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John Adams Young Composers Program

John Adams Young Composers Program

Ages 12 to 18

When: Fall and Spring Sessions

Tuition: $2,168 per session

The Young Composers program was founded in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams, who has a long association with Crowden, on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

Ages 12 to 18

Crowden music school staff on stage
Student in class

John Adams Young Composers Program

Matthew Cmiel, Program Director

The Young Composers Program was founded in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams, who has a long association with Crowden, on the occasion of his 60th birthday. The heart of our mission is to guide and mentor our students through the formative stages of their creative growth as composers.

With an expert faculty of professional composers who are dedicated, gifted teachers, and a rich network of professional musicians and ensembles, the John Adams Young Composers Program is uniquely poised to offer a launching pad for artistic expression that is grounded in disciplined work, expert individual guidance and real-world experience.

Course Description

Group Seminar: Wednesdays, 4:30 to 6pm PST

Individual private composition lessons scheduled weekly by mutual arrangement with instructor.

Fall Session: September 11 to January 22
Spring Session: January 24 to June 4

This hands-on program guides young composers in the creative process. Each week, students participate in both a group seminar and individual lesson. Accomplished faculty guide students in developing their composition techniques, exploring musical examples, critical listening, and score analysis.

For the 2021-22 academic year, the John Adams Young Composers Program will take place online, and is open to students from anywhere. This is subject to change as details of the COVID-19 Response come out, and may transition into a hybrid program. Even in hybrid form, the class will still be open to students participating entirely online.

The fall session will be focused on learning the tools to craft beautiful and meaningful melodies. Students will engage in discussions of how melodies can express meaning, and how those meanings have changed over time and between cultures, how to make music that effectively incorporates melodic construction, and how to hear even the most complex of melodies.

In the spring, students will create works of chamber music for piano and strings. They will explore the breadth of chamber music repertoire, with a focus on the power and beauty of harmony. Harmony is a dense subject, and there are many different understandings of what it is and how it works. We will be looking at both Western and non-Western harmonies, as well as harmony in vernacular and art music.

Each session will culminate in a virtual performance of student works by professional musicians.

How to Enroll

Complete our online registration form to Crowden before August 15, 2021 for the fall session and January 15, 2022 for the spring session. Crowden will contact registrants to schedule a placement interview with the Program Director.

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