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In The Composition Lab students learn to create music through the combination of melody, harmony, rhythm, and other musical elements. It involves writing down musical ideas in a notation system, arranging those ideas into a cohesive structure, and shaping them into a finished piece of music.

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Music Composition Elective Curriculum Includes

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Skills Students Learn

Students have the opportunity to practice their notation skills through exercises and assignments, receive feedback and critiques from instructors, and collaborate with peers on musical projects.

Ages: 7-18

Composition Skills

Students learn how to compose their own music and arrange existing music to create new versions.

Basic Music Theory

Students will learn fundamental music theory concepts, such as scales, chords, harmony, and melody, which they can use to arrange and write music.

Musical Notation

Students learn how to read and write musical notation, including notes, rests, dynamics, and other markings.

Ear Training

Students develop their listening skills and learn to identify different musical elements, such as pitch, rhythm, and timbre.


Introduction to Music Notation

  • Learn about the different symbols used in music notation

  • Practice writing notes and rests on a staff

  • Learn how to read basic rhythms

Introduction to Notation software

  • Overview of software 

  • Basic navigation and interface

  • Inputting and editing notes and rhythms

Melody and Harmony

  • Creating a simple melody

  • Adding harmonies

Rhythm and Percussion

  • Creating and editing drum and percussion parts

  • Understanding rhythmic notation

  • Understanding basic time signatures

Adding Different Instruments

  • Adding other instruments

  • Experimenting with different combinations of instruments

Score Formatting and Layout

  • Score formatting basics (title, composer, key signature, etc.)

  • Creating and formatting parts

  • Using basic dynamics to enhance the composition

These are just some of the elements your child can experience in The Composition Lab!

Students participating in The Composition Lab Students learn to notate by hand and use software to notate and arrange music. They gain knowledge and practical experience in topics such as music theory, chord progressions, melody writing, orchestration, and music notation. Some classes also cover the use of music production software and digital audio workstations to bring their compositions to life. Learners will create their own music compositions and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the art of music production.

YMU gave David important foundational skills in all instruments. His mom and I were aware of his fascination to play piano. But it was with YMU where David first sang publicly, which showed us his singing voice and his love of live performance. While enrolled at YMU, David picked up his first drumsticks, bass guitar, and electric guitar, setting the stage for years of education at YMU and elsewhere on all of those instruments, as well as several others. It is safe to say that without The Young Musician's University, much of David's potential would not have been identified and he would not be the musician he is today.

Dean, YMU Parent

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