with Julie & Steven BERNSTEIN

Date: June 3 – 6 (Monday – Thursday)

Schedule: 10-1:00 / 2-5:00 PDT



One of the most daunting challenges a composer can face is writing effectively for animation. Anyone who has done it, knows that it requires the composer to possess a strong compositional technique. A successful composer in the animation has a fluent command of harmony, a mastery of counterpoint and knowledge of the orchestra; not only of the color and ranges of the instruments but their individual character(s). If that isn’t enough, one needs to have a sense of humor, irony, and drama, not only about music but about life! This summer at the Hollywood Music Workshop, we are fortunate to have two masters of the genre: Steven Bernstein and Julie Bernstein, who have been recognized with multiple Emmys. 

If you have the technique to effectively score a cartoon, chances are you will be more than equipped to score a dramatic film. Explore the world of Animation this summer at the Hollywood Music Workshop. Ultimately, you may not ever score a cartoon, but the lessons you’ll have learned in this class will serve you well with whatever project you are involved in.

Julila ans Steve Bernsetin, Creators of "Animaniacs"
The ANIMATION classes will begin each day with a discussion of aesthetics as it pertains to music for animation.

A clip will be shown without the musical score and we will discuss the elements of the scene with attention to dramatics, character, timing, score set-up, special timbres and orchestration, as well as musical choices including harmony and melodic and rhythmic possibilities.

The actual scoring process will be discussed from spotting the cue, choosing hit points, finding a suitable tempo and laying out the score. Examples will be shown demonstrating each element discussed.

In the afternoon, students will score short clips for review the following day, after which the cue will be presented as scored by the instructors.

Julie and Steve will be available during the writing segment for problem solving, ideas, suggestions and anything else which may arise during the writing process.

Four-time EMMY-award-winner Julie Bernstein …

… has worked in animation as a composer, orchestrator, arranger, conductor and singer. Among numerous animated series are the recently completed Animaniacs Reboot and The Boys: Diabolical, both of which she co-wrote with her husband Steve Bernstein. Others include Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Histeria!, Tiny Toons Adventures, Baby LooneyToons, Make Way for Noddy, and the features Wakko’s Wish and Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars. Julie’s songs and arrangements can be heard on the CDs Yakko’s World, Animaniacs and Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure.

Her arrangements for string quartet and voice can be heard on renowned jazz singer Tierney Sutton’s album After Blue and renowned opera singer Natalie Dessay’s double album Pictures of America. Julie and Steve are currently nominated for an Emmy for season 3 of Animaniacs Reboot.

Five-time EMMY-award-winning composer Steven Bernstein …

… with an extensive background in music for animation. His music is heard in such hit television series as Animaniacs (the original and the 2020 re-launch), The Boys: Diabolical (Laser Baby’s Day Out), Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Histeria!, Tiny Toon Adventures, Make Way for Noddy and Baby Looney Tunes as well as animated features including Wakko’s Wish, A Flintstones Christmas Carol and Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars. Steven has received numerous commissions for large-scale concert works. His cantata To Speed Them All won 2nd place in the American Prize competition in 2015. He has also worked as a conductor and orchestrator in major Hollywood films such as Skyfall, The Amazing Spiderman, Windtalkers, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Perfect Storm.