He’s the Eurovision 2009 winner who famously returned to the contest in 2018 with the number “That’s How You Write a Song”. And now Alexander Rybak is ready to move from teacher to student as he learns how to compose for film and TV at Columbia College Chicago.

From Norway to the USA, Alex is ready to slay as a media composer. He made the announcement on his Instagram.

“Long have I dreamed of writing film music. 2 years ago, I decided to make that dream a reality! It has been a long and hard process, but now I have found the very best place: This year I’m starting master studies at Columbia College in Chicago, to become a composer for the screen!”

“To everybody who has followed me through my musical adventure: Your support has meant a lot to me! And if you want to follow me on this next chapter: it will mean even more! Ps. I have been waiting for 2 years to share this passion with you..!”

According to the college web site, the program is meant to give students the skills and connections to innovate within the industry. Here’s how they describe the MFA program.

“The MFA composition program covers composing for all genres of film, TV, video games, and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR). Beyond the art of dramatic scoring, you’ll master rapidly developing technical industry standards in media music production and gain hands-on experience with everything from programming cutting-edge digital instruments to conducting professional live musicians. You’ll learn how to adapt your music to different contexts in courses on the unique processes of film, TV, and interactive media. Our faculty of working professionals and our visiting composers-in-residence mentor you by providing practical feedback and candid advice.”

“The program culminates in a five-week capstone in Los Angeles. You’ll intern with a composer whom, with the guidance of the program director, you’ll choose based on your interests and aspirations. You’ll also lead a recording session of your thesis project with a full live orchestra in a professional studio.”

“Columbia’s program is unique because it is structured around scoring full-length projects. Instead of working on a few isolated scenes, you will deal with entire feature films, TV shows, video games, and other full-length visual media projects. These projects allow you to practice scoring as it is done in the real world, learn how music evolves to tell a complete story, and see the full context of a score.”

Recent graduates have earned credits on projects including Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Naturally, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has complicated matters. Students at the college are beginning their studies remotely even if they are already in Chicago. So Alex will do the same, but from his home country, and move to the U.S. when things are safer. According to VG, he’s already rented out his apartment in Oslo and has been living with his parents outside of the Norwegian capital.

“I’m a bit in limboland now,” he tells the Norwegian publication. “School starts in two weeks, but since I had to study online if I had been in Chicago as well, it’s just as easy to get started from home.”

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Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

That sounds so cool!

Kat
Kat
2 months ago

I was so surprised and thrilled to hear this! I feel like this suits him SO well and can’t imagine I never considered it before…. His musical strength, to me, has always been memorable melodies and the way he carries and portrays emotions so well! I’m VERY excited to see what future he has with this 😀

Nils
Nils
2 months ago

So … is he gonna teach them how to write a song? Step 1: …

Last edited 2 months ago by Nils
Gloria
Gloria
2 months ago

I think that American Universities have very stricts requirements to be fulfilled before enrollment, so this makes honor to him! it’s great to see someone succeeding in pursuing their dreams!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 months ago

“Recent graduates have earned credits on projects including Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.”

Wait. I thought that Alexander had already written film music. Specifically, I thought he had written a song for How To Train Your Dragon! I’m glad that he’s studying to acquire the skills and connections to do…what he has possibly already done before.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

This is totally different. Far more than just writing a song for the closing credits – he wants to be a Hans Zimmer, an Elmer Bernstein, an Ennio Morricone…

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Haha, I know.
I just found it funny that was one of the examples that they gave. 😉

Joe
Joe
2 months ago

He was MADE for this, and only a logical career move for a Norwegian Eurovision champ considering Rolf Lovland’s conducting/composition bonafides. He’s a born musician and would probably make a great conductor, so more power to him!

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
2 months ago

Good luck Alexander!