Clarice Assad



For more than a decade, I have been using music to empower youth to achieve greater means of self-expression through various programs and residencies.

Music education is not one size fits all. In past residencies with Albany Symphony and Boston Landmarks Orchestra, I have used various programs to create unique learning and creative experiences for participants, as well as facilitated making connections with other artists.

Residency Programs

Songwriter Idol

A program that encourages young people to write, record, and perform music and lyrics about current critical situations. This program encourages young people to write, record, and perform music and lyrics about current events, personal experiences, and social movements. Learn more about Songwriter Idol.


An award-winning class on spontaneous music creation, theater, and improvisation, open to musicians, actors, dancers, and non-musicians of all experience levels. More InfoMy award-winning improvisation program is perfect for learning how to create music spontaneously, honing improvisational skills, and applying those ideas. Learn more about VOXploration.

Musical Recipes

This new program teaches composition using musical “ingredients” in a fun and engaging way while learning valuable music theory. Learn more about Musical Recipes.

2022–2023 Residencies


At MIT, we’ll be exploring Amazônia Sem Lei (“Lawless Amazon”)—a well-known Brazilian term referring to how corporate institutions are not accountable for their ruthless greed and actions against nature and people who live off the land—unifying the power of informative journalism with music and poetry.


