I came away far more confident in my own skills, and with a far better perspective of the job from the point of view of all those involved, from the original client, to the producer and director, and the music agent. Working on real commercials under near real-life conditions (ie, tight deadlines and sometimes confusing briefs) is as close as you're going to get to the real thing. There are many often dubious courses out there offering 'music tech' skills, very few that offer real life experience from top industry pros. Chris brings them in and with considerable charm draws the very best out of them. A thoroughly worthwhile course I recommend very highly."

Sam Pegg, composer, who attended the ‘Media Music Academy’ in 2011:

"The Faber Media Academy in 2011 gave me some fantastic insights into practicing professionals, having talks by a range of media composers, as well as more practical sessions on contracting musicians, budgeting, legal concerns, and how I present myself/marketing. It was really helpful in particular to hear about composers workflow, how they initially found work, through to composing and delivering the final product. Composing is one of those crafts where everybody has developed their own methods of working and it's extremely useful to learn other peoples approaches. Some of the talks went particularly in depth (such as musicians contracting) and it was helpful to me to make sure I had a good all round knowledge of the industry that I'm going into.

Having just finished my Masters this year at the Royal College of Music I've been working in a number of roles, doing some programming, copying and score preparation - in particular helping prepare for the Frozen Planet in Concert tour of the USA. I've also been writing scores for a number of short films and dance projects as well as a commission to compose an anthem for Hertford College in Oxford and also some library music for EMI/KPM/Faber."

Ed Scolding, composer (http://www.edscolding.co.uk), who attended the ‘Media Music Academy’ in 2011:

 “The course provided windows into the different areas of media composition, with experienced insiders speaking about their special area. Several of these were new to me, and others covered known areas in greater depth, often with intriguing personal insights. The leadership and mentoring advice from Richard and Philip was particularly valuable and highly relevant to work in the industry now.

The experience through the film clip project of spotting, scoring, conducting a recording session, building in sound design and getting feedback from the finished product has helped develop my craft, confidence, professional skills and showreel. Since the course I’ve worked on additional music, orchestration and conducting for thriller feature Elfie Hopkins, and am currently working on music for Lottie Kingslake’s new short The Blood Of A Bear.” 

CHRIS SMITH (www.thebarbershop.uk.com/quartet/chris-smith)

Chris Smith is one of the UK’s leading composers and producers of media music. He is Vice-President of FFACE, The Federation of Film & Audiovisual Composers of Europe, a director of BASCA, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors and of PCAM, the Society of Producers & Composers of Applied Music. In 1989 he founded Final Touch Productions, which throughout the 90s was one of the UK’s leading music production houses. As producer and/or composer he has worked on hundreds of advertising campaigns for brands ranging from Becks and Budweiser to Nurofen and BMW. As well as being instrumental in developing the careers of many talented composers, his own work as a composer spans songwriting, sound branding, production music and scores for stage and television. In 2010 he set up The Barbershop, a small, high-end composers’ collective.