Composition Clubs

Program Outline

What are Composition Clubs?


Sample Compositions
Composition Club_1
Composition Club_2

Composition Clubs are classes in which music students can learn what it’s like to be a composer. Activities include:

  • Listening without judging, i.e. listening to music with an open mind, focusing on the sounds we hear rather than on our opinions;
  • Creative exercises which help to prepare our minds for the composition process;
  • Problem solving, e. answering questions posed by other student composers about their works-in- progress;
  • Learning about instruments, with a focus on how to compose music for the instruments;
  • Composing music that is to be rehearsed and premiered by other young musicians.


Who performs the music?
The compositions are commissioned by music instructors and directors for their students or groups to learn and play. So far, the Composition Clubs have been commissioned to write pieces for pianists, violinists, fiddlers, string orchestras, and bands in Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna, Grande Prairie AB, North Battleford SK, Ottawa ON, and Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Who can join the Clubs?
Any music student who is at least 8 years old and has played an instrument for at least one year (including corequisite studies in theory and ear training) can join a Club. There are several different levels:

  • Junior Composition Club – creating motives and expanding them into phrases, themes, and short pieces
  • Intermediate Composition Club – longer pieces for solo instruments; 1- and 2-part choir; string ensemble
  • Senior Composition Club – concert works for challenging instruments and instrumental combinations; 3- and 4-part choir; large ensembles

The Junior Club will also be offered in combination with Sound Advice Theory plus Composition so that students learn theory, ear training, and composition together.


How else can students and teachers participate?

  • Commission a work. Music teachers and directors can commission a Club to compose a piece or set of pieces for their students or student ensembles to perform. You’ll get a free piece of music, and your students will get the opportunity to present a world premiere performance of music that was created just for them by other musicians of their generation.
  • Ask a question. Any student who is working on a composition and who wants to ask a question or get feedback can send a short message to the Club. The student will receive a free, positive, and encouraging response from the Club (with the guidance of the instructor).


Program Details

Session 1: Sep 19  -  Nov 21 2020 ONLINE DELIVERY ONLY
Session 2: Jan 9 - Mar 6
Session 3: TBA

Sat • 4:30 - 5:30pm • $169.60/session

Please contact instructor, Christine Donkin,, prior to registering.



Christine Donkin

Christine Donkin is a Canadian composer and instructor of music theory, ear training, and composition at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She is an active clinician and adjudicator; creator of theory and ear training games for Tonic Tutor, an online resource for music students and teachers; and author of the Compositional Devices Collection on the RCM online Teacher Portal. Her many pedagogical compositions, arrangements, and figured bass realizations are featured in the Royal Conservatory of Music repertoire books for cello, clarinet, piano, trumpet, saxophone, viola, violin, and voice.