Composition Lessons

“Amy is the real deal!”

Mark Snow: Film & TV Composer best known for ‘The X-Files’.

 Amy Bastow

 What Can I Learn in My Composition Lessons with Amy?

  • Writing Music for Film, TV, Games and Media
  • Writing Your Own Music (in whatever style you are drawn to)
  • Orchestration
  • Songwriting
  • Notation
  • Music Composition Software (Sibelius, Logic Pro)
  • Improvisation
  • Can you already play an instrument but would love to know how to write your own music for it?
  • Are you already writing music but get stuck and don’t know how to take it further?
  • Are you wishing you had the knowledge to put your ideas down on paper or into music notation software?
  • Are you interested in writing music for film or television?
  • Music Theory, Harmony, Chord Progressions, Key Relationships
  • AMEB Music Theory / Musicianship (Preliminary – 6th Grade)

It’s all about achieving YOUR music-writing goals, so tailoring the lesson to suit your needs is Amy’s priority.

Amy’s nurturing and inspiring approach to music education, plus her real-world experience as a working Film & Television Composer make her a sought-after teacher and mentor with composition students around the country and the world.


What Will We Do in Our Composition Lessons?

Your composition goals are very specific to you, so Amy’s lessons are tailored to help you achieve those goals…whether that be writing music for film, writing an orchestral piece, releasing your first pop-music album, or just getting creative with your new music software.

  • Learning composition can be a slow and complex task with many facets and challenges to overcome.
  • Many young composers often find themselves stuck, not knowing how to complete a composition, or how to get it out of their head onto paper (or into the computer).
  • Composing music uses both the left and right sides of the brain (creative and analytical), so Amy designs her lessons to be creatively immersive, whilst also offering you a well-rounded education in all the other aspects of composition from technology to business.
  • This puts you in the best possible position to challenge yourself creatively, reach your potential and achieve your goals as quickly as possible.


Our composition lessons can involve any or all of the following:

  1. Your Compositions – Listening to any composition work you have done during the week…providing feedback, suggestions on how to improve, orchestration ideas, how to use your music software to achieve the best result etc.
  2. Technology – a HUGE part of composition these days is learning the technology and software that is available to assist with our music-making. So many young composers don’t know how to get their ideas out of their heads and into a form that other people can listen to. Amy can help you learn music notation software (Sibelius) and music sequencing software (Digital Audio Workstations) commonly used for recording music, and for writing Film and TV music (Logic Pro) and ultimately, help you set up your own studio.
  3. Theory – composing intuitively is an amazing feeling; but knowing the nuts and bolts of how music actually works can help take your compositions to the next level.
  4. Improvisation – whilst it is important to learn the theory and the technology, it’s also important to just let your creative juices flow…and improvisation on an instrument (or with a piece of technology) is one essential tool for composition. We can spend time in our lesson improvising around a certain chord progression, scales, melodic ideas, rhythmic ideas etc etc to develop your creative ideas further.
  5. Analysis – Listening to the music of your favourite composers or songwriters, and analysing what they are doing. This is a great way to get fresh ideas of your own.
  6. Instrumentation and Orchestration – f you play an instrument, chances are you may have tried composing for that instrument. But how do you go about writing for instruments you can’t play? This is where we learn about instrumentation and orchestration…how to write for an orchestra, a brass band, a wind quintet, a string quartet, etc etc.
  7. Creative Tasks to Complete – Each week, you will be assigned a creative task, a theoretical task and a music technology task to take home and work on during the week, which you would show me at the following lesson. This will be tailored to your specific areas of interest, and you will have the opportunity to email Amy your “works-in-progress” during the week to get feedback.
  8. Music Business – We can also include lessons on music business, getting started in the industry, marketing yourself and equipping your with skills you will need if you are serious about establishing yourself as a professional working composer.
  9. Film Music – how would you write music for a sad scene, or a scary scene in a movie? What kind of music would you write for an action movie, or a love story? How do you develop a musical theme? How do I synchronise my music with a movie? How can I get a start in the industry? Amy’s speciality is Film and TV Music!
  • Amy can assign you with film music tasks to complete during the week, which you can then use to build up your own portfolio.
  • Offer you tricks, tips, resources, examples and information on how to compose for different scenes, genres, moods and styles.
  • Amy can listen to your tasks, discuss them with you and offer suggestions for improvement.
  • Amy can also alert you to film music opportunities, competitions, workshops, industry events etc.

 Please note: Amy only offers 60 minute composition lessons.


Where Does Amy Teach?

  • Online via Zoom. So, as long as you have an internet connection, your location does not matter!
  • Amy’s studio is Apple Mac – based, and uses Logic Pro X as her main DAW and Sibelius as her main notation software.
Amy's Production Studio
Amy’s Production Studio


Lesson Types and Financial Investment.

OPTION 1: “One-Off” Lesson (Casual Rate) – Paying Per Lesson

  • 60 minutes = $150.00
  1. Paying ‘per lesson’ means you pay for your lesson as you go, and as you need them. This might be once a month, or just every now and then.
  2. No up-front costs or bulk payments necessary.
  3. You can book and pay for lessons whenever you need them by clicking the “BOOK A ONE-OFF COMPOSITION LESSON” button below.
  4. All fees are in Australian Dollars.
  5. You can pay in any currency using a credit card.
  6. We use Stripe as our secure 3rd party online payment processer.

