I approach any element of a sound design as if it's a standalone composition in its own right, whether that element consists of a basic dramatic effect (footsteps, applause, door creaking), a more complex dramatic sound effect (thunderstorm, battle sequence), or a complicated musical cue I've composed, performed, and recorded specifically for that application. That said, it's very important to note the single biggest, most important difference between a 'traditional' musical composition and a piece of sound design: context. A 'traditional' piece of music must create its own context so that it can exist by itself as a standalone piece of art, whereas a piece of sound design must exist within an already established context - it must support that context and fit within it without drawing too much attention to itself at the expense of other elements. For this reason, I find that it's essential for every sound cue's motivation and purpose to be as clear as any other given element in order to make the production an effective and unified work of art - for example, thunder that exists to be ominous and foreboding should be approached differently from thunder that's intended to be a comedic effect. I've studied sound design with Michael Rasbury and Kevin Cowan.