Maryland Music Educators Association


Maryland Music Educators Association


The Young Composer Project supports Maryland music educators in their efforts to incorporate the National Standards for Music Education and the Maryland Essential Learner Outcomes for music in their classrooms and rehearsals. As such, the Project is designed to encourage and enhance the instructional experiences of Maryland school students and music educators through providing professional critiques, enhanced recognition and selected presentations for the on-going creative work of students in Maryland schools.

DESCRIPTION: Students in Maryland schools are encouraged to submit their creative work to the Maryland Music Educators Association for professional review, evaluation and recognition. (Visit for examples of previous submissions to the ‘Young Composers Project’).

ELIGIBILITY: Open to Maryland school students enrolled in school music class’s grades PK-12.  SPONSORING TEACHER MUST BE A MEMBER OF NAfME/MMEA.


            • Can be composed by an individual, class or ensemble.

            Can be an original arrangement of public domain works.

            • Duration must not exceed five (5) minutes in length.

            • May be for a solo, small or large ensemble. 

            • Presentation may be for an electronic, instrumental, multi-media, or vocal medium.

            • Must reflect ‘Creating’, in 2014 Music National Anchor Standards 1, 2, and 3.(Visit standards at

            • Works not addressing ‘Creating’ standards will not be accepted.

• Must address ‘Creating’ standards at a selected grade/level, i.e. for PK-8: select, grade 5, 8, or level; for middle school: Novice or Intermediate; for high school: select, Proficient, Accomplished or Advanced. Works failing to select a specified grade or level will not be accepted.


      • Must include scores with a title on the first page, STUDENT NAME MUST NOT APPEAR ON TITLE PAGE OR ADDITIONAL PAGES. All measures must be numbered.

       • Must include five (5) copies of a one (1) to two (2) page student(s) narrative reflecting on the process of  creating the work, i.e. ‘How was the work submitted ‘Imagined’, ‘Planned’, ‘Made’, Evaluated’ and ‘Refined’? THE NARRATIVE MUST BE ORGANIZED BY EACH AREA. NO name(s) should appear on any page.

       • Must include five (5) copies of a one (1) page teacher generated narrative identifying and reflecting on the instructional strategies implemented to enable student(s) to create the work, i.e. What instruction was provided to help student(s) ‘Imagine’, ‘Plan’, ‘Make’,’ Evaluate’, and ‘Refine’ the work submitted?’ ? THE NARRATIVE MUST BE ORGANIZED BY EACH AREA. NO name(s) should appear on any pages.

      • Will not be returned. All work submitted becomes the property of MMEA. However, all creative rights, including copyrighting, remains with the creator(s).

      • With names or without a title or all measures numbered will not be accepted.

      Must be postmarked by May 1, 2018.     

INSTRUMENTAL OR VOCAL WORK: must have five (5) printed copies of a full score (Full scores may be through a notation program or hand-written).

ELECTRONIC WORK: must have five (5) screen shots of the sequencer Digital Audio workstation (DAW).

                       • Must include an MP3 recording labeled with the work’s TITLE ONLY (MP4 may also be included). The recording should be of a performance by a grade level student, student ensemble or an electronic medium. A non-acoustic performance will be accepted ONLY if it presents the desired acoustic performance medium or if it is exclusively for an electronic medium).  Submissions without recordings, titles or with name(s) will not be accepted.                                                                                                                               

 MULTI-MEDIA WORK: includes any and all combinations of visual, auditory or physical   movement (Example, film scores, ballet, scenes, etc.). Please submit a DVD of the entire project that must be playable in cross-platform format such as MP4.

            IMPORTANT NOTE: Multi-media works must be presented in a format that enables others to recreate all aspects of the work.


REVIEWS/EVALUATION: Each work submitted:

• Will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of judges. A panel may include current or retired school music educators, members of the music industry, composers, or qualified university composition faculty. Review comments and evaluations will be provided for each work submitted. All comments and evaluations will be final.

      • Will be evaluated as being either ‘Superior’, ‘Excellent’, ‘Good’, ‘Fair’, or ‘Needs  Improvement’.

      • Will be considered for ‘Exemplary’ recognition at a selected grade/level of review and  evaluation. An ‘Exemplary’ work will be posted on the MMEA website (MP3 and score).      Further, an ‘Exemplary’ work will be considered for presentation at MMEA local, state, and   NAFME divisional and national conferences and events. (MMEA reserves the right to  withhold ‘Exemplary’ recognition in the event that no work is so designated.)            

      • Will be reviewed and evaluated focusing on:                                                                              

 1.    Originality: Creative work exhibits a personal/unique style clearly demonstrating the ability to create, use and/or organize sound for expressing personal or group                   musical intent.

2.   Compositional Technique and Presentation: Creative work clearly exhibits characteristics of the elements of music being accurately and effectively understood and manipulated and presented for expressive purposes.  Includes organization of rhythmic, melodic elements, formal design, writing for instruments and/or voices, correct usage of musical notation, etc.

3.   Compositional maturity: Creative work clearly demonstrates a depth of knowledge, understanding and effective application of the elements of music for expressive purposes. Includes a high level of appropriate professionalism in presentation of score and recording.

4.   Overall Appeal: Creative work includes effective handling of unity/variety, dynamics, tension/release, articulations, text setting, etc.          


1.      Remember that a grade level student, student ensemble or an electronic medium should perform each work submitted. 

2.      Remember, neatness counts!  Creative work exhibiting attention to presenting a clean full score, clear copies and a sensitive recording, shows careful attention of                    preparation.

3.   Consider, characteristics of creating a work include:

            • Manipulating, using or creating different tone qualities and sounds for a specific purpose or intent,

            • Careful and flexible planning, selecting and organizing sounds for presenting a purpose or intent,             

            • Engaging in numerous ‘experiments’ to help select and make creative work, i.e.  exploring dynamics, articulation, variety of melodic and harmonic ideas,                                  orchestration and timbre, text setting, repetition, contrast, etc.

            • Use of sampled sounds for timbre authenticity is strongly encouraged


4.      Above all, creative work should be an extension of your personal ideas, thoughts and experiences. A work should be meaningful to each person, class or ensemble. 

Questions? Contact Dr. Disharoon, YCP chair, at




 Guidelines (Download)