Hello Composers! =)
– I want to share my journey & story with you, so that you can learn, be inspired, motivated and even empowered, on your own professional journey as a music composer.
The Beginning of My Story
So let’s use the time machine, to go back to 1990. I was 9 years old when I started taking my first stumbling steps in music. Flute first, which I sucked at. Acoustic Guitar next, which I was even worse at. Then a year later I started taking piano lessons.
After 5 years of playing piano once a week for about 45 minutes you would think I that I had developed good skills…but no..I was lazy, didn’t even do the homework and exercises my teacher provided. My real passion for music started when I produced my first track, in 1998. On tracker software!
The Journey continues
In 2004 I started my own business, mainly because after the IT market crash in 2000, it was extremely hard to get a job in this sector if you were not already in the industry. And it did not help that I had no degree to show.
So, I started a media production company which basically focused on helping bands and artists with demo CD’s and small print albums. Well…I failed hard on this business.
Finally I realised that I needed to make an income to pay my rent and food, so I took low paying jobs like working in a supermarket, in IT support, in a warehouse…and I hated being an employee, I hated the lack of freedom, the low pay, the lack of respect…
But most of all, I was angry with myself for not following my true passion, my dream to work with music.
Well something changed…I slowly began to perhaps subconsciously make up my mind..to follow what my heart told me all these years.
I started my own blog and website, and my own artist name “Peak Eleven” in 2010. And created my YouTube channel in the same year.
I started to focus on learning and improving my knowledge of music, by taking courses, reading lots of books, listening to music and trying to mimic it on piano and so on. I even spent an entire summer reading music theory books, even when on vacation.
And the more I learned, the more I found a passion for teaching others.
Teaching Online Courses
So in 2015 I became an online instructor on Udemy and Skillshare, making courses for music composers and producers.
I loved it, but it was not all sunshine, because the income was much lower than expected, and I struggled a lot with perfectionism and procrastination like I’ve always done. But I managed to push myself forward, and after 2-3 years I started to see some progress.
My Decision – The Path to Freedom
So it was time for my final step: In late summer 2017, I called my boss, had a good talk, and then actually quit my day job.
That was the moment, my point of no return.
I remember, right after hanging up the phone, the incredible rush of emotions that ran through me…fear for what will happen next, relief for finally choosing my own path, pride for having the courage to quite my day job and let my friends and family know about it…
I felt that I made the right choice, even though it was long overdue.
Because I have to confess that running your own business and being a freelancer, is incredibly hard work, long hours, no full weekends, no long vacations….and always a huge lists of projects and a tasks you need to do yourself..
However, the freedom lifestyle of working for yourself…being your own boss, choosing what to work on, when to work, how to work, and with whom to work with….that kind of freedom is priceless. At least it is to me. And perhaps this freedom lifestyle I talk about, is something you desire too?
I don’t know what level you are at, on your professional journey in music. I don’t know your ambitions, or your dreams.
Perhaps you have not made that leap yet…perhaps you compose music as a side gig…or perhaps you already have a full time career in music.
In any case, I am glad to have you as a member of Professional Composers.
Make sure to bookmark the website, and make sure you get the emails into your main inbox.
And finally…I will see you inside the Professional Composers Community, because you have joined it, right?
My name is Mike, and I wish you great success on your professional journey in music. I’ll see you in the next video my friend.
My Best Advice to You
I have learned the hard way, that “the only way to move forward is by taking action”. Consistent and bold action. The harder the work, the greater the chance for success. How do you become a professional composer? Here’s the recipe I follow:
- Learn every Day
- Practice every Day
- Create every Day
PS. I wish you good luck and great success on your professional journey in music.
Mikael “Mike” Baggström
Founder of Professional Composers