Darien resident Zach Heyde, an award-winning pianist, composer and educator, will teach music composition as part of the summer program at the Darien Arts Center in July.

The two-week course aims to fill a gap in young students' music education that is too often overlooked: the ability to write, record and perform one's own music.

Heyde, a student at the Hartt School of Music, has written music for several films, and teaches piano to students of all ages. One of Heyde's early piano works, "Bound for Flight," was awarded the national Laura K. Wilson award, and was performed by Heyde at Grammy Career Day in 2011 alongside performers like Christina Perri and Shontelle. Several of Heyde's piano duets are published under Alfred Music Publishing.

From a young age, Heyde composed music each year for the Darien's Young Composers Concert and he is looking forward to having the opportunity to give back to young musicians and offer them the chance to explore their creativity, passion and talents together.

In music composition, students will learn a variety of compositional techniques such as basic music theory, structuring a song, and writing stronger melodies. Additionally, students will learn about basic notation and recording software. Prerequisites include some level of proficiency with an instrument and reading notated music. Classes will meet Monday through Friday from July 7 to 18 in the DAC Visual Arts Studio. Level I classes for grades 4 to 7 will meet from 5 to 6 p.m. and Level II for grades 8 to 12 will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Registration is available online at darienarts.org. For information, call 203-655-8683.