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.

Scroll down this page to find the registration form and more info.

Registration Deadline is June 30

Learn to Write Music This Summer!

REGISTER NOW For the SUMMER intensive

  • Students will complete a new work during the intensive
  • Professional reading of new works by ACO musicans
  • Reading sessions are recorded for inclusion in college portfolios, competitions, etc.
  • Class size is limited to assure personalized attention
  • Visits by renowned guest composers


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!. We regularly accommodate students from across the world via Hybrid and Zoom classes. 

Teachers: Please print, post, and share the ready-to-print poster attached here.

Important Info

This Class is for:
HIGH SCHOOL aged students (rising 9th graders through recent graduates)

Classes will meet:
At a midtown Manhattan partner facility such as Resnick Education Wing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center Education.

on the following days:
Tuesdays and Thursdays
August 6, 8, 13, 15*, 22, 27
(no class on Aug. 20.)

Our reading session(s) will take place August 28-29 at times and locations TBD. We’ll share the specific info as soon as it’s set.

*Our combined session on August 15 will include regular class time from 11am-1pm and guest composer visits from 1:30-3pm.  Lunch will be provided for all in-person students.

at the following time:
We expect to fill 2 classes this summer. Each student will be assigned to a class that meets EITHER from 10am-12:30 OR from 1:30-4pm.

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


*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 to inquire about scholarships and financial aid. Through generous funding from the Fromm Foundation, in addition to our standard scholarship program, we’re able to offer a limited number of FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to students who might not otherwise be able to participate in this program.


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.

Compose Yourself! Summer Intensive - $750
Parents are welcome to pay your tuition via Paypal anytime between now and July 30. If you've applied for scholarship, please wait to pay until you've heard back about the details of cost of tuition. If you prefer to pay in installments, click the downward arrow to access different payment levels.

Choose your payment amount

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 at