Lessons

I love working with composers from all sorts of different backgrounds. Please get in touch if you are interested in having a private lesson, or better yet weekly lessons, with me in person in the Orlando, Florida area, or over Skype.

If you have any questions about how lessons work, ask away! I’ve included some answers to the most frequently asked questions below, and I’m happy to discuss your situation more specifically.

Email me: <davidjohnmacdonald@gmail.com>

Frequently asked questions:

What’s a composition lesson like?

Good question! It’s probably the single most common question people ask. It’s surprisingly mundane! Just like a piano lesson, you’ll bring in what you’re working on, we’ll discuss its strengths and weaknesses, and talk about some things you might try to improve the weaknesses and emphasize the strengths. I will never tell you what to write; after all, it’s your name in the top-right corner of the first page, not mine. My goal is to help you figure out what your creative goals are, and to help you write music that achieves them.

What kind of music will you teach me to write?

Short answer: whatever you want.

Slightly longer answer: Music that is interesting and engaging. My background is in contemporary classical music (a.k.a. “concert music”); but, many of the fundamentals of music are the same as those you’ll see in other kinds of music. We can discuss the kinds of projects you have in mind before your lesson and set some appropriate challenges for yourself.

Do I need to know music theory?

Yes and no. You should have a good handle on what I would call “music fundamentals”. You should be able to read treble and bass clef, and identify scales and intervals. That way, we have a common language for discussing the features of your music.

Do I need a computer?

You’ll need some way to send me what you’re working on as a score (PDF) and/or audio realization (MP3 or similar). You’ll also need to be able to use a free video calling application like Skype, Google Hangouts, or Apple’s FaceTime. Your score and sketches can be written by hand and sent as a photo you take on your phone, or you can use something like Sibelius, Dorico, Finale, or MuseScore to create the score.

How does the schedule work? 

We’ll schedule a time that’s convenient for both of us. The lesson will last approximately one hour.

How much does a lesson cost?

$60 for a sixty-minute lesson. After the lesson, I’ll send you any notes I wrote in the score or any sketching we discuss as a PDF. For regular weekly lessons, I’ll also write a goal for you to work on toward the following lesson (like an assignment) that may include work on your current project, composition exercises, and music to listen to and study.

You can pay here with PayPal (either directly or with a credit card). Add one lesson to your cart and check out.