Loading Events

« All Classes

  • This event has passed.

Scoring: Developing the Film’s Musical Voice

Starts December 2

In-person. 1 Session: Saturday, December 2, 1:00-3:00 pm

Join us for an insider’s look into how composers develop the concept for their film and television scores. Creating a successful film score starts with defining the concept of the score. No matter how subtle or epic, defining the score’s concept is the foundation to developing a unified score that not only deepens and supports the director’s vision, but helps maintain the film’s dramatic integrity.

In this workshop we’ll look at variety of films and their scores by both Hollywood and international composers from Bernard Herman and Jon Brion to Michael Giacchino and Ennio Morricone, as well as an insider’s look into the process of creating music for film and television by your instructor, composer Barbara Cohen.

In addition to the above, our discussion will include:

  • Characterization
  • Musical Styles
  • Instrumental Palates
  • Ethnic Considerations
  • Themes
  • Genre Films and Audience Expectations

This workshop has been developed for both filmmakers and film and television score composers.

NOTE: this in-person course is held at FilmNorth, 550 Vandalia Street, Suite 120, Saint Paul, MN 55114. FilmNorth is following CDC’s current COVID-19 variant guidance for Ramsey County:

  • People may choose to mask at any time. Masks are recommended for those who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or at high-risk for complications associated with COVID-19 variants.
  • People with any COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should stay home.

Tuition: $50 regular | $40 member | $30 low-income

Barbara Cohen is an award-winning musician, singer/songwriter and film composer known for her distinctive voice, eclectic talent, and ability to blend musical genres from folk and world to trip-hop, electronica, jazz, and modern-classical. She is the co-founder with Paul Robb of the esteemed ensemble Brother Sun, Sister Moon, which was signed to Virgin Records and led to a move to Los Angeles. Cohen is lauded for her collaborations with Orbital, England’s chart-topping rave luminaries, and for her lead vocals in Air, the French experimental duo. Cohen is also recognized for her own critically acclaimed independent solo albums including California, and her work with Little Lizard (TRG Records).

As a film and television composer, Cohen’s scores include Four Winters, the Academy Award-nominated documentary, and The Judge and the General, an Emmy-nominated PBS documentary. Her work can be heard in the dreamlike, cabaret-influenced score for HBO’s Habana Eva, and the guitar-driven score for MTV’s Pedro. Cohen’s Middle Eastern-influenced arrangements are distinctive features in the documentaries The Lost Dream from PBS/POV and Words of Witness from Al Jazeera America.

A Minnesota native, Cohen successfully launched a music, film scoring, and teaching career in Los Angeles. Her songs and vocals have been featured as a contributing artist on prestigious film and television shows including Warner Brother’s Red Riding Hood, Fox Pictures’ Brokedown Palace (with Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale), and two NBC primetime series, Lipstick Jungle and Third Watch.

Barbara’s many awards include the prestigious Sundance Film Composer Lab Fellowship, BMI Conducting Workshop, the Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship Grant for Artistry and Composition, and the Minnesota Music Awards for Artist of the Year and Vocalist of the Year. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition from the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 7 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 2 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those needing to cancel a registration at least 7 days prior to the first class session, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of 5:00 pm the day prior to the first class session, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.
  • By registering for this FilmNorth class you are agreeing to our Community Values Statement.




December 2, 2023
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Categories:


Barbara Cohen
Registration Deadline
December 1
Maximum Enrollment
Class count or Info
1 Session: Saturday, December 2, 1:00-3:00 pm