What is a composer?
At Luna Composition Lab we have a broad and ever-expanding definition of “composer.” Simply put, a composer is someone who creates original music. Some composers write down their ideas using conventional written musical notation, some might use purely electronic sounds, some might improvise using their own voice, some might create graphic scores (symbols or images that are outside the realm of traditional music notation) that are to be interpreted by another performer; these are only a few examples of composition.
How can I join Luna Composition Lab?
Luna Composition Lab applications are open each year in the fall. We invite any female, nonbinary or gender-nonconforming individual between the ages of 13-18 with a strong interest in music composition to apply.
What kind of composing experience is required to be accepted into Luna Composition Lab?
We love learning about emerging composers at all phases of their development! We encourage you to apply no matter your perceived compositional experience. If you are more of a beginner, we suggest enrolling in Adventures in Sound. If you have been writing music for at least a year and have some type of notated scores, we suggest applying for the Luna Lab fellowship. You do not need to have done other composition programs to be eligible—for many participants, Luna Composition Lab programs are their first experience with a composition teacher.
What are the application requirements?
The Luna Lab Application consists of general questions to get to know you and describe your musical life. If you are applying to the Fellowship we ask that you include one score and recording. Work samples made in electronic formats, graphic or invented notation, and works that include improvisation will also be considered. If you are applying to Adventures in Sound courses we ask that you tell us about your facility with reading music.
Do I need any specific software or equipment to join?
No! For both Luna Lab Fellows and Adventures in Sound participants, students should be able to deliver clean, playable scores. We have worked with those who have various free notation softwares in addition to Sibelius or Finale. We can recommend free notation software if purchasing notation software is prohibitive. We are also open to well-crafted handwritten scores.
I am too old to participate in Luna Composition Lab, but I would love to volunteer. Do you offer any volunteer opportunities?
Yes. We are always looking for volunteers to help us in-person during our annual spring festival in New York City. We also need online help spreading the word about our call-for-scores to potential applicants across the country. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us.
Who should I contact if I want to commission an alum, initiate a collaboration, start a program like Luna Composition Lab, or have a cool idea for a project?
We love to hear about new collaborations, commissions, and project ideas and we are happy to answer any questions! If you are interested in addressing the gender imbalance in our field in your own local community, please write to us.
How do I become a mentor?
We are always looking to expand the Luna Composition Lab community. If you’re eager to become involved with Luna Composition Lab through mentorship, please let us know why you’d like to be involved in Luna Composition Lab, share a link to your website, and include a bio and a score/recording of your choosing. We look forward to hearing from you!
I am male, how can I participate in Luna Composition Lab?
While the fellowship and Adventures in Sound courses are only open to female, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming musicians, all of our public offerings are open to anyone regardless of gender.
Luna Composition Lab Fellowship
What do you look for in Luna Lab fellows?
Preference will be given to composers who can read music and have at least a basic facility on an instrument, however we do not have any official prerequisites about experience, style or notation techniques. We recognize that composers enter the field in many ways, and welcome, for example, work samples made in electronic formats, graphic or invented notation, and works that include improvisation. We look for composers with the beginnings of an original, creative voice, however that manifests. The Luna Composition Lab Fellowship most often accepts students who have at least a little background in notated music, even if they do not use that as their primary way of creating.
What is the time commitment for the Fellowship?
The Luna Lab Fellowship includes lessons, composition time, and attending the annual festival. Luna Composition Lab is centered around bi-monthly lessons via video chat that are 45 minutes long. Fellows will need to commit the time to write and revise a 7-minute work that will be performed in New York City in the spring. In addition to the bi-monthly lessons, fellows will attend a week-long festival in New York City in the spring where their works will be rehearsed and performed, in addition to masterclasses, performances, and other events.
Do I need to take time off school to come to NYC for the festival?
Most fellows need to take time off from school in order to come to NYC for the festival in the spring. We are happy to write a note to your school and help you navigate this.
What is the tuition? Is financial aid available?
Annual tuition for the Luna Lab Fellowship is $800. This covers the lessons with your assigned Mentor, workshops of your piece, and its premiere in New York City in the spring. Scholarships are available for students who demonstrate financial need. If travel costs to New York City pose a financial challenge, please still apply. While we cannot guarantee that we will be able to cover all travel costs, funding is available to help facilitate fellows’ attendance at the premiere of their work. Requests will be considered on the basis of need and available funding.
Adventures in Sound
How do I know if Adventures in Sound is right for me?
If you are eager to learn more about music and composition, enroll in Adventures in Sound! The courses are designed for beginners to intermediate musicians and creative thinkers.
Do I need to enroll in Composers’ Toolkit in order to take Exploring Inspiration?
No! Our courses are designed to be progressive, beginning with Composers’ Toolkit, the first in the series. This is designed for those who would like training in music notation and theory. If you are more of an intermediate creator and have a solid grasp of theory already you can choose to skip Composers’ Toolkit and go straight to Exploring Inspiration, which centers around applied compositional practices.
What is the time commitment for Adventures in Sound?
Each semester of Adventures in Sound meets for eight 60-minute sessions. In the 2023–2024 season, the courses will meet on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 PM (eastern). Composers’ Toolkit will run from October 3 – December 19 (there will be no class on December 12). Exploring Inspiration will run from January 23 – April 16 (there will be no class on February 20 or April 9).
What is the tuition?
Tuition for each semester is $240. This covers the classes, composition workbook, and reading session of your piece by a professional ensemble. Scholarships are available for students who demonstrate financial need.