Get Composing

A new composition experience for young people aged 12-19 years

Interested in developing your skills in composition?

Want to work with a range of professional composers and musicians to explore ideas?

Fancy meeting other like-minded young people in North East Scotland?

Get Composing is a series of composition workshops for young people run by sound, Scotland’s new music organisation based in North-East Scotland. The programme aims to support young people by developing their confidence and experience in music composition with a range of different approaches and techniques through practical workshops. 

Get Composing has been designed to be progressive and take you on a compositional journey. We start with tasters, follow this with more in-depth workshops looking at specific aspects of composition, then there will be linked sessions where you can work on and develop your own material with support and guidance from the Get Composing team.

You don’t need to have lots of experience of composition outside of school to sign up, but you will need a willingness to participate and develop your own practice. The programme is particularly suited to those who are thinking about pursuing music at a higher level or those who already play an instrument and want to expand their experiences.

The programme is flexible. You can sign up to all of the workshops or specific sessions. We will be updating the details of the full programme after the taster workshops and a comprehensive evaluation of young people’s needs and availability.

Get Composing is free of charge and generously supported by The Robertson Trust, Aberdeen Endowments Trust.

Spring-Summer Programme 2018

Taster Workshop 1

Saturday 27 January 2018
NESMS, 21 Huntly St, Aberdeen AB10 1TJ
Lead composer: John Harris

Taster Workshop 2

Sunday 4 February 2018
MacRobert Centre, University of Aberdeen
Lead Composer: Pete Stollery

Come a long and have some compositional fun!  Quick-paced and lively, these sessions will get you composing in no time at all and you’ll walk away from the session having had a professional premier of your piece! There will also be an opportunity to find out more about the Get Composing programme and tell us what areas of composition you would most like support. 

Developmental Workshops - Techniques

These sessions will each focus on different aspects of composition, giving you an opportunity to develop your technique with practical exercises. Each session will focus on different themes suggested to us by you after the taster workshops. Each workshop will be delivered by three contrasting composers and facilitators to give you a broad range of expertise and knowledge.

Sunday 4 March, 2.00pm-5.00pm
MacRobert Centre, University of Aberdeen Lead Composer: Pete Stollery
Exploring: Unconventional compositional methods, technology, structure and developing ideas.

Saturday 10 March, 2.00pm-5.00pm
NESMS, 21 Huntly St, Aberdeen AB10 1TJ (Top floor room)
Lead composer: John De Simone
Exploring: Structures, melodies and texture, flowing from one section to another. 

Saturday 24 March, 2.00pm-5.00pm
Venue: tbc  Lead Composer: tbc
Exploring: Jazz improvisation for composition, harmonies and jazz chords. 

Development Workshops x3

Sunday 20 May 2-5pm – NESMS

Saturday 26 May 2-5pm – NESMS

Saturday 16 June 2-5pm – MacRobert Building 

Lead Composer: John De Simone

During these three linked sessions, participants will work on a piece from start to finish writing a trio for our two Get Composing supporting musicians (violin and bassoon) and your own instrument. The workshops will support you through the whole process covering getting stated, sketching out ideas, developing music, preparing scores, Sibelius, working with instrumentalists and rehearsal techniques. We will make a recording of the pieces for you to take away and keep at the end of the course. You must commit to all three linked sessions at the outset.

Future Years

Get Composing doesn’t stop here! After a comprehensive evaluation of this programme we will running more workshops again in the 2018/19 academic year, including our annual Go Compose! course in Banchory 14-16 October 2018.

How to take part

To sign up to the programme please email Ellen Thomson and let her know which workshops you would like to book on. Please also download and complete the registration form and bring it to the first workshop you come to. There will be registration forms available at the taster workshops too.

For more information please contact:

Ellen Thomson
Learning & Participation Manager
01330 826526

Terms and Conditions
Get Composing is a free programme for young people aged 12-19 years old. Places might be limited so if you book on to a workshop you must attend, or let us know in advance if you are suddenly unable to come. There may be a waiting list of people.

Code of Conduct

All participants on Get Composing will be expected to participate in full and join in with all activities.
Please be on time and attend the whole session.
Please keep your mobile switched off and out of sight during the workshops.
Please respect the venue and be mindful that others may be using other rooms close by in the space.
Please respect all other participants and staff.
Please do not leave the venue unless you are allowed to do so and have told a member of staff.

Supported By