Twentysomething years experience in all things musical... and still diggin' it.

Chris Horvath has been an active speaker in the music community for several years. He is experienced at teaching young professionals about the things they will have to navigate in order to sustain a career in music. He is passionate about sharing his many years of experience and doing whatever he can to make anyone's road to a life in music an easier one. He has given talks and done master classes at:

  • USC Thornton School of Music
  • UCLA
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Grammy In The Schools
  • SONA Summit
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • UWLA Law School
  • Association of Music Producers
  • ...and many others.
Chris has also appeared on many panels at music business seminars and conventions and is available to speak at yours.

Click on the titles below to see more about the presentations Chris has to offer.

“8 Realities You MUST Accept To Have A Career In Music”

“8 Realities You MUST Accept
To Have A Career In Music”

Good for: Upper semester college students or young professionals involved in creation of music for albums, film, & television but not primarily focused on being an artist.

Everyone has preconceptions and ideas as to what the "real world" is like. But in most cases these are MISconceptions, and people don't understand the reality of a life in music until they've experienced a lot of hardship and struggle, which can hopefully be avoided by understanding and accepting these 8 Realities.

This talk is designed for the person who is either just starting out or someone several years into their career but feeling frustrated or stalled. Points discussed in this highly interactive talk include:

Your Career Is NOT About You
Music is ultimately a service business. Understanding and accepting your place in the process will save a lot of frustration and help you sustain a long term career.

Your Attitude & Relationships Are FAR More Important Than Your Talent
The music business is not a talent contest. It’s more like an unmarked social minefield where you might not know you’ve made a wrong step until it's too late.

Guard Your Creativity With Your Life; Because It IS Your Life
You are not a “factory” and music is not a “widget”. Learn the importance of staying at the top of your game and finding a balance between your “art” and your “craft” (and truly knowing the difference).

Mind Your Own Business
You can't continue to create music unless you get paid for the music you have already made. Understand the importance of balancing your musical-self and business-self without affecting your creativity.

You Will Be Ignored, Rejected, & Criticized; DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY!
Dealing with negative feedback and outright rejection of your best efforts is tough on anyone. Learn how to keep a perspective on criticism and bad news – even when the people delivering it were wrong.

Nothing Lasts Forever; Including Your Career
Your career will end, and probably before you want it to. So prepare for it… both financially and emotionally.

(This talk can be presented in about 1.5 hrs with a 30 min Q&A. *NOTE - Requires projection but no audio.)

“The Money You Make From The Music You Make"

“The Money You Make From The Music You Make;
Tracing Actual Earnings From 5 Pieces of Music”

Good for: Anyone interested in writing music for a living – whether in film/tv or songs and albums.

Theoretical understanding of how money is made from music is one thing, but seeing real world examples are another.

Students will hear a clip of music and then are shown
ACTUAL BMI statements, Invoices, and flow charts which demonstrate how that piece of music made money from Performance, Mechanical, Licensing, and Creative Fees.

Examples analyzed are:

• Pop Song from an Independent Album Release

• Cue from a TV show

• Television Theme Song

• Film Score

• Library Track

Also addressed is what the future may hold for creators of music as the music business transitions to streaming only delivery. Streaming revenue from some examples above is also shown and analyzed.

(This talk can be presented in approx. 1.5 hrs, plus a 30min Q&A. *NOTE – Visual Projection and Stereo Audio appropriate for the size of the audience is required.)

“Composer Conundrums"

“Composer Conundrums - 12 Real World Situations You May Soon Encounter If You Haven’t Already”

Good for: Young professionals involved in creating & producing music for film, tv, advertising, and albums.

Every professional, regardless of their status or age, is constantly faced with business situations they aren’t sure how to handle. This is especially true of younger creatives because they lack the perspective & experience that comes with a longer career.

In this highly interactive talk, the audience is presented with several real world situations (which
actually happened) that they will probably face at some point. They are asked how they would navigate to the best result. Chris will help guide them but also add road blocks and cause them to think on their feet. Actual creative fees from each example are discussed as well.

