About the Composition Program

An improvisor is an instant composer, a composer is an improvisor with the added benefit that time is on your side to make decisions and changes in slow motion.

Often the process of composition is seen as a process reserved for full time composers. However, composition is the perfect vehicle for any improvisor to define and cultivate their personal voice. By studying composition the improvisor develops a refined sense of form in their improvisations, and in addition memorizing tunes will be more intuitive because time has been invested in understanding how harmonic sentences are constructed and how they relate to the melodic content.

“You do not need to be a super chef to cook, you do not need to be a formula 1 racer to know how to drive a car, you also do not need to be Mozart to compose.”

Composition is for everyone. It is a wonderful art form that is exciting to get into on any level, and it is a direct channel to let out your spirit. Let’s do this.




  • Lines
  • Melody in a harmonic context
  • Melodic development


  • Diatonic harmony
  • Subdominants
  • Chromatic Mediants
  • Diminished passing chords
  • Harmonic phrases/components in Jazz compositions


  • Composition / Form in bebop style
  • Form beyond bebop


  • Melody, no harmony
  • 50’ to 60’ style composing and contrafact exercises
  • 70’s to 80’s style composing and contrafact exercises
  • Rhythmic expansion in composition

Course length, date and price

Course length:
15 one hour sessions. All sessions will be recorded for in case you have to miss a session. This course is online only.

$375 for 15 one hour sessions.

Saturdays at 11am. Next cycle starts January 8, 2022
For more information Send email

About the Faculty

Marc Mommaas

This course will be taught by Marc Mommaas, faculty member and co-founder of NYJW and Hudson Jazzworks (HJW), and professor at the New School in NYC .