Synapse Violin: Summer 2024 Composition Workshop

Featuring Composer in Residence Dan Trueman
Violinists Leah Asher, Rachel Peters, Kevin Rogers

Learn to compose for violin and hear your music brought to life by a professional violinist.

Workshop Overview:

The violin has spent 500 years among the most beloved instruments in the world. It’s the only instrument that is equally at home at barn dances in Kentucky and temples in India as it is the most prestigious concert halls in Vienna. Composing for violin can be intimidating—not only are there hundreds of years of tradition to contend with, but the way the instrument works can be counterintuitive to those whose experience is mainly with keyboard instruments or software. But with a little guidance, and most importantly, an opportunity to experiment and hear the results, composers can gain confidence and skill very quickly.

Synapse Violin is an opportunity to spend three weeks immersed in the beauty and possibility of this instrument, and come out with a piece of your own recorded by a professional.

Here’s what you get:

  • Six one-on-one composition lessons from our professional composition teaching artists.
  • Additional daily guidance via online forums.
  • Access to an exclusive online course on the techniques of violin composition.
  • Two studio classes with our composer in residence (select participants will present their work).
  • Two live workshop sessions on your music with a guest violinist (Leah or Rachel).
  • A recording of your piece (up to five minutes) by a guest violinist.
  • Two months full access to the Synthase Composers Academy.
  • Select pieces will receive a virtual premiere on our Summer Showcase.


  • $850 due at registration
  • Synapse Alumni and Synthase Composers Academy members are eligible for a 10% discount.


Who is this for?

The minimum age for enrollment is 13. Aside from that, this is for anyone who understands the basics of music notation and would enjoy mentorship and a recording by a professional violinist. Our previous workshop has included students who ranged from beginner composers (with only performing experience) to graduate students at top conservatories.

Do you offer refunds?

Yes! Participants who need to withdraw from the workshop will receive a full refund up until the last day of registration (June 28, 2024). However, we will not be able to issue a refund after the registration closes.

When can I register?

Registration opens on May 18th and closes on June 24, or before that if we fill up sooner. If you’re interested in joining, please join our waitlist for updates.

Will I have one-on-one lessons with the guest composer?

No. However, Dan Trueman (composer in residence) will offer 2 studio classes to everyone in the Synthase Composers Academy. If you are interested in presenting your work and receive comments, make sure to click the “presenter” option on your registration form.

Can I use the recording of my piece for my portfolio?

Yes! You can use the recording privately for circumstances such as portfolio and grant applications. If you’d like to make the recording public on platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube, feel free to list that this piece was written for the 2024 Synapse Violin Workshop, but do not list the performer’s name. Please do not release the piece commercially on platforms such as Spotify and Bandcamp.

Do I have to apply or am I automatically accepted?

For this summer’s workshop, we will accept students as long as registration is open. However, we reserve the right to close the registration early if needed.

Am I guaranteed an audio recording of my piece?

As long as you follow the requirements and meet the deadlines within the workshop, we can guarantee you a professionally edited, and mixed recording of your piece. However, the audio recording cannot be released commercially on platforms such as Bandcamp and Spotify, and, if you were to make the audio public on platforms such as YouTube and SoundCloud, make sure to not list the performer.

Can I get a video recording of my piece?

It is possible at the violinist’s discretion, but it is not guaranteed. If the piece is not technically too challenging, our violinists are open to doing a run-through video of the piece. However, please understand that producing a video recording is much more demanding than producing an audio recording. Due to time constraints, we cannot edit, mix, and master a video recording for our participants if we need to record the piece section by section. Furthermore, if you would like to make the video recording public, contact your violinist first, and they reserve the right to say no to such a request.

Are all of the workshop events live?

There will be a mix of live and asynchronous events.

What days/times are the live events?

Studio meetings Group events (such as studio classes and workshops) are held on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. ET. You will schedule your composition lessons directly with our Synapse composition faculty (Susie or Nathan). Additionally, we have two house keeping meetings scheduled. They are at Monday, July 8, from 7-8pm ET, and Friday, July 26, at 7-8pm ET.

What happens if I have to miss a live event?

You can check out the recording of these events whenever you have a moment. You can also post your comments/questions on our academy forum.

Can I talk to someone to find out more?

Absolutely. Just email