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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. At Luna Composition Lab we most often accept students who have at least a little background in notated music, even if they do not use that as their primary way of creating. If you feel like you would like a little more training in music notation and theory before applying, we suggest enrolling in our course Adventures in Sound: Beginning Composition.

Who can participate in Luna Composition Lab?
Any female, non-binary, or gender nonconforming individual between the ages of 12-18 who has a strong interest in music composition is eligible. While preference will be given to composers who can read music and have at least a basic facility on an instrument, 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. 

How can I join Luna Composition Lab?
Luna Composition Lab applications are open each year from August 15 until September 15. We invite any female, nonbinary or gender nonconforming individual between the ages of 12-18, with a strong interest in music composition, to apply. Learn more about how to apply.

What is the time commitment for joining Luna Composition Lab?
Luna Composition Lab 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 have done other composition programs to be eligible? 
Not at all! For many participants, Luna Composition Lab is their first experience with a composition teacher.  

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. We have accepted fellows who started writing just a year before applying, and others who have been writing for many years. By applying, you become part of the larger Luna Composition Lab community.  

Do I need any specific software or equipment to join Luna Composition Lab?
No! Luna Composition Lab culminates with the Fellows writing works for small ensemble. Luna Composition Lab Fellows should be able to deliver a clean, playable score at the end of their fellowship year. We have worked with Fellows 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. 

What is the tuition? Is financial aid available?
Annual tuition for Luna Composition Lab is $600. 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. 

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. 

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 send an email to

Who should I contact if I have a cool idea for a project or if I have a miscellaneous question?
We love to hear about new project ideas and we are happy to answer any questions! Please write to us at with any cool ideas or miscellaneous questions.

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 contact Please let us know why you’d like to be involved in Luna Composition Lab, share a link to your website, a bio and a score/recording of your choosing. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Can I start a Luna Composition Lab chapter in my town?
Yes! While running an organization like Luna Composition Lab is a lot of work, the formula is simple and can be replicated at universities, high schools, orchestras, theater companies and any other performing arts institution with a commitment to addressing the gender imbalance in our field. If you would like to start a Luna Composition Lab chapter in your town, please send an email to

Is there something I can do if I think I'm not ready for a Luna Lab Fellowship?
Most students selected for the Luna Lab Fellowship have completed at least one fully-notated piece for one or more instruments. If you are eager to explore composition but do not have this background, we encourage you to apply for our course Adventures in Sound: Beginning Composition, which is offered twice a month throughout the year on an online platform. For the 2021–2022 year the course will meet on Thursday evenings at 7 PM (Eastern). For more information on how to apply visit this page.

How can I join the Luna Lab course Adventures in Sound: Beginning Composition?
Students who are female, non-binary, or gender nonconforming between the ages of 12-18 are eligible to apply for this course. We ask that you submit a written statement that answers the question "Why are you interested in writing music?" and complete our online application form.