I am Chair of Composition at the University of Denver and was formerly Assistant Professor of Practice in Composition at the University of Southern California.

I also direct the Composition Summer Intensive at Idyllwild Arts Summer Program (Idyllwild, CA) and Composition Workshop at the Sunset ChamberFest (Los Angeles, CA), and teach Composition at the Lamont Summer Academy (Denver, CO).

I offer PRIVATE LESSONS in composition and orchestration both in person and via Zoom/Skype/FaceTime to students from around the country and the world. My students range in age from pre-college-aged to adult music professionals working in classical, film, pop, Broadway, and rock music. My private students have been accepted to many top universities and conservatories for undergraduate and graduate study (Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Stanford, Oberlin, USC, NYU, Peabody, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, Indiana University, Brandeis, UT Austin, University of Denver, CU Boulder, CalArts, the New England Conservatory, Mannes, Manhattan School of Music, Boston Conservatory, UCLA, UC Irvine, and Cal State Long Beach.

To inquire about lessons, please contact me at sean@seanfriar.com.

Recent and current courses include:


Spectral Music
Genre in Contemporary Music
Large-Scale Form
Contemporary Approaches to the Analysis of Tonal Music
20th/21st-Century Counterpoint
Post-tonal Analysis
Tonal Analysis
Advanced Orchestration
Directed Research in Composition, Analysis, Orchestration, and Electronic Music
Private composition lessons to M.M. and D.M.A. students


Music Theory 2-year sequence
Advanced Analysis
General Education: Genre in Contemporary Music
Private lessons