15 Recording Sessions

Bring your music to life and master the art of writing for live musicians via 15 studio recording sessions of your music with the European Recording Orchestra. This professional ensemble, composed of exceptional musicians from Sofia, Bulgaria, specialises in studio recordings for film, TV, and more. By partnering with them, we provide you with an invaluable opportunity to enrich your portfolio and showcase your musical prowess.

How do the recording sessions work?

Masters composers participate in the recording process from start to finish. You’ll conceive of your music in the DAW, orchestrate it in Dorico, then score and parts prep everything the same way they do in London or LA. You’ll gain experience serving as librarian, facilitating scores and parts in recording order and distributing them to musicians. When recording time comes, you’ll be in the booth with our faculty and ERO score supervisors and engineers, providing feedback on the way the ensemble is performing your music.

recording session female conductor

How much music can you record on a given session?

Throughout the one-year Masters experience, you will be allocated 20-minute recording slots during each session. This time frame allows you to record music up to 2 minutes in length, giving you the chance to bring your compositions to life in a professional setting.

Why put such a focus on recording sessions?

Our focus on recording sessions extends beyond the obvious portfolio-building benefits. We also equip you with invaluable skills in writing music for studio musicians and effective time management in the studio. Delivering outstanding results in the recording studio with live musicians is the gold standard in music for screen entertainment. By honing these skills, we ensure you're prepared to thrive in the industry and compete at the highest level.

recording session booth-1

What will you receive for your portfolio?

High fidelity audio is not the only thing our composers take away from each session. You will also receive multicam HD videos of your sessions. These videos serve as a visual representation of your music being recorded in the studio, enabling you to create professional videos that capture the essence of the session itself. It's the perfect tool to curate a portfolio that truly represents your unique talent.

What will you record in each session?

  • Solo Piano
  • 3-piece Piano, Violin, Cello
  • String Quintet + 2 Woodwinds
  • 9-piece Variety Ensemble
  • 22-piece Chamber Strings
  • 25-piece Strings & Bulgarian Folk Ensemble
  • 38-piece Symphony Orchestra
  • 23-piece Strings + Woodwind Ensemble
  • Game Scoring Stem Session 1: Brass
  • Game Scoring Stem Session 2: Woodwinds
  • Game Scoring Stem Session 3: Strings
  • 52-piece Symphony Orchestra
  • 84-piece Symphony Orchestra
  • 20-piece SATB Choir + 6 Bulgarian Ethnic Voices
  • 38-piece Major Project Orchestra
Derek Gleeson at Sofia session studio from above 2

Have questions about this programme?

Speak with our Admissions Department. Submit our enquiry form to receive personalised answers to your questions.

Additional Information: Master of Fine Arts

Tuition and Fees

2024-2025 MFA Program Tuition: €36,950

Tuition Schedule

Program Deposit: €2,000 (Due Immediately to Enroll)
Tuition Downpayment: €5,000 (Due June 1, 2024)
Payment 1: €11,950 (Due September 1, 2024)
Payment 2: €9,000 (Due December 1, 2024)
Payment 3: €9,000 (Due March 1, 2025)

The MFA program at the Film Scoring Academy of Europe is the most affordable full-time Masters program in film & game scoring available today, while simultaneously offering more recording sessions than any other program in the world, thanks to our partnership with the European Recording Orchestra (ERO).

Be sure to check out the "Costs of Living in Sofia" dropdown to see how much more affordable Sofia is compared to other major European and American cities.


Financial Aid

Students from the United States can take advantage of the FAFSA Federal Student Aid program. For more information, visit https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa

More Financial Aid Programs:

All students searching for scholarships should search this website: https://www.wemakescholars.com
Norway: Lanekassen - https://www.lanekassen.no/
Colombia: Colfuturo - https://www.colfuturo.org/
South Africa: National Film and Television Foundation (NFVF) - https://www.nfvf.co.za/home/
South Africa: Oppenheimer Trust - https://www.omt.org.za/


2024-2025 Academic Calendar

Two semesters of course work with a third semester dedicated to the Major Project.

2024-2025 Academic Calendar

Semester 1 - Full-time, presence in Sofia required
Sept. 16, 2024 - Semester 1 commences
Nov. 28 - Thanksgiving Holiday
Dec. 20 - Final day of classes
Dec. 23 - Winter break

Semester 2 - Full-time, presence in Sofia required
Jan. 6, 2025 - Semester 2 commences
May 30 - Final day of classes
May 31 - Semester 2 ends

Semester 3 - Presence in Sofia Optional
June 1, 2025 - Semester 3 commences
Aug. 31 - Semester 3 ends


Costs of living in Sofia

Costs of living in Sofia are extremely low in comparison to other major European and American cities. Exponentially cheaper than LA, NYC, London, Valencia, or Boston, while maintaining a comfortable standard of living.

Sofia, Bulgaria compared to other cities that are home to Film Scoring Masters degrees:
73% lower than New York City
65% lower than London
64% lower than Los Angeles
66% lower than Boston
30% lower than Valencia

For more information on comparing prices between cities, visit www.numbeo.com

The Film Scoring Academy of Europe has real estate agents in Sofia that work to help MFA students find accommodation that fits their needs and budget.

MFA Students who wish to live together will be able to find shared accommodation for as low as €150 - €200 per month.

MFA Students who wish to live alone will be able to find accommodation for as low as €350 - €400 per month.


Technology Requirements

Technology Requirements:

  • Avid Pro Tools 12
  • DAW (Logic Pro X, Cubase, Digital Performer, etc.)
  • NI Kontakt Full
  • Serum by Xfer Records
  • High Quality Reference Headphones
  • Industry Standard Orchestral Sample Libraries

Technology Recommendations:

  • Apple Macbook Pro (minimum quad-core, 16GB ram, internal SSD)
  • Cinematic Studio Series samples (CS Strings, CS Brass, CS Woodwinds)
  • NotePerformer Playback Engine
  • Spectrasonics Omnisphere
  • Soundtoys, Slate Digital, or Waves Mixing Suite
  • Minimum 1TB External SSD for Sound Libraries
  • MIDI Keyboard (for home use)

All students will receive a copy of Steinberg's revolutionary notation and scoring software, Dorico Pro. Students will also have access to a hardware station in the Film Scoring Academy of Europe headquarters that is equipped with a Nektar 61-key MIDI keyboard (with sustain pedal), a 24" curved external display, a Scarlett Solo Audio Interface, ethernet and power connectivity and a powered USB hub.


Visa Requirements

Accepted students from the EU do not need a Visa. They will simply need to establish residency upon arrival in Sofia, which our team will assist with.

Accepted students from outside the EU will require a Type-D Student Visa. Assistance on this process will be provided by our Visa Officer after a student officially enrolls. It is advisable that accepted students from outside the EU begin preparing the Student Visa requirements listed on the Bulgarian Embassy website in their country as soon as possible, as this process can take a substantial amount of time.