Write Powerful Music with Ease

Enrolling Now: Wizarding School for Composers, March 8-June 17, 2022

Learn how to give your audience goosebumps — without giving yourself a headache.

If you want to write music—
that will get performed again and again,
that will make you feel proud of what you’ve created,
that fully captures your musical vision,
that has the staying power of your favorite living composers,
that spellbinds and astonishes audiences—
Then this is the program for you.

Taught by Dr. Joseph Sowa,
Composer and Scholar

As trusted by

Where Did the Magic Go?

It all began with magic. The piece that gave you goosebumps. The symphony that took your breath away. The song you sang or played for months on end

Utterly bewitched, you wanted to weave that magic, too. You pursued that skill deep into the night on your own and then, later, at music school or in private lessons.

Only to learn . . . mere glimmers of magic: Sparks rather than fireworks. Gimmicks rather than wonders. Musty old card tricks that are just the faintest shadows of what you know you experienced.

Whether in an undergraduate theory classroom, private lessons, or the common, online sources, you only ever found:

  • Traditional music theory tools that no longer describe the reality of most music being written today.
  • Avant-garde music tools that inspire you to create original sounds—but leave you guessing how to use them.
  • Courses that teach you abstract musical craft—but fail to show how you can apply it reliably, every day in your creative process.
  • Teachers who constantly imply—and sometimes outright say— “Musical magic is for geniuses and greats, not for us mere mortals.”

And so, you were left with a dubious and fragmentary book of musical spells and an incomplete understanding of how to use them.

“I always sensed that I had the ability to be a composer and to make beautiful music, but felt that there just wasn’t the path — that I didn’t have the tools to make that happen. Because of the Wizarding School, those dreams of composing became possibilities.” — Seth Castleton

Seth holds a DMA in cello performance from the University of Maryland

What are your composing dreams?

Book a free, 30-minute call with me. We’ll discuss your music and dreams — and what next steps you can take.

You Are Not the Problem

This fragmentary and out-of-context instruction is why you feel intimidated. It’s why you waste hours second-guessing yourself, why you are scared to share your music, and why you don’t think it’s any good.

But composing doesn’t have to be that way.

You are not struggling because you lack talent. All the tools and spells you need exist. Though they take training, none of them are hard.

These tools are not just for elite-level composers. Anyone — including you — can learn the tricks behind the music of John Williams, Rachel Portman, Eric Whitacre, Jacob Collier, David Maslanka, Jennifer Higdon, and others.

You are not consigned to write mediocre music that no one cares about. You can weave the same kind of magic as your favorite living composers.

“The Wizarding School really works with whatever skill level you currently have using the genre of music you’re most interested in. There’s clearly a classical bent to the instruction simply because that’s Joseph’s background, but his lessons can be applied to any style from classical to jazz to music theater to techno. If you really want to take your composition to the next level, Wizarding School is well worth the investment.” — Joseph Fletcher

A student in the inaugural Spring 2021 class, Joseph runs a successful piano teaching studio in New England.

“Sowa” means “owl” in Polish, so, yes—you are literally getting your invitation to learn musical magic from an owl.

Welcome to the World of Musical Magic

My name is Joseph Sowa, and I personally invite you to my Wizarding School for Composers.

I’ve created this high-impact, four-month program for you, so you can:

  • Experience what it feels like to compose with ease.
  • Conjure up satisfying musical solutions fast.
  • Navigate whole musical worlds previously hidden to you.
  • Understand the magic wielded by your favorite composers.
  • Replicate that magic in your own music.
  • Watch the wonder and joy it creates in others.

Stop just dreaming about attaining such musical magic.

You can have it.

Take a “Tour” of the Wizarding School

Schedule a free, 30-minute discovery call today. We’ll discuss your music and goals — and how the Wizarding School for Composers can help.

How I Lost—and Re-Found—the Magic of Music

I’ve spent decades studying these questions so you don’t have to. 

Despite getting accepted to elite institutions like Brandeis University and competitive summer programs like the Brevard Music Festival, I was deeply insecure about my music. I tried my best to capture the magic I had inside me, but it always came out in sparks and sputters. I devoured books, articles, and blog posts about music theory, history, and aesthetics trying to figure out what was missing—and I never could.

