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The Young Composer Project supports Maryland music educators in their efforts to incorporate the National Standards for Music Education and the Maryland State Music Standards 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.

All questions should be be directed to Dr. Richard A. Disharoon, YCP chair, at Review the YCP Guidelines Packet.

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.  The 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. (; search 2014 standards; composition theory)  

    Works that do not address the ‘Creating’ standards will not be accepted

  • Must address ‘Creating’ standards at a selected grade/level: 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.