Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Semester Wrap-Up

Steven Spiel

People have been asking me how my first semester here has been in the Music Composition for the Screen MFA program. I have to be honest with them and with you: It has exceeded my expectations. I have come much farther than I thought I would have in just one semester, and it makes me really happy to be here.

If it had just been for the connections that I have made while here (with directors, producers, industry professionals, and companies), I would have been happy, and my time would have been worth it. However, what’s even better is that I have learned so much. I have become a more seasoned composer, I understand the technology better, I know how to pace myself, and I feel much more confident reading the footage and speaking with the director. My mixing abilities have really been enhanced as I have worked with the industry-standard 5.1 surround sound speakers in the room. We do all our mixes in 5.1, and it has trained me to listen much more carefully than on just a stereo system.

One of my favorite things about this program is the people that I have been studying with. They have become some of my best friends! We have become a tight family while here, and the program is very conducive of that. Some graduate programs here at Columbia have students take different classes at different times. Here, all of our classes are together, and we grow to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We also grow to really trust each other and create a community that we can rely on when we are in LA.

Overall, it has been an excellent semester. These are some of the things that you have to look forward to here in the program.

Semester Wrap-Up

People have been asking me how my first semester here has been in the Music Composition for the Screen MFA program. I have to be honest with them and with …

Music Composition for the Screen MFA Steven Spiel, steven.spiel@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience