Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra

Course Description

This is a practical introductory course for those interested in composing music of any genre. It focuses on developing composition skills such as melodic construction and fostering your understanding of harmony, rhythm, and instrumentation. The instructor will provide you with weekly structured exercises that will help you play around with ideas and essentially develop them into your own pieces or songs. These exercises are designed to emphasize artisanship and to stimulate the imagination. Given that the class puts forth the premise that anyone can make music, the course is designed to welcome beginners, more experienced composers, and enthusiasts. It helps if you can play an instrument to some extent and if you have some familiarity with musical notation but these skills are not essential to participation in the course. This course will also examine notational systems and the specifics of notating music, teaching you to put your own music into a form that will be transferable to others in the field. The class will take place in a special state of the art computer MIDI lab. Each student will have his/her own Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), which includes music software. Students will be using Musescore or Finale notation software.

Who this course is for:
Music students
Beginning Composers/Songwriters
Composers or songwriters who have some experience and want to hone their skills
Anyone who has always wanted to  learn some new tricks that can be used in any genre they're interested in

Course Aim
To give students a greater understanding of the craft and techniques of composition and to apply this to their own compositions.

Teaching methods
Lecture and hands-on workshop. 
Illustrations of relevant works of the great composers 

Learner Outcomes
Compose your own rhythms and melodies.
Learn a wide variety of compositional techniques.
Apply techniques and develop your rhythmic and melodic material.
Get familiar with a wide range of non-traditional approaches to music composition.
Experiment with different approaches to music composition.
Learn how to transcribe what you hear.
Practice notating music using music notation software.
Increase the level of craftsmanship in their own compositions.
Get ready for the next advanced composition course

Private Lesson Tuition and Fees:
Private lessons are usually scheduled once a week for 30, 45, or 60 minutes for 8 or 16 weeks. Other scenarios can be arranged on a case-by-case basis:

  • 30 minutes per week: 8 weeks, $299; 16 weeks, $549
  • 45 minutes per week: 8 weeks, $425; 16 weeks, $825
  • Available only on request: 60 minutes per week: 8 weeks, $549; 16 weeks, $999

Instruments Offered for Ages 17+:
Accordion, Banjo, Bassoon, Cello, Clarinet, Double Bass, Drums, Euphonium, Flute, French Horn, Guitar (Including Electric), Jazz Guitar, Hand Drum, Harmonica, Indian Tabla, Mandolin, Oboe, Orchestral Percussion, Oud, Piano, Suzuki Piano, Jazz Piano, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Ukulele, Viola, Violin, Suzuki Violin, Fiddle, and Voice

Click on the links below to view our talented instructors' biographies:


Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in

Section Title
Elements of Music Composition
Online/Internet Based
7:00PM to 8:15PM
Sep 10, 2020 to Dec 03, 2020
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Online
Course Fee(s)
Tuition and Fees non-credit $349.00
Section Notes
This is an online class. Communication about live instruction, video instruction, and online meetings will be communicated directly to students. No class on Thursday 11/26
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