Lessons


Due to the many emails and requests I get, I’m currently offering three types of lessons. Due to my composing schedule I can only take a certain amount of students at the same time so unfortunately I can’t guarantee for an instant possibility for tuition. Also it might occur sometimes that I need to skip lessons, which I will of course announce in advance and of course you only pay for  the lessons that are actually held.

Current or former students that have/had lessons with me:

Alex Pfeffer, Alexander Röder, Stephan Hinz, Ryan Leach, Alec Harrison, Tim Heinrich, Johannes Kern, Nino Rajacic, Philippe Pierre,  Stephan Jensen, Naveen Santhanam,  Allan Pearl, Gideon Leong, David Farrell, Pablo Suarez, Mark Gerster, Bruno Luise, Franco Azizi

1. Individual regular lessons over Skype

  • screen sharing over the free messenger programme Skype, showing you what I’m doing on my screen + hearing my voice to guide you through the course, which comes very close to personal tuition
  • personally tailored course, only topics you want to learn about are covered, no fixed course tempo or course topics, however, I might propose several subjects you might not neccessarily want to learn about which are however important to base further knowledge on
  • main focus lies on orchestral film music writing but topics like vocal arrangement, jazz music, musical and other styles are covered as well
  • usually once a week, however different terms are no problems as well
  • one lesson lasts 60 minutes and is usually split into 3 20 minute blocks:

1.) Music Theory: Based on your knowledge covering basic music theory up to advanced music theory, supplying the knowledge you need to effectively find solutions to musical problems. Fields covered are melody, harmony, counterpoint, form. The main goal is to write music and use theory intuitively, only rationally falling back to it once you are stuck in the writing process or need to rationally solve a musical problem.

2.) Composition/Film scoring: Teaching principles and techniques of how to approach musical composition, what principles to make use of in order to get quick and good results but also dealing specifically with the process of writing film music, including technical,  business and practical issues. The main goal is to provide you with enough knowledge to handle any important film music style and situation but also master purely musical aspects of composition. (Film) music clicheés will be discussed as well as analyzing representative classic, film, jazz and other music from well known composers.

3.) (Film-)orchestration: Providing you with the knowledge you need to write effectively for real musicians but also how to handle instrumental colours. Typical sound combinations and structures will be discussed as well. Depending on your knowledge, individual instruments will be covered, discussing their technical possibilities but also how to use them, how they work in orchestral context and how to write effectively for them in order to create good sounding orchestral landscapes. The main goal is to get an intuitive feeling and inner ear for the instruments, their strengths and weaknesses to write colourful orchestrations and to gain advanced knowledge how to work with real musicians and live ensembles.

  • depending on your personal interests, these three fields can be covered with different focus
  • you can quit the course at any time, there is no obligation to have a specific amount of lessons or to pay in advance
  • the course is either held in German or English, course materials will be available in English only
  • on each lesson the student will get a homework to be done until the next lesson, usually these homeworks cover subjects that were talked about in the lesson and should not take more than 3-4 hours to complete. The goal of these homework is to practically try the newly learned concept under practical circumstances. Homework will include writing music with a certain compositional method, for a certain line-up or in a certain mood, writing music for a short film scene etc. The assignment will be discussed the next lessons and I will provide hints, tips etc. where to improve.
  • all needed texts, score sheets, video and audio files will be provided
  • during the lessons, quite a bit of time will be spent to together analyze film music score sheets by famous composers, finding out how they write music and how their music works and how these principles can be used and incorporated in your own writing
  • practical issues will be part of the lessons as well, e.g. how to work together with directors, how to organize a recording session, how to deal with contracts etc.
  • you will need a basic knowledge in music theory, harmony and notation and at least a bit of experience writing music to start this course
  • the posession and ability to use a notation programme (preferrably Sibelius, but Finale, Notion, Capella should work as well) is needed
  • the price for one 60 minute lesson is 50 Euros, paid by Paypal after each lesson

2. Individual regular lessons over Email

  • the same modalities as in the skype lessons, just that it’s been held by Email
  • I will write you a personally tailored text that will include the topics that I would cover in the Skype lessons as well.
  • you will get access to all needed texts, score sheets, video and audio files as well
  • I will give you assignments in every lesson and give you feedback on it in the next lesson text
  • the disadvantage over Email is the lacking personal contact but as soon as questions arise regarding the course text, you can contact me by Email
  • the price per lesson (which covers the same topics as a 60 minute skype lesson) is 50 Euros, paid by Paypal after each lesson

3. Individual composition feedback over Skype or Email

  • sending me your composition by email, possible as audio/video or midi file, however, in order to get the most detailed feedback a score sheet as Sibelius file or PDF will be much more effective
  • add a description of what this music is for, what you want to achieve and which things you are unsure about to give me a hint of where to focus on
  • depending on your preferences, I will write a detailed Email or talk to you in Skype giving you feedback on your composition, giving hints and tips where to improve, how to avoid problems and pointing out any possible errors, bad notations and technical difficulties
  • the price for the feedback will be negotiated individually depending on the length and complexity of the piece  – ergo how much time I will need to work my way through – and is to be paid by paypal
  • you have the option to bail out beforehand if the estimated price exceeds your limit
  • in order to directly answer any questions that may arise it will be much easier to do this by skype instead of having endless Email conversations
  • due to my composition schedule it might be possible that I can’t give feedback right away, however I will try to keep the feedback time within 14 days after you sent me the composition, if you need it faster, tell me beforehand and I’ll try my best
  • if you’re interested in getting feedback on your composition, please send me an Email with your composition attached to lessons@robin-hoffmann.com and I will reply as soon as possible

If you’re interested in either of the tuition options or have questions, get in touch by Email (lessons@robin-hoffmann.com) or the form below:


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