Larry Groupé, known for his The Contender and Straw Dogs scores, has created a one-week workshop aimed at aspiring composers from all musical walks of life. The Palomar Film Music Workshop ( will be held near San Diego in Pauma Valley, June 22-27.

"This is an intensive workshop specifically for the art and craft of writing to picture, and the dramatic aspect of the craft," Groupé told Soundtrack.Net in a recent phone interview.

The workshop format will consist of morning presentations by Groupé or other faculty. Then, participants will be assigned scenes to composer music to. In the afternoon, faculty will observe and offer mentoring as students write music and, at the end of the day, their work will be played back and commented on by the faculty. Evenings will consist of discussions about the business or technology, or they may watch a movie and discuss the score. "They will be busy at least 12 hours a day," Groupé said.

Students will repeat this process every day of the week during the intensive retreat. "The only way one can become better at writing original music to picture is to write a lot of original music to picture," explained Groupé. He also pointed out that the styles of assignments will be different each day, so everybody will have a chance to write music for different genres. "It really is a bootcamp of compositional writing."

The last day of the workshop will consist of a modest recording session; participants will have the opportunity to record their best chosen work with professional musicians in a studio.

The workshop's faculty consists of working professionals in the film music industry, including Groupé, other film composers, directors, producers, a film editor, and more (a full list of confirmed faculty is listed here).

When asked about the type of applicants they're looking for, Groupé said, "We don't want [the workshop] to just be [composed of ] the people who are coming out of conservatory or music departments (of course we want that and are expecting it), but it also could be the next Trent Reznor or Danny Elfman – some guitar player in a rock band who just thinks they've got good picture sense."

A total of twelve to fourteen students will be admitted. Tuition is $2,000 plus $442 for room and board.

Interested artists should visit, review the technical requirements and fill out an application.