Intro to Screen Music Composition

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'To make a film, the final big collaborator that you have is the composer.'
- Paul Thomas Anderson

Ever wondered how to draw an income from making your own music?

With employment of music directors and composers in the US expected to grow by 10% by 2020, now is the time to learn the basics of music composition for film & TV.


Over two weekends, students will have the opportunity to use their creative skills in AFTRS’ state of the art facilities to compose a two minute piece of music and learn how to integrate it with a piece of film.

Facilitated by screen music composer and AFTRS Graduate Matt McGowen (Grad. Cert. & Grad. Dip., Screen Music), participants’ compositions will be mixed and screened in class. Students will also receive a copy of the final mix.

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to Screen Music
  • Why have music in film?
  • Organising the score
  • Hit points
  • Time code
  • Interpreting film for composers
  • Digital audio workstation basics
  • Midi basics
  • Mixing & bouncing
  • Presentation of works to class/critique

Students will also receive a guest lecture from a high profile industry composer.

If you’ve always wanted to combine your musical talent with on-screen content, now is the time to get started!


'I feel like we benefitted a great deal from Matt's practical approach to teaching, his experience, professionalism and knowledge, inspiring us to learn and improve upon our own skills. I would highly recommend this course to any musician, as well as any filmmaker interested in learning more about what music can bring to a film.'


The ability to read and write music notation is not required.


This course is only open to students aged 18 +. If you are under 18, you will not be eligible to attend this course.

***DISCLAIMER*** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page​


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.