The composition curriculum at Interlochen is excellent preparation for those who wish to major in composition in college. The individualized program encourages students to cultivate their own unique and creative expression, while becoming familiar with important trends in 20th and 21st century music.
Composers have the opportunity to present their works 4-5 times during the school year in Composers' Forums. In addition to the creation of individual pieces, emphasis is also given to knowledge of proper notation, professional preparation of scores and parts for rehearsals and performances, and the assembling of a diverse portfolio for college auditions. Composers in grades 10-PG enroll in the theory class appropriate to their level (Theory A, B, C, D, Advanced, Super or an Independent Study level that goes beyond the Super level of theory) and Musicianship Skills 1 or 2. Composers are also expected to be proficient on the piano; those lacking sufficient keyboard skills are required to take lessons or piano class. Others will take a weekly thirty minute lesson on their primary instrument. Students are required to be in a performing ensemble that is approved by the faculty. It is recommended that students reserve a large block of time (three hours or more) several times each week for individual composition.