Some situations and areas covered are:

• Cutting a deal to re-record a master of a hit song for a TV Theme
(Sample is attached below)
• Navigating a serious breakdown in communication or conflict with people you work for
• Writing for a Music Library on spec or for low money
• Being sub-contracted to write a commercial and what happens when you win/lose the job
• Writing a piece of music based on a “temp” that the producers love but can’t use
• Placing a song in a film but your co-writer won’t agree to what the producers are offering
• Making the best of a very low budget indie film that requires a lot of work

Students will also receive a handout that contains some typical projects and the deal points (outlined in plain English) in the associated contracts.

(This talk can be presented in 1.5 – 2 hrs and is highly interactive. The descriptions of the
situations are sent in advance so students can decide which ones they’d like to focus
on and have time to consider their answers.
A sample is attached below. No multi media needed.)

#1 The Re-Record

You are asked to re-record the master of the song “Where Is The Love?” by the Black-Eyed Peas for a new reality dating show being produced by Paramount TV. The song is being used as the main theme for a pilot that will screen in order for the network to test the viewer market. They have licensed the song rights from the publisher(s) for this project and they will pay for all vocal talent, but you must play all the instruments or pay any needed musician costs.

They want this to sound as close to the album version as possible.

Two producers from the show want to be at the vocal session because they want to make sure it’s exactly as they want it. The show will pay for one day in a nice studio that is close to the network and very client friendly so the producers will feel comfy (it wouldn’t be appropriate to bring them to your fully functional but aesthetically challenged home studio).

You will deliver the standard mixes and splits and they are asking for a few simple cut-downs and transitions as well.

The total fee they are offering is $2,500 for all deliverables.

Your thoughts?


Creative Aspects:

Business Aspects:

“The History of Music Publishing… In A Little Over 60 Minutes”

“The History of Music Publishing
In A Little Over 60 Minutes”

Good for: Songwriters, composers, lawyers, music business executives who deal with music publishing and copyrights, or anyone interested in the history of American popular music.

Music publishing is one of the hottest and most profitable areas of the music business. And while today’s songwriters and composers understand the current structure of the business better than most previous generations, few have an understanding of how we got here.

Where most “history of” presentations can be dry and feel like a law school lecture, this lively and visual talk is just the opposite. The audience is taken from the beginning of the 20th century through today, using benchmarks of popular music styles and changes in technology to illustrate how things changed even when laws didn’t.

Also discussed is the impact of streaming and digital delivery of music and how it is affecting the way music is consumed as we move forward.

This talk is a fast but fun look at how the business of the popular song was born; from before radio and broadcast, to becoming a multi-billion dollar industry through the era of the CD and into the digital age.

For those who want a comprehensive “tasting” of the publishing business, this is an hour well spent.

(Approx. 1hr talk plus a 30 min Q&A. *NOTE – Visual Projection and Stereo Audio
appropriate for the size of the audience is required for this presentation.)

“Scoring For The Screen; A Career Writing Music To Picture”

“Scoring For The Screen;
A Career Writing Music To Picture”

Good for: College students or young professionals interested in film & tv scoring.

Film & TV Composing is one of the most challenging careers in music. Today’s composers are required to be more versatile and work faster than ever before. But this also allows composers to work on a wide variety of music and styles which is always fresh and never boring.

Students are given an overview of the career and process of scoring film & tv from the initial call through final mix. They also see several scenes both with and without music, and are shown what went into creating that music.

Topics covered include:

• Important points for demos and pitch meetings

• The Director/Composer relationship

• Being a “one man show” vs. working with a team

• Integrating computer production and live musicians

• Project Scheduling & Timelines

• Delivery Formats & Outputting Final Mixes

• Basic deal points and budgets for various projects

(This talk can be presented in approx. 1.5 hrs plus a Q&A. *NOTE – Visual Projection and Stereo Audio appropriate for the size of the audience is required for this presentation.)

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