Founded in 2006, Kids Compose has offered a competition for students in grades 2-6 each year. Additional programs have been developed in the form of open houses and workshops, offering support to local music teachers and opportunities for young people to explore music composition as a creative expression of their unique voice. The philosophy behind Kids Compose is an understanding that music, creativity, and music composition are inherent in each individual. Music composition is a continuum that can happen at different ages and stages. Kids Compose facilitates intergenerational and multidisciplinary collaboration using composition as a tool for building connectivity and community.


The Kids Compose Competition gives young students an opportunity

to submit short, original melodies. Finalists are chosen from among the

hundreds of submissions received each year, with eight winners

ultimately chosen. Melodies from the eight winners are assigned in pairs

to IU Jacobs School of Music composition students, who then arrange

the two melodies into a single piece for either band or orchestra.

The original pieces are premiered by IU Jacobs School of Music

ensembles at annual performances with local students in attendance.

With over a thousand students from the Bloomington area looking

on, the Kids Compose Competition winners and IU composers

take the stage of the Musical Arts Center and hear their

collaborative creation for the first time along with an

entranced audience.

Kids Compose is offering programs in new locations. Contact for more information about possibilities for your community.

Deadline: March 27, 2020
Download application

IU Kids Compose 2020

New deadline: September 25, 2020


Article from the
Kansas Music Review
Fall 2009
"Kids Compose!"
by Debbi Ponella

Kids Compose Competition 2019

at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music


Isabel Herron, 3rd grade, Childs Elementary

Laney Jackson, 4th grade, Fairview Elementary

June Leis, 3rd grade, St. Charles

Caleb Lian, 3rd grade, St. Charles

Bach Nguyen, 3rd grade, Childs Elementary

Abigail Swan, 3rd grade, St. Charles

Sofia Urbina, 5th grade, Grandview Elementary

Quinn Walters, 3rd grade, Marlin Elementary

Runners Up:

Caroline Jensen, 3rd grade, St. Charles

London Lish, 3rd grade, Childs Elementary


Lilianna Conley, 5th grade, Fairview Elementary

Oliver Guinn, 3rd grade, Fairview Elementary

Sykie Jackson, 5th grade, Arlington Heights

Adeline Jones, 5th grade, Childs Elementary

Joshua Leney, 5th grade, Childs Elementary

Simeng Liu, 3rd grade, University Elementary

Cora Parrott, 3rd garde, St. Charles

Emma Rice, 4th grade, Arlington Heights

Performance dates:  Orchestra-February 12, 2020

                                 Band-April 15, 2020

Performance location: Musical Arts Center, JSoM

Deadline for submissions: April 5, 2019

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