About the ONLINE Composition Program
(each session will be recorded for students to review)

An improviser is an instant composer, a composer is an improviser 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.

“Listening to tunes from a composer’s perspective with Marc is worth the price of admission alone, let alone be encouraged to try our hand at composing and arranging. Marc is a very supportive and encouraging guide through this colorful array of inspiration.” – Carol Flamm Reingold

“I thoroughly enjoyed the class, thank you. It opened up my eyes to composing techniques, chord progression ideas, theory, and was almost like a jazz history lesson as we traced & discussed common (and not so common) chord progressions used in jazz standards over the past 70 years or so.” – Robert Miller

“Marc Mommaas’ Composition course is a brilliant addition to the stellar offerings by the New York Jazz Workshop.  Marc is a world class artist and educator and presents his curriculum with a comprehensive and systematic approach.  By keeping the emphasis on writing numerous melodies every session, along with exploring chord progressions from the simplest to the most complex, we learn by doing and not just reading out of a textbook. Marc’s carefully prepared listening examples from the masters as well as specific compositional techniques greatly accelerated our progress. I came away with the confidence to write and arrange original jazz tunes and the inspiration to continue my learning.” – Les Rose

“As a beginner to jazz composition, this course was the best possible starting point. The syllabus covers a terrific breadth of material, and Marc’s unparalleled enthusiasm for the subject and his teaching style makes every week’s topics completely approachable. He is a gifted teacher. By the end of the course, I gained an excellent foundation for further developing my skills and applying a deeper context to what I hear in the tunes I love.” – Daniel Mortensen


Melody in a harmonic context
Melodic development

Diatonic harmony
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

Online Course length:
A session is one hour. All sessions will be recorded for in case you have to miss a session. This course is online only. Sign up in advanced to reserve your seat.

$349 for 10 one hour sessions.

Saturdays at 11am – ONLINE only. We do have flexibility in time and day of the week. Send us an email if you are interested but can’t commit to Saturday mornings.
Next cycle: October 7 through December 9, 2023.

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 .