So, one thing I’ve always kinda wondered about and not known where/how to start looking into it was finding a good composition teacher. If I’m gonna compose music to the best of my abilities I need good musical training, right? But questions come up like, is college the answer, or should I look for a private composition teacher or what? If so, how? etc., etc. I really had no idea what the best route to go was, until several weeks ago.
So, aside from the fact that this has helped me with finding a composition teacher, you might like this anyway. Several weeks ago my sister told me about a classical composer, Alma Deutscher, who’s alive today and her music is exceptionally well written (her violin concerto is about my favorite piece right now, and I’ve always thought a favorite piece was kinda a funny idea… cause there are so many great pieces). She’s 13 years old right now and has been composing since she was 6, playing piano since 2, and violin since 3 years old (not to mention she could read music before she could read words and sing before she could speak). But anyway, you can check out her website or go to her Wikipedia page (of which I learned more about her than on her website). You can also look her up on YouTube and listen to some of her pieces (if you like classical music, you should really listen to her violin concerto). You should also check out some of her improvisations, which is a result of her genius (which God gave her) mixed with a method of teaching which I will describe below.
So, when I looked on her Wikipedia page I saw the education section and started reading it. Basically, when Alma’s dad saw that she composed her first piece, he started taking that seriously and looked into a composition teacher for his daughter. He discovered a book called Music in the Gallant Style, by Robert Gjerdingen, which basically tells of how there is a method of teaching composition and improvisation which many of the greatest composers (Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, etc.) were taught. It was a traditional method of teaching for centuries, but has been lost now days and isn’t taught much. So after reading that book, Alma’s dad contacted the author and asked him if there were any teachers who used that method in their area. Although there weren’t any in England (where Alma Deutscher lives) Robert Gjerdingen dirrected him to a teacher who taught that method but lived in Switzerland… Tobais Cramm. They Skype, since Alma Deutscher lives in England and he in Switzerland.
Basically, after learning all this information, I was convinced I had a solid idea of what steps I should take in finding a composition teacher. So, I began to take some of those steps. I contacted both Robert Gjerdingen and Tobias Cramm to ask if they had any recommendations for a teacher who was possibly in my area of the world (and for Tobias Cramm if he would be willing to teach me himself if he didn’t have any other recommendations). I was hoping to gather as much information as possible and get some options, but Robert Gjerdingen replied and directed me to Tobias Cramm and Tobias Cramm has replied and he and I have been talking about possibly starting lessons sometime soon over Skype. I figured if Robert Gjerdingen’s first recommendation, regardless of location, was Tobias Cramm, it was probably better that I didn’t get a bunch of options like I wanted at first.
Anyway, I’m very excited about all this and wanted to share it with y’all. So thanks for reading, and I hope it wasn’t too terrible to understand my mixed up grammar and trying to pronounce all those names 😛
~Sola Deo Gloria