How do I go about finding a good private music composition teacher?
November 27, 2014 7:59 AM   Subscribe

I've been out of college for about 15 years, where I minored in music composition, but I wouldn't say it was a complete education, although I'm pretty good on basic theory, counterpoint, modulating, etc. In the meantime I've done a bit of film and video game music on the side, but I really want to have a rigorous education in modern composition.

My time isn't quite flexible enough to go back to school, so I think my only choice is finding a composer who will take me on as a student. But where do I look? Should I just contact the local university music school? I've found a couple online instructors, but they seem more like lesson factories, and I want something more local (Austin, TX) and personal.
posted by hanoixan to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You could go to Santa Monica and see if you and Hans Zimmer take a shine to each other?

Or if you insist on staying in Austin, maybe this will help?
posted by doctor tough love at 9:31 AM on November 27, 2014

Response by poster: I think I'll be staying in Austin. I should note that what I'm looking for is a conventionally trained composer who can teach, not just a working composer. The productionhub link is pretty useful in general, though, so thanks!
posted by hanoixan at 9:50 AM on November 27, 2014

UT Austin has a very good music composition program from what I hear. It's unlikely that any of the faculty would take on an independent student, but you could try and get in touch with someone there to see if there are any graduate students who would take you on as a student. In my experience, most composition grad students are eager for more teaching experience.
posted by speicus at 9:53 AM on November 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Agreed on reaching out to nearby universities and asking for recommendations of grad students and/or private teachers. If you include a little info about your background and musical interests, you are more likely to get names of people who will get your personal style. Good luck!
posted by Zephyrial at 10:08 AM on November 27, 2014

I agree with speicus. Find a UT Austin composition grad student with a compatible perspective on composition. Ask a prof to recommend their students to you.
posted by umbĂș at 10:54 AM on November 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

The productionhub link is pretty useful in general, though, so thanks!

I hope you find it useful. I know you're looking for a teacher - my suspicion is that there are at least a few working composers who wouldn't mind making a few extra $$$s tutoring.
posted by doctor tough love at 12:12 PM on November 27, 2014

I've studied with Dave Connor for 2 years. he's definitely not a lesson factory, we used to spend an hour each week via skype video, going over stuff.

If you want rigorous, he's probably a good bet, I started out from near zero, spent time going over harmony, then counterpoint to the stage I had to write short fugues as part of my studies.

Then we moved on to orchestration but due to life issues I stopped. He's a working composer as well. From what I understand, he also works with people who are already composers such as yourself.
posted by TrinsicWS at 4:13 PM on November 27, 2014

Yup, I've had a few inquiries like this in the past where I teach and I've been more than happy to recommend a doctoral student, so I would absolutely contact the UT Austin comp faculty.
posted by ob at 7:19 PM on November 29, 2014

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