If you're like me, you love writing music. You have a lot of ideas and you want to express them in the best way possible. But sometimes, you feel stuck or frustrated with your own work. You wonder if you're doing it right, if you're following the rules, and if you're being original and creative enough. That's where composition lessons come in handy. Composition lessons are a great way to learn from someone who has more experience and knowledge than you. They can give you feedback, advice, tips and tricks to improve your skills and confidence as a composer. But how do you make the most out of your composition lessons? How do you learn from them effectively and efficiently? How do you avoid wasting time and money on lessons that don't help you grow as a musician? Here are some tips that I've learned from my own experience and from talking to other composers who have taken composition lessons:

1. Know your goals and expectations

Before taking composition lessons, it's important to clearly understand what you want to achieve and what you expect from your teacher. Do you want to learn a specific style or genre? Do you want to work on a particular project or piece? Do you want to improve your technique or theory? Do you want to develop your creativity or originality? Defining your specific goals and expectations will help you find the right teacher. It will also help you communicate with your teacher better and get more relevant feedback and guidance.

2. Do your homework

Composition lessons are not magic pills that will make you a better composer overnight. They are opportunities to learn from someone else's perspective and experience, but they are not substitutes for your own practice and exploration. If you want to get the most out of your composition lessons, you need to do your homework. That means preparing for each lesson by reviewing what was covered in the previous one, working on the assignments or exercises that your teacher gave you, practicing the skills or concepts that were taught, and writing new music based on what you learned. Doing your homework will help you reinforce what was taught in the lesson, deepen your understanding of the material, develop your own voice as a composer, and show respect for your teacher's time and effort.

3. Ask questions

One of the benefits of taking composition lessons is that you have access to someone who knows more than you about music composition. That means they can answer any questions that might arise during your learning process. Be bold and ask questions during or after each lesson. Questions show curiosity, interest, engagement and willingness to learn. They also help clarify any doubts or confusions that might hinder your progress. Some examples of questions that might be useful are: - Why did we do this exercise? - What is the purpose of this rule or technique? - How can I apply this concept or skill to my own music? - What are some common mistakes or pitfalls that I should avoid? - How can I improve this part of my piece? - What are some examples of composers who use this style or method? Asking questions will help you get more insight into the topic at hand, learn from different angles and perspectives, and discover new ideas and possibilities.

4. Be open-minded

Composition lessons are not only about learning facts or rules, but also about exploring creativity and expression. That means that sometimes, you might encounter ideas or suggestions that challenge or contradict your own preferences or beliefs. Instead of rejecting them outright, try to be open-minded. Listen carefully to what your teacher has to say, try their suggestions out, and see how they affect your music. You might be surprised by how much they can improve it, or how much they can inspire new directions for it. Being open-minded will help you expand your musical horizons, learn from different sources of inspiration, and develop a more versatile and adaptable style as a composer.

5. Have fun

Last but not least, remember that composition lessons are supposed to be fun. They are opportunities to express yourself through music, to share your passion with someone else who shares it too, to experiment with new sounds and ideas, and to enjoy the process of creating something beautiful. Don't let stress or pressure ruin your experience. Don't worry too much about making mistakes or being perfect. Don't compare yourself negatively with others or with unrealistic standards. Don't forget why you started writing music in the first place. Have fun with it! Celebrate every achievement, no matter how small. Learn from every challenge, no matter how hard.

Enjoy every moment, no matter how fleeting.