Composition Lessons

Want to learn the basics of writing a melody?  Preparing a composition portfolio for college?  No matter what your stage, I would be happy to help you with developing your skills and voice. 


Components of Lessons May Include:


Original Compositions:

This time will be spent on your own compositions.  We’ll brainstorm what the inspiration, concept, or goal of the piece is to be, and then discuss the process and timeline for creating it.  In every meeting, we’ll discuss the progress you’re making on the piece, and I’ll provide comments, suggestions, as well as assign related exercises and score study.



I like to incorporate a number of “pre-compositional” activities. A few examples include: how to create a short motive and then write a series of permutations, writing a theme and variations, or taking a chord and voicing it several different ways. Often, these types of exercises for composers serve the same purpose as, for instance, practicing scales serve performers; They develop your chops and keep them in shape.  I adapt these according to your level, from never having written a note before, to more advanced ways of how to use these methods in your own compositional process.


Score study: 

No matter what you may be working on, we’ll also take a look at examples of what other composers, both the notable historical ones and current composers alike, have done with the same instrumentation, form, or concept. This broadens your knowledge of repertoire, exposes you to more styles, provides a sense of idiomatic writing, and beyond!


Other Skills and Techniques:

We’ll discuss several skills and techniques as they relate to your current progress on your work. To name a few, these may range from orchestration considerations, to music theory concepts, form, pacing, pitch and rhythm, to other conceptual considerations.

Materials Needed:

  • Manuscript Paper

  • Pencil

  • Selected Scores

  • Selected Recordings

  • Optional: Notation Software

In Person Lessons

If you are local to North Orange County or San Luis Obispo, CA, we can schedule lessons in person.  For rates, scheduling, and questions,

I am available to commute to other areas in Los Angeles or Orange County for an additional commuting fee.  

Video Chat Lessons

Lessons may take place via Skype or

Google Hangouts.  For rates, scheduling, and questions,