OPTION 2: Paying Up-Front (Ongoing Lessons)

  • 60 minutes = $120.00
  1. Paying ‘up-front’ means you pay for 3 months’ worth of lessons up-front in bulk (12 lessons), which entitles you to this discounted hourly rate. Once you’ve had your 12 lessons, you can either stop lessons, take a break or decide to continue lessons (either casually or via another 12-week block).
  2. If you’re interested in this option, please use the contact form on this website to get in touch with Amy and answer the questions in the “Ongoing Lessons” section below.
  3. Any lesson/s you miss or do not attend (for whatever reason), you will forfeit that lesson and not receive a refund on that missed lesson.
  4. Any lessons canceled by Amy (due to sickness, holidays etc) will be credited towards the payment of your following 3 months.
  5. All fees are in Australian Dollars.
  6. No refunds are given.
  7. Composition lessons can be commenced at any time throughout the year.
Amy Bastow
Amy Bastow


Ongoing Lessons.

If you’re interested in booking 12 lessons with Amy (non-casual lessons), you will be required to submit a short application (see the questions below), and email Amy an example/s of one of your current compositions (even if not completed).


How to Send Your Application.

If you wish to be considered for non-casual (ongoing) composition lessons with Amy, head to the contact page and outline the following:

  1. Your name.
  2. The country, city and suburb in which you live.
  3. Your current instrumental level (list any AMEB instrumental exam grades you have achieved, even if it was a long time ago). If you have never done an exam but can play an instrument, please specify which instruments you can play and provide a brief outline of your musical achievements on that instrument to date. If you can not play a musical instrument, please indicate this.
  4. What is your music theory level – Advanced? Intermediate? Or Beginner? Have you completed any AMEB Theory Grades?
  5. Your age.
  6. The school you attend (school students only).
  7. Your occupation (adult students only).
  8. How long have you been composing?
  9. What kind of composition are you interested in – Film Music? Classical Composition? Jazz? Orchestral? Everything?
  10. A short (or long) description of why you want to take composition lessons.
  11. Do you (or can you) have access to Sibelius? (music notation software).
  12. Do you have experience using Sibelius?
  13. Do you have experience using a music sequencing software such as Logic, Cubase, Protools etc? Which one?
  14. Do you have experience using virtual instrument plugins and MIDI (feel free to upload a photo of your current setup).
  15. Do you (or can you) have access to Logic Pro (Digital Audio Workstation software)?
  16. Please indicate your preferred lesson day and time. Once a time is chosen, this will be your lesson time each week. Amy will need to confirm this lesson time with you, so it’s only a tentative time at this stage.
  17. Please note that Amy only teaches 60-minute composition lessons.
  18. Provide acknowledge that you understand lessons are 60 minutes in length, will be conducted at the same time weekly, and you will be charged upfront for 12 lessons ($1,440).
  19. You will need to send Amy an original musical composition that demonstrates your current ability (and please supply a recording and/or a score for each composition if you have this available).
  20. Feel free to provide any additional information you think is necessary.
  21. Last but not least, it is a requirement that all students laugh and have fun in their lessons!
  • In your application and composition submission, Amy isn’t looking for perfection. She looks for students who show potential, who are passionate and dedicated, and who want to pursue music to the highest level they personally can.
  • If accepted, you must commit to weekly online lessons.
  • If accepted, you must commit to a minimum of 12 lessons.
  • If accepted, you must commit to doing composition homework outside of lesson times (this will be discussed with you and designed for your level and goals).
Amy nominated for an Australian Academy Award for Best Original Score for her work on James Cameron's 3D documentary "Deepsea Challenge"
Amy nominated for an Australian Academy Award for Best Original Score for her work on James Cameron’s 3D documentary “Deepsea Challenge”



Thank you for being such an inspiration to all my children throughout the year. You are very gifted.


I approached Amy for piano lessons after finding her through her website, searching for piano and composition lessons. She helped me get back into playing piano after a 20 year hiatus. After only a year of guidance I have just sit my 5th grade AMEB exam and passed with flying colours! Amy even gave me great guidance helping me to compose one of my extra list pieces. Amy has helped me particularly with my expression and overall musicality. I used to be a very rigid player but Amy has helped me so much with my posture, muscle movement and tone. I would recommend Amy to any casual player who is looking to improve their technique and take their playing to the next level!


Amy continually demonstrated her deep commitment to our son’s musical education. She had a great rapport with him and successfully brought him through a number of AMEB exams. We were always touched by Amy’s passion for music and personal attention to our son’s progress. Sydney’s loss is Melbourne’s gain!.


Amy’s energy, enthusiasm and depth of understanding was invaluable for my daughter in her Senior High School studies. She made musicology less daunting and composition exciting and achievable.


We appreciate all your hard work, enthusiasm and positive attitude in teaching our son the piano. He enjoys his music lessons with you and we know he has great respect and affection for you as a teacher.


Just wanted to say I’m going to really miss you as my teacher when I leave! Thanks to you, I’m composing really well with all the new skills you taught me.


My son told me yesterday that he loves his piano lessons with you, so I just wanted to thank you for this.


Do you need music for your project?

Interested in hiring me to compose music for your next project? Please drop me an email and say "Hello". I'd love to hear from you!

Let's Create Something