More FAQs will be added here as details of the new exams and courses are released.
iAM Mentoring: FAQs
In short, yes. The mentoring course is designed for the ongoing development of intermediate and advanced composers. You must be able to produce scores within notation software such as Sibelius (which is recommended for this course) and have knowledge of music theory to around ABRSM/TCL Grade 5 level. As part of the induction process with your tutor, you will send them a previous piece, or pieces, of your work. If you are a beginner, or new to composition, you might want to check out the foundation and composition courses at the Open College of the Arts (www.oca.ac.uk) a higher education distance learning college.
Yes. In fact the Sibelius notation software is recommended for the iAM mentoring course as that is what our composer-mentors mainly use. It may be possible to use another notation program, please contact us in advance to check. Sibelius can be bought, upgraded or subscribed to on their website: www.avid.com/sibelius
Yes and no. It is expected that you will be writing in broadly a 'classical music' genre. This could be experimental or avant garde through to completely tonal music encompassing all styles within these. You may have a particular interest in, or be influenced by styles or genres such as modernism, postmodernism, minimalism, cinematic/film music and orchestration, lieder, opera, musical theatre etc., or any combination thereof. The important thing is that you are scoring music using conventional western notation on software such as Sibelius.
You can negotiate a programme of study with your tutor but some suggestions may include any of the following such as: Orchestral works (inc symphonies, tone poems, suites etc.); Chamber works (string quartets, quintets etc.); Song/Leider; Solo instrumental music; Piano & Accompaniment; Educational Music. You might want to write diverse pieces building up a portfolio, or have a special project in music. We can also help if you are interested in writing or revising work to try and get published, performed or recorded. If you are interested in orchestration or arranging, the same applies. Please contact us in advance if you would like any advice prior to signing up for mentoring.
Strictly speaking, no. If you are looking for mentoring in be able to write to screen you should check out Thinkspace Education (www.thinkspaceeducation.com) who are experts in the teaching of how to compose film and media music from a working perspective. However, if you are influence by, and want to explore, a cinematic style of music we can help mentor you in the orchestration techniques used in film so you can incorporate these skills into your writing.
No. This is a specialist area in itself and iAM do not provide studio based or technical guidance on such areas of composing and sound engineering. You might consider exploring the courses on offer at Point Blank Music (www.pointblankmusicschool.com) as this is their specialist area.
No. This is a practical and vocational mentoring course designed to help developing composers expand on their skills and help guide them in professional practices, i.e. to get performed, recorded or published. If you want academic music composition courses which you can count towards a degree, or an online music degree, you should consider the Open College of the Arts (www.oca.ac.uk), a higher education distance learning college affiliated to the University of the Creative Arts. Some of our tutors also work for the OCA as well as other HE organisations, and have helped design and release a unique Music & Composition BA(hons) Degree.
As long as you want! The standard course lasts for up to twelve months but you can extend your mentoring after this by renewing your iAM subscription. The renewal fee is currently £120 (2016/17) which extends membership for another year. This can be bought, along with additional CAS credits, in the iAM shop.
This you can negotiate with your mentor, but you can expect to be able to email them occasionally with smaller queries in between your larger submissions (where you will get formal feedback from your tutor). These submissions are what you use you Contact & Assessment Credits (CAS credits) for. Your course will come will six CAS credits, as this is the usual number of mentoring 'check ins' over a year. However, if you would like to submit more work, or are extending the length of your mentoring, you can also purchase additional packs of CAS credits in the iAM shop. During your mentoring course you also have access to study support via the iAM office and social media channels.