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Empowering the next generation of film composers.

At the start of 2021 CLIP ran Soundtrack, a free six week film music course for 16-19yr olds in the borough of Tendring, Essex. Funded by Essex Youth Service, the course provided young musicians with opportunities to learn new skills and experiment with new and exiting ways of making music. In this blog we want to share some of the amazing music the young musicians created, and their feedback on what the course meant to them.

Getting Started

As with any course relying heavily on technology, the initial session was set aside for problem solving and ensuring everybody was comfortable with the workflow. Whilst some young people already had access to equipment and software, thanks to a partnership with Signals we were able to provide equipment to those without their own.

CLIP’s tutors are proficient in a variety of DAWs (digital audio workstations). This means we’re able to support students in whatever software they prefer – with most settling on Logic or Ableton. We recommended that all students took advantage of the incredible Spitfire LABS free virtual instruments. This ensured that all the students weren’t limited by the stock sounds of their software.

The Power of Music

One of the first exercises was experimenting with the power of music over short segments of film (including documentary, drama and commercial segments). This facilitated excellent discussions about the power of music, and exploring how it can change the way we perceive a movie.

Midway into the course, we welcomed sound designer and composer Toby Campen for a presentation. Toby has worked for the likes of BBC, Sony, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and Disney. Toby gave them insights into the life of a working sound designer, sharing tips and best practice with the young musicians and inspiring them to pursue a career in the industry.

The course culminated in the young composers scoring a scene from a film of their own choice. Putting into practice their new skills with music production software, advice gleaned Toby’s presentation, their own research undertaken during the course and of course with guidance from CLIP’s tutors.

The resulting compositions, which you can hear above were incredible. We were truly blown away by the quality of the work achieved by the students given the relatively short time frame of the course.


Through evaluation surveys, all of the young people noted that they felt more confident in their ability as a result of the course. When asked what they enjoyed the most they commented:

“The course has helped engage me by throwing me into situations I haven’t been in before. This has helped me to excel under pressure.”

“The camaraderie of like minded people and non judgmental platform to create as a bi-product of this.”

“Learning a new skill and becoming more confident in my abilities.”

In Summary

We truly were blown away by the aptitude and commitment to learning shown by all the young people who attended the course and we absolutely cannot wait to hear the music they’ll make in the future.