Compose Yourself! Registration

ACO Compose Yourself


The ACO Compose Yourself! program is designed to help young composers develop positive approaches to creativity, learn professional standards of notation, and develop strong orchestration technique in a supportive, hands-on environment.

This class is great for high schoolers who are interested in music creation, whether they’ll be attempting their first score, or have already been composing for years, whether they’re writing pop songs, jazz or the next great symphony. 

Do You Want to Learn to Write Music?


our spring semester begins the last week of February

scroll down this page to find the registration form and more info 

Things that set this class apart include:
  • Students complete one work each semester, which is then read by an ensemble of professional musicians.
  • Reading sessions are recorded for inclusion in college portfolios, competitions and the like.
  • Class size is limited to no more than 5 students to assure personalized attention
  • Visits by renowned guest composers & free entrance to ACO special events, including direct contact with leading composers.


Our THEME this fall revolved around the study of genre. This spring we’ll be expanding that conversation to explore how composers begin to develop their own creative “voice”.

All Compose Yourself! classes are taught by ACO Education Director, Kevin James

Special Note: it is not necessary to be local to New York to participate in Compose Yourself!. During COVID we’ve been able to accommodate students from across the world, and will continue to do so.

Important Info

This Class is for:
HIGH SCHOOL aged students (advanced 8th graders may inquire)

Classes will meet:

During the weeks preceding:
February 27
March 6, 20, 27
April  10, 17, 24
May 1, 8, 22, 29
June 5

Our readings session will take place in late May or early June, but because of Covid, all specifics are TBD

There are usually 2 or 3 sections of classes – in normal times, most are scheduled on Saturdays. For now, scheduling will revolve around student availability and classes may also be scheduled in the afternoons or early evenings during the week.

TBD – we strive to accommodate all interested students, so class times will be set once all registrations are received.

Other Requirements
Students are required to attend ALL sessions.
Although we’re open to alternative approaches, students need to be able to read music.


*Scholarships are available. ACO is committed to assuring that all interested students are able to participate, regardless of need. Look for the appropriate check box on the registration form below


Fill out and submit the form below – you’ll need to scroll through this section to see all the questions. When you hit “Submit”, you’ll receive a confirmation that your registration has been received.

Questions & Information

If you have any questions or would like further information on how you child could benefit from ACO Education programming, contact Kevin James, Education Director: 212.977.8495 ext. 202 or

Our Mission & Vision

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.

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