Teachers and conductors can encourage future composers by purchasing and performing music by living composers regularly. Further, when you support music literacy and put purchased music in the hands of your performers, you help create a climate where composers can make a living. For composing to be sustainable as a career path, the math must work – composers need to earn a living, or we will see fewer people choosing that career.  

Commissioning and purchasing a work by a living composer has additional benefits, as it also supports other music-related jobs as well, including engravers, editors, printers, warehouse workers, studio musicians, recording technicians, rights administrators, publishers, and music retailers. Activities that diminish an attractive financial environment for choosing composition as a career include the extensive performance of public domain music, teaching by rote, illegal file sharing, and photocopying of music.  The resources below provide more information on composer and publishing issues:

American Composers Forum

Commissioning by Individuals: https://composersforum.org/resources/commissioning-by-individuals/

Music Publishers Association of the United States:

I Made It. I Own It. Please Don’t Steal It.  Encouraging and Respecting Creative Work (Elementary Lesson Plan):  http://imadeit.org/

Copyright and You: A Guide for College Music Students

Advanced High School and Collegiate 50-minute Copyright Presentation


PowerPoint slides available through: https://www.mpa.org/resources-for-educators/