What could go wrong?

deadlines Feb 20, 2019

We all have the best of intentions when we start a project and want to please our clients so it’s common to agree to whatever deadline you are given.

It’s easy to assume that you can do everything and walk away with all the money. You’re talented. You got the job. You’re an expert at what you do. What could go wrong?

  • In film there could be picture edits.
  • There could be changes in the musical approach.
  • Music could be added after the spotting session.
  • The person you answer too could leave the project.

The list can go on forever because every project is different.

Murphy’s law says:"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". Without question situations will change and adjustments will have to be made.

As with any task, seeing what needs to be done, how it’s going to be executed and how is going to do it are the steps necessary to achieve a successful conclusion.

Creating a schedule and being reasonable about your abilities and...

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Where do I start?

analyzing the problem Feb 19, 2019

When you start a project do you know how to begin developing your ideas?

It’s easy to make an assumption that your first thought is the best. You decide to go with your gut and plow ahead.  Certainly there is a degree of trial and error in any creative endeavor. But what if your first idea doesn’t work?

Without a thorough understanding of the problem at hand can lead to...


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โ€œHaving a goal is enough...โ€

defining your purpose Feb 18, 2019

I don’t really need to plan out my strategy. It's obvious to me.

I’m a hard worker...I really want to succeed… I’ll keep doing what I’ve done before because that’s all I really know how to do. It’s worked so far (with varying degrees of success) so I’ll just keep plugging away and hope for the best.

If you want to attain a career goal that is beyond where you are today why is it so difficult?


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I don't have to worry about technique

Uncategorized Feb 03, 2019


Let me ask you: Have you every tried to build anything? Have you ever tried to put something together without reading directions? Have you ever cheated on a test or tried to get some one to do homework for you?
Let's say you wanted to build a simple box out of wood. Sounds simple enough. But, if you look a little deeper there are many, many  things you need to do to successfully build a square box out of raw wood. First you need a design with dimensions. Then you will need to figure out how to purchase the wood and what kind wood you want. Then you will have to cut the wood to size. Assembly is next followed by the application of paint, varnish or sealer. Building a box from scratch out of wood requires expertise (or at least working knowledge) of many tasks. If you are a carpenter for hire there is another dynamic to consider: you are building this box to suit some one else's taste!

Odd analogy?

This is not as crazy as it may sound.
Consider this:
Direction (what type...
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Top Ten Myths of about being a Film Composer #4- "I'm going to be rich!!!"

Uncategorized Oct 20, 2018

What drives you?

Do you want to make a lot of money?
Do you want to be famous?
Do you crave attention?
What drives you to do what  you do?
Even though I have had my share of success I really don't think about any of that. I chose to be a musician because I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else! Some one once said of me: "You didn't choose music, music chose you". My motivation wasn't derived by anything in the material world. I was obsessed by the process of making music...that was where I wanted to be. Consequently I did everything I could to put myself in situations where I could satisfy that desire. I practiced, I studied incessantly, I listened to music constantly all the while thinking that if I was the best I could be...then that was all I could expect of myself (Thanks Mom!). I kept my standards high...focusing on making the rewards of my journey intrinsic and unaffected by the outside world.
There are no guarantees in life, or in art.
Call it ignorance or...
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The Power Of Thank You

Uncategorized Sep 26, 2018

The Power Of Thank You

Our lives are jam-packed with massive “to do” lists. Each and every moment of every day we get bombarded with text messages, social media and emails. We are forced to determine the relative importance of each interaction. It is all too easy to glance over each prompt and then, without meaning any disrespect forget to reply.

Our lives our full.

As an independent artist/composer, one of the biggest struggles is figuring out how to stand apart from the crowd, how to rise above the noise.

Creative Collaboration is a Relationship Business.

Relationships are built one at a time. And, like a seedling, each requires engagement to grow.

Neglect a relationship and what happens?

It will wither and die. It may not happen tomorrow. Without the necessary nurturing the results will always be the same. It is next to impossible to rekindle a relationship that has lost its connection.

A way forward:

When I was young, I was always taught to say thank-you. It...
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Top Ten Myths about being a Film Composer - #5

Uncategorized Sep 05, 2018

I don't need to be concerned about the business of music-

You can call me "Schroeder". I spent my youth playing the piano incessantly. I started writing songs when I was about 9. Most every waking hour I had a radio blaring in my head. I couldn't stop it. So, I spent all my time pursuing that which I could not ignore...making music.
Because I had developed skills as a musician and was gifted with talent, opportunities presented themselves and I started working as a musician at 14. By the time I reached college I was a "working musician". Even so, my goal was not to make money. My interest was always to find a way to stay immersed in the process of making music. This desire to led me to find a way to leave college at the first opportunity. It wasn't long before I left school to go on the road. I didn't really care how much they paid me- I probably would have done it for free!

Setting myself up...for disaster.

Fast forward to years later. I had been working steadily for years...not...
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Top Ten Myths of about being a Film Composer #6- I'm an artist-I'll decide when to deliver my music"

Uncategorized Aug 18, 2018

"How Do I Deal With Deadline Pressure?"

Many moons ago when I first entered into the business I vividly remember being panic-stricken about coming up with ideas on demand. At the same time I knew that if I didn’t meet the deadline I might never get another opportunity. I lived in a constant state of fear and anxiety.  I had stress for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In hindsight I appears that the anxiousness was due in large part to the fact that I was completely undisciplined and unorganized about my time.  I had no idea how to even approach the problem let alone deal with the situation effectively.
My mentor, Billy Byers, always used to say: “if you sit there long enough it will get done”. He was referring to the fact that most of us would rather be doing ANYTHING but sitting at a desk in a quiet room alone--for 12-16 hours a day. (remember- I started in the business prior to the advent of the PC). Needless to say I endured many, many sleepless nights.
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Entitlement vs. Gratitude

Uncategorized Aug 06, 2018


For most of us, our expectations about what life will bring us are formed in childhood. If you show up in youth sports, you get a trophy. If you pick the correct multiple-choice questions, you will get a good grade. If you behave in a particular way, you will get the desired result. Well-meaning adults unconsciously fill children with these thoughts throughout their lives. 

To paraphrase TV psychologist Dr. Phil: “how’s that working for you?”

The truth is no one is guaranteed anything in life. Just because you “desire something” doesn’t mean you are “entitled” to have it regardless of the how often this idea is reinforced.

Does this prepare you for the inevitable rejection you will encounter in life?

Holding on to conditioned responses will be like having an invisible anchor around your neck. Your view will be skewed unknowingly affecting your performance. 

We can only put forth the best work we can do at the time. We...

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Amateur or Professional?

Uncategorized Aug 06, 2018

Webster defines “business” as a purposeful activity. If we are purposefully in the act of creating art, we are by definition in the business of making art. Where so many of us struggle is imagining ourselves as more than artists. We are, in fact, businesspeople but either we have been conditioned to believe it is somehow beneath the artist or, it is so far out of our comfort zone that is impossible to conceive that we could be more than the act that fuels our creativity.

Business can seem like a foreign language. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

It is only a mystery of we prefer to isolate ourselves in our ignorance.

Moving beyond being an amateur is to accept that business (which includes branding and marketing) is an integral part of our existence as a freelance or independent artist.

Becoming a professional artist requires making a commitment to being accountability for ALL aspects of our lives and our careers.

It requires making the active choice to understand...
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