Latest Post

The Art of Counterpoint

Counterpoint Part 2: The Art of Counterpoint

So where to begin the study of counterpoint? This is a dilemma that I have faced in the past, and for the most part, has been the biggest stumbling block. In this post, we will examine how Bach learned and taught counterpoint, and how this will become our model for learning as well. Books on […]

Latest Podcast


AOC 009: My Principles of Orchestration

Orchestration is a tempting thing for any composer. The excitement of conducting your own piece in front of 80-120 players, bringing the audience to tears… it’s hard to beat. But are you ready for it? In this episode, learn about the principles of orchestration.

Get a grasp on the fundamentals

Music Composition 101 is about properly establishing the fundamentals. No composition experience needed. It covers practical techniques in melody, harmony, form, and accompaniment.
Check out Music Composition 101

Get rid of the anxiety caused by not knowing how to develop your music into longer, more profound pieces. Learn the secrets of writing in sonata form. This courses covers loosening techniques (these will blow your mind), new theme types, and we dive deep into the great sonata form pieces of the past.
Check out Sonata Form

Join for $29 per monthJoin for $229 per year

Practical Concepts Backed With Solid Theory

All of the concepts taught in Art of Composing Academy are based in practice first. You can use them immediately without having to understand all the theoretical concepts first.

Example from Music Composition 101 of a Single Diagram that Sums Up Functional Harmony.

Join for $29 per monthJoin for $229 per year

Why Is Art of Composing Different?

Like you, I've had to battle through teaching myself to compose. Believe it or not, I've never had a "proper" composition teacher. No one ever really sat down with me to bring out my abilities.

Because of this, I have some unique view points on what it takes to really teach yourself composition.

These techniques work in any style. Just listen to some of my compositions:

Join for $29 per monthJoin for $229 per year

Listen to Student’s Capstone Compositions

Don't just take it from me, listen to what former student's have to say... and more importantly, the music they wrote as their final projects for Music Composition 101.

Hur Ozan Cerrahoglu

"Buying all the sounds or samplers available on the market without the necessary skills to use them is waste of time and money which i did a lot alike most of you. If you are tired of writing viola ostinatos with growling brass on it, or crossing fingers each time starting a project; this course is for you."

Monty Kerson

I truly enjoyed this class and recommend it to anyone who is interested in composing. I found that Jon’s method for teaching composition is an excellent way for beginners to get started with writing music without being completely overwhelmed by music theory. Those who are farther along the path will find this class as a great resource. All the information that you might need put together in a nice package so you can go back over the years and look up some of these solid tools for composing.

Jalmari Raippalinna

"This course made me understand the core of composing in such an easy manner, it surprised myself on how fast I was up to speed composing stuff that my ears wanted to hear!"

Reinhard Willutzki

"Dear Jon, Thank you very much for this great course! I enjoyed everything in it!
I'm a Pianist in a Jazz Quintet. Since long ago, I've tried also to write Music. I've read some Theory Books but I was often not satisfied. With your course I now got the pieces together that I can see more a whole Picture, what Composing is all about.
Thank you again !
P.S. I'm looking forward to the course on Sonata Composition. I already tried to write one with the Help of your great book "How to write Music in Sonata form". My first Sonata will appear in a few months on my Soundcloud account. Nevertheless I' m already waiting for the next Course."

Note: Reinhard has since finished the first movement to his Sonata. Here it is:


What do I need to know before I can take a course?

Each course in the Art of Composing Academy has different recommended musical knowledge levels. While I don't restrict access, some courses will require more knowledge than others. For instance, Music Composition 101 is the fundamental course that I recommend everyone go through, or at least feel confident with that material. Music Composition 201: Sonata Form, requires much more knowledge for it to make sense, basically, you must be able to understand the concepts in 101, before you can take full advantage of 201. Check each course page for the recommended knowledge and skill required.

Are there accompanying worksheets for all the lessons?

Each course has a workbook that is designed for you to be able to successfully put into practice all the concepts from that course.

Within the workbook, there are three main kinds of worksheets:

  • Lesson Exercises: These exercises lock in the fundamental concepts. These are things like intervals, triads, seventh chords, harmony, form, and so on.
  • Piano exercises: Being able to play what you hear in your head at the piano is a huge help to any composer. I have exercises for triads, seventh chords, progressions, and sequences in all keys for you to practice at the piano.
  • Composition exercises: These are designed to give you a framework on a page that you are looking at while composing. Ultimately, you will want to break away from these exercise sheets while composing for yourself, but it helps at the beginning to have a guide.

On top of this, I have recorded myself completing each of the exercises. This really helps understanding.

Will this courses work on an iPad or other mobile device?

The site is fully mobile responsive and compatible. You can watch it and do the exercises anywhere you want, as long as you have a wifi connection and a printer to print the exercises or a notation program. If you have any issues with formatting, you can always email at

Is there a money back guarantee?

For the monthly or annual membership, there is no 30 day money back guarantee. If you purchase lifetime access to a course, there is a 30 day money back guarantee.

Are the courses downloadable or online only?

The courses are currently not downloadable, other than the worksheets and workbooks. This is mostly for security reasons, as making the videos downloadable makes them much easier to pirate. All video material is online only.

Do I have access forever, after I purchase the course?

If you are a monthly or annual member, you have access to the courses for as long as your membership is active. If you cancel your membership, you do not maintain access. I do not delete your account however, so you can come back and pick up where you left off. If you purchase a course for the lifetime price, then you will maintain access for life... as long as the internet is still around. I do have a nuclear armageddon clause, that if the world is destroyed in world war 3... you may not have access.

Are the courses interactive?

Yes. On each lesson page, you can post questions that you have about the lesson or the worksheet, and I personally answer each question, although other students are welcome to give their own input.

Do you still grade worksheets and compositions?

I do not grade worksheets anymore. This was for two reasons. The first is that it took up an inordinate amount of time, going through each composition. This was severely taking away time from creating new courses. The other reason is, I noticed that all the students were making the same kinds of mistakes, which is why I was able to consolidate the guidance I was giving, and put it into the workbook. Now, each student can go through the exercises, check their own work, and if they have specific questions, post them on the lesson page. When they are answered there, it enhances the learning experience for everyone in the course.

Is entire course available immediately?

Yes. You have access to the entire course from the moment you sign up. However, I don't recommend rushing through it. The benefit is in practicing the exercises and compositions enough to where you don't have to think about the theory and can just "let go" while you compose. None the less, the course is available in it's entirety and you could watch all 8 hours on the first day if you wanted.

Will I get to talk to you during the course or I will only get the material and trust my self-study skills?

As stated earlier, you will have the ability to email me, or leave a question or comment on each lesson page within the comment section. I don't do individual grading as of right now, but that may open up in the future for a premium price. My efforts at this point are best going towards creating more courses.

Can I create an account prior to purchasing the course?

Yes. You can sign up for the free beginners composing course here.

Join for $29 per monthJoin for $229 per year