Today our Bobcat Spotlight shines on music composer and producer Dan Mufson ’02. From Super Bowl commercials to blockbuster films to TikTok videos, his music has been featured in many different genres and formats. Some of his recent favorite projects include advertising spots for Nike, Pinterest, and Apple—and music featured in the HBO’s “Gossip Girl” series.
Although Dan doesn’t have any formal musical training, he studied Audio Engineering at the SAE Institute in New York City and networked to get an internship at a recording studio. There, he did everything from making coffee to setting up microphones to taking out the trash. But along with the grunt work, this is also where he had his first opportunity to create music for visuals. A cosmetics ad he worked on impressed the studio owners, and quickly he learned the craft of creating “music to picture.” Fifteen years later the only desk job he’s ever had is by the studio mixing desk.
Living and working in central Los Angeles, Dan says he continues to grow professionally and creatively—following the same dream and love of music he had back at Brewster. Here on campus, he was a member of the HOWL chorus, played guitar in jazz band, and performed at Brewster’s well-loved Coffee Houses. His first experience learning to record music was in Brewster's music room when it was still in the Academic Building. His musical journey sparked when he learned how to use some of the basic equipment there. (He even convinced the Athletic Department to allow him to have an independent study instead of an after school sport so that he would have more time to use and learn the equipment!) Having his own personal Apple laptop was a valuable tool for him as a student as well. At Brewster he learned organizational skills that to this day, he says, are still the key to running his own business—something he’s thankful for 20 years later.
Dan offers three excellent pieces of advice to current Brewster students: First, find something you’re passionate about and then surround yourself with people that are more experienced and skilled than you. That will challenge you, keep you on your toes, and eventually make you better at your craft. Second, learn to master many skills in your field. You never know when a specific skill might be what makes you stand out from the crowd. And finally, don't respond to a message or email too quickly.
You can learn more about Dan and his music at www.danmufson.com.
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