Berklee Online’s Writing and Producing Advertising Music course aims to teach students not only how to write a memorable hook, but also about the structure of the commercial music marketplace, revenue flow, and the best practices for pitching music to prospective clients. Course author and instructor Peter Bell caught up with some of his former students to see how his Writing and Producing Advertising Music course has helped them push their music industry careers forward.
“I’ve been working in the advertising industry for over 15 years on the business side. This course has helped me see the opportunities right before me in terms of how music can help my teams, partners and clients attract attention to, and sell their work more effectively every day. And not just on the big TV productions. The role of music in commercial activity today spans far beyond what we think of as the traditional ‘jingle.’ This course provided terrific exposure to all the opportunities out there to write for the people and situations that use music to evoke emotion and help sell a brand, an idea or a point of view. This course was incredibly practical not only in terms of the breadth of music you’ll write, but in learning how to sell what you write. You’ll learn what makes a good demo, and where to find the online communities that will help you promote and sell your work. This course provided terrific insights into the different viewpoints and needs of people whose businesses rely on access to music sources, whether they’re a client, composer, performer or producer. It’s a bigger landscape out there than I originally thought and that’s good news! The jingle writing course was a great exercise in writing for different contexts and different styles. It allowed me to explore genres that were well within my comfort zone, but also expanded my capabilities across a range of styles and formats. Every week was a fun and completely new challenge. Peter was the perfect instructor for the course. His expertise, enthusiasm and always-entertaining anecdotes based on years of experience really helped the class get an insider’s view of the industry.”
“The jingle writing course at Berklee Online is a must-take course for anyone who is serious about getting a true ‘boots on the ground,’ relevant and realistic approach to composing music for advertising. It wasn’t part of my Orchestration for Film & TV Master Certificate program as a requirement, but I fought to make it part of my curriculum as a requirement as I could see how critical it is to have the knowledge in this course. I was able to streamline workflow in my studio to be able to cut cues and have them ‘upload ready’ to the various libraries as well as projects such as creating and pitching an actual jingle spot from the ground up. Writing and Producing Advertising Music allowed me to take specialized knowledge and apply it to the point where I restructured my existing cue library and added to it in a way that has allowed me to license it all over the world. I highly recommend this course to any student who wants to get their music out there and make some revenue quickly!”
Berklee College Graduate, Songwriting major
Writing and Producing Advertising Music student, summer 2014
“Taking a jingle writing course is about more than just writing jingles. It’s about learning how to develop the skills you need, and how to take those skills and use them in a profitable setting. I see jingle writing courses from a unique perspective because I took my first one as a Berklee undergraduate having never written any kind of advertising music before. That first course for me was about learning the language of advertising and the do’s and don’t’s (or perhaps the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”) of writing music for it. A year later, I’ve spent the last six months of my life writing music for small/regional businesses and ad agencies who need jingles and other compositions. I took the skills I learned in that first course, and was actually able to put them towards making a great living. But out in the ‘real world,’ I encountered scenarios in which I seriously wished I had someone I could ask, ‘What do I do?’ ‘How much do I charge?’ ‘Who should I approach next?’ ‘How do residuals work?’ ‘Should I join a union?’ I decided to enroll in a different jingle writing course at Berklee Online because no matter where you are in your advertising music career, having an experienced professional dedicated to helping you find these sorts of answers is invaluable. So why should someone take this course? The answer to that is different for everybody. For me a year ago the experience of writing this kind of music in a classroom setting, learning how to find clients, what to tell them, how to present the demo, was enough to push me out the door and help me really make a living writing jingles. Now it’s about taking my business to the next level — learning how to deal with the large advertising agencies, how to approach national companies, collaborate and employ outside talent, and more. For someone interested in selling advertising music for a living, the kind of knowledge you can get out of this course is truly remarkable.”