Until I went to Brandeis, where I gained three keys to musical magic:

  • Brandeis has long nurtured a tradition of creative musical analysis rooted in close readings of individual pieces. I didn’t learn just to regurgitate textbook Schenkerian or Forte descriptions but to examine each piece afresh: what it uniquely was doing and how.
  • My composition teachers had a similar focus. Yu-Hui Chang, my thesis co-advisor, told me (repeatedly, until it sunk in) “You don’t need a system.” Instead, she and her colleagues showed me how to discern the effects of each tiny choice on the musical whole.
  • Crucially, my coursework also introduced me to partimenti — the method by which most classical composers used to be taught. The more I practiced and learned about partimenti, their secrets became transparent and actionable.

Together, these tools enabled me to unleash the magic in my own music — and to identify the four elements of musical magic.

“Joseph’s music is beautiful and a little brainy—tight intersections of lyrical lines add up to a very pleasurable listening experience. His phrasing and his formal sense are first-rate, and you always know where you are—even when there’s the occasional surprise. The joy he feels in writing is palpable.”
— David Rakowski, my PhD dissertation co-advisor

My dissertation committee at Brandeis. L-R: Yu-Hui Chang, David Rakowski, Eric Chasalow, myself, Erin Gee, Martin Brody.

“Joseph Sowa’s approach helped break down the process into smaller, less intimidating parts. . . . Regardless of whether I used the suggestion or not, it had the effect of getting me to think in a new way, and would help to get me unstuck on a given piece.”
— Joseph Fletcher

A student in the inaugural Spring 2021 class, Joseph runs a successful piano teaching studio in New England.

What You Will Learn at Wizarding School

In fantasy stories, wizards’ powers are often tied to how well they can control and combine the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.

Composing music also has four elements you must master:

  1. World building (“Earth”): creating distinct sounds, textures, and motives
  2. Sleight of hand (“Air”): arranging these materials to create tension and surprise
  3. Inspiration (“Fire”): capturing the meaning behind your materials and their arrangement
  4. Flow (“Water”): working from a place of ease and curiosity

With these elements at your command, you can unlock any creative door you can imagine. Together, they enable you to

  • Recapture the fun of composing.
  • Compose faster and with less anxiety
  • Write memorable, catchy melodies and vivid gestures.
  • Go beyond chord symbols and Roman numerals to unlock the secrets of how harmony really works.
  • Give audiences goosebumps, take their breath away, and rivet them to their seats

Together, these magical powers will enable you to share and promote your music with confidence.

Want to be confident in your music?

I want that for you, too. Book your free, 30-minute discovery call today. We’ll identify what steps you can take to master musical magic, no strings attached.

How the Wizarding School Works

Over the course of four months, you will

  • See one or more original projects through to completion
  • Learn a comprehensive set of craft, process, and analysis tools that will help you write at a professional level
  • Identify and document your best creative practices

The basic package for this transformative experience includes:

  • 12 Workshops + assignments (2 hours each)
  • 12 Partimenti sessions (1 hour each, see video at right)
  • 11 Group office hours (2 hours each)
  • 4 Score study sessions (2 hours each)
  • 1 One-on-one goal setting call (30 minutes)
  • Weekly accountability partners and private Facebook community

For those who want a more personalized experience, the VIP package adds:

  • Monthly private lessons (1 hour each, 4 total)
  • Two personalized strategy sessions (1 hour each), typically
    • “Total Creative Process Makeover”: We’ll design creative process solutions that remove all barriers to your composing progress.
    • Personal Career Success Spell Book”: We’ll craft a personal action plan to help you get more performances and commissions.
    • Need something else? You’re the VIP! We can cover any topic in these sessions that meets your interests and needs.

For those who want the ultimate Wizarding School experience, the Premier package adds:

  • Your completed piece* recorded by professional musicians, including
    • Score and part prep
    • Mixing and mastering
    • 1 year of distribution on all the major music streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
  • Premier tuition covers* recording approximately 12-15’ of music for small ensemble or choir or 4-6’ for chamber orchestra
  • Pieces will be recorded in summer 2022 to allow sufficient time to write and revise them
  • *Longer pieces or those for larger ensembles may cost extra

“What do all these composers have in common?

“Bach — J.C., C.P.E., and J.S. — Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven; Debussy, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Nadia and Lili Boulanger; Verdi, Rossini, Puccini; . . . Philip Glass, Thea Musgraves, Luciano Berio, and Quincy Jones? They all studied partimenti.”

“Partimenti is the study of musical patterns. It trains our ears, our voices, our fingers, and, most importantly, our brains.”
— Ian Campbell

A composer, pianist, and church musician, Ian teaches partimenti in the Wizarding School for Composers.

What Else You Get with the Wizarding School

If you sign up for either package by March 8, 2022, you’ll get two huge bonuses. Together, they are worth almost the full value of the basic program itself: a $2,294 value, for free!

👉 NOTE: Your chance to attend the Early Bird Workshops has now expired — but you can still get the other two bonuses, plus watch the replays of the Early Bird Workshops!

Bonus 1

Lifetime access to the full Wizarding School for Composers training library: 50+ pre-recorded lectures, score study sessions, PDF cheat sheets, and more. A $1,997 value!

Bonus 2

The "Career Success Spell Book" live training. Learn the concrete steps you can take to get more commissions and performances. A $197 value!

Bonus 3

Three Additional Live Trainings: (1) Music Notation Secrets, (2) Making Goosebumps using Song Form, (3) How to Capture the “Soul” of Music. A $497 value — for early birds only!

Yes, Please Do Your Homework

Taking a course like the Wizarding School can be a big step. I’m here to answer all your questions, no strings attached. Schedule a free, 30-minute discovery call today, and we will discuss all the details.

Is the Wizarding School for you?

You’re no muggle. You know how deeply music lives in you, but how do you know you’re ready for the magic of the Wizarding School for Composers?

You know you can succeed at Wizarding School if you:

  • Know your basic theory: If you received B’s in music theory or know what a “secondary dominant” is, you know all the basics required to create musical magic.
  • Have been working professionally for at least a year. You don’t have to consider yourself “a composer,” but you do need a track record that shows your commitment to music.
  • Are willing to let down your artistic defenses: Sharing your music, like using magic, is personal and can feel dangerous. You need to trust that I’ll have your back.

If these attributes describe you, then you are likely ready to join the Wizarding School—and begin to live your dream of creating musical magic.

“He worked with everybody on an individual level. It was not only surprising to see the level that he took me from where I was to where I’m at now, but to also see that in the other students. . . . At the end, it was like, ‘Wow! I would listen to this. I would pay money to listen to this.’”
— Darrell Tenney

A student in the inaugural Spring 2021 class, Darrell writes EDM under his stage name, D-$mooth.

Board the Train to the Wizarding School!

So now you have your invitation in hand. Your previous education has provided all the supplies you need. The train to the wizarding school is about to board. The castle awaits. . . . 

If you choose to wave the train on, you could spend the decades like I did slowly gathering up your magical abilities.

I don’t want that for you. You don’t have to struggle the way I did.

I want you to find the satisfaction, confidence, and success that comes from having the compositional, analytical, and process tools that allow you to conjure whatever musical magic your heart desires.

I want you to claim your musical magic swiftly and joyfully. If you choose to invest in yourself:

  • In just four weeks, you’ll begin to see magic in music you had never noticed. 
  • In two months, you’ll begin to get the hang of how to capture your musical vision. 
  • Within just four months, you can begin to write music that will get performed again and again, that has the staying power of your favorite living composers, and that spellbinds and astonishes audiences.

As your headmaster and professor, I look forward to helping you take that journey.

Programs at a glance

  • Basic: 12 workshops + assignments, 12 partimenti sessions, 11 group office hours, 4 score study sessions, 1 goal setting call, weekly accountability partners and private Facebook community. Price: $2997.
  • VIP: everything in the Basic program, plus monthly private lessons and two personalized strategy sessions. Price: $4997.
  • Premier: everything in the VIP program, plus your piece recorded and distributed. Price: $7997.

“Joseph has been the most helpful composition teacher I’ve ever worked with! I was initially struck by how well he understood what was and wasn’t working in my music even though our compositional styles are so different. While still celebrating the things I liked, he taught me to hear what I hadn’t noticed, and then he pointed out other ways I could use the material I had created in ways that increased the effectiveness of my music greatly whether I was writing for a classical chamber group, a jazz combo, strings, or for a large wind ensemble.” — David Ashton

David holds a DMA in clarinet performance from Rutgers and is a NYC-based multi-woodwind performer, improviser, and composer.

Are you ready to make YOUR music magical?

Schedule a free, 30-minute discovery call today. We’ll discuss your music and goals, identify what next steps you can take, and explore what the  Wizarding School for Composers can empower you to accomplish. I look forward to joining you on your creative journey.

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