Composition & Theory

composition and theory

Composition Classes at New World Music Academy

As the legendary pianist, composer and teacher Artur Schnabel regularly stated:

Every music student should learn how to write music! 

This used to be a matter of course in former times, but today it rarely exceeds some basic instruction in music theory. NWMA wants to change that and is very excited to announce that the accomplished composer


Paul Engle will start offering a variety of classes in composition and theory in October 2022.

Paul Engle originates from Los Angeles, where he started his musical career as a guitarist and songwriter. Engle holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Composition and Experimental Sound Practices from CalArts and is currently pursuing a PhD in Composition and Music Theory at UC Davis, where he also studies the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese flute.

He is very experienced teaching children and young adults, and has directed the composition summer camp at UC Davis.

For more information, please contact NWMA Artistic Director Markus Pawlik.

<strong>Introduction to Composition (Ages 6-14)</strong>

Introduction to Composition (Ages 6-14)

Students will learn how to express themselves through music using a variety of methods, including writing for solo instruments and small ensembles. We will begin with instruments that the student is familiar with, understanding how to write for those instruments idiomatically, and gradually developing the student’s compositional ‘voice.’ As we continue to work on compositions, we will begin to focus on theoretical aspects of music such as intervals, harmony, rhythm, dynamics, form, and timbre.

Students will initially create graphic scores, and gradually begin writing their sketches using traditional staff- notation. The compositions will be presented and recorded in the NWMA recitals.

This class will meet bi-weekly at NWMA.
Depending on enrollment level it will be taught individually or in small groups of 2-3 students of comparable age.
<strong>Advanced Composition (Ages 12-18)</strong>

Advanced Composition (Ages 12-18)

Students will learn how to express themselves through both traditional and contemporary techniques. Students will acquire techniques for generating compositional material such as harmonic frameworks, counterpoint, and improvisation. Additionally, advanced composition will look more deeply at traditional forms such as fugues and sonata form, as well as more modern through-composed forms and song forms. These lessons are structured to look both at traditional techniques as well as to build on the student’s personal aesthetics and the music that they are attracted to. The compositions will be presented and recorded in the NWMA recitals.

Lessons will be in-person and/or on ZOOM, and they can be taken bi-weekly or weekly.
<strong>Preparation for RCM and ABRSM </strong>

Preparation for RCM and ABRSM

Level 6 and up, and AP Music Theory (Ages 12-18)

Lessons will be on ZOOM and/or in-person, and they can be taken bi-weekly or weekly.