Music Composition Lessons
If you’d like to learn to compose music or would like to improve your chops, let’s jump right in! Whether you’d like to eventually compose professionally, or whether you’re interested in creating music as a hobby or side-gig, all is welcome. I teach private, 1-on-1 online lessons, but if you happen to live in or close to Utrecht, you are welcome to come to my home studio for lessons as well.
For Just-Starting Musicians30 minute lessons weekly, fortnightly, or monthly
- Suitable for anyone just starting out
- Fundamentals of music – rhythm, pitch, and timbre
- Fluency in reading sheet music & midi roll
- Scales – major, minor, chromatic, pentatonic and more
- Chords, harmony, and simple progressions
- Creating simple but compelling melodies
- Introduction to Counterpoint
- Short musical forms
- Arranging for small ensembles
- Aural training
- Overview of music history
- Setting up your own home studio
For Developing Composers & Writers60 minute lessons weekly, fortnightly, or monthly
- Suitable for those with an existing musical background
- In depth workings of scales and scale degrees
- Functional 4-part harmony and simple to complex progressions
- Creating compelling melodies with continuous development
- Species Counterpoint
- Creating coherent longer form musical structures
- Orchestrating your ideas for a full orchestra
- Notating your music correctly for orchestral players
- Score study and transcription of old masterworks
- Getting the most out of music distribution, sales, and licensing
- Scoring to Picture
- Developing interactive & adaptive music
- Opportunities to get your music read and performer by live musicians
Learn to write, arrange, and notate for live musicians ...
... and how to compose using a virtual orchestra & choir.
Learn how to achieve a cinematic wide-screen sound ...
... or a punchy Hollywood scoring stage sound.
Learn to infuse the orchestra with synths & sound design ...
... or how to keep it colourful with vivid orchestration.
What to Expect from Lessons
- A wide variety of compositional exercises meant to develop new ways for you to solve musical problems.
- A focus on composition rather than music theory.
- Opportunities to have your music read and performed by live musicians – you learn SO much more through this experience than by merely memorizing “rules”.
- Honest and constructive feedback – I don’t critisize any of my student’s work unless I can offer a clear alternative of how to do something.
Am I the Right Teacher for you?
We’ll probably be a good match as teacher-student if you are…
- Interested in learning to compose, or improving your compositional skills.
- Interested in musical development rather than cool sound design and technical tricks – all the best mixing choices in the world won’t save a poorly composed piece of music!
- Looking for regular and in depth feedback on your work and enjoy the personal attention of 1-on-1 lessons.
Inquire & Enroll
If you’d like to sign up for lessons, or would simply like to make an appointment to meet with me to discuss lessons, your expectations, or your musical challenges in more detail, do get in touch using the form below.
I am available after hours as well to accommodate adult students who work full time. Let’s start composing!
Q : "What equipment or gear do I need for lessons?"
A : I teach online lessons primarily over skype (but any other online video-calling app will work), thus you’ll need a reasonably stable internet connection as well as a headset to be able to communicate. You don’t need a webcam, but it is nice to be able to talk “face to face” during lessons. Other than that the only requirement is some way to notate your music (manuscript paper + pencil, or notation software), and an instrument of any description. If you are completely new to all this and don’t have any of these things handy, let’s schedule a primer lesson and I’ll walk you through the best choices.
Q : "Are lessons only for writing in certain genres?"
A : Nope! The concepts and techniques I teach are completely genre-agnostic. Unless you are making extremely experimental music which sits of the far fringes, the same principles apply, whether it’s classical, rock, pop, videogame music, electronic, or whatever.
Q : "What frequency of lessons is best?"
Q : I think that many students would be most comfortable having a lesson every two weeks. During lessons we will discuss your latest work and exercises in detail and I’ll be giving you more exercises to work on in the coming weeks.. Having two weeks to complete assignments typically works out well – there is a bit of a “deadline” but it’s not so stressful.
Q : "How much time is required to complete assignments and exercises between lessons?"
Q : I firmly believe in learning by doing. Too often, especially now in the age of endless YouTube tutorials, one can get stuck absorbing information instead of actually doing a thing. Hence, I tend to give my students a lot of work to do in between lessons. Mostly these are short exercises to practice compositional techniques or to sharpen their skills where they feel lacking. It can look like a lot at first but you’ll see that it goes by fast, and as you start noticing results in your own music you’ll no doubt be even more inspired to work on your compositional exercises whenever you have a moment to do so.
Q : "Do I need to be able to read sheet music?"
A : In short, yes! But if you can’t read notes yet, that’s ok! I’m more than happy to teach you. Why do I insist on learning to read sheet music? Because it opens up a completely new world of learning opportunities, and reading music from a score is fundamentally different from reading from midi alone – midi was designed for computers to execute upon, while scores were invented for humans to interpret and perform from. This means that reading a score offers totally different insight into a piece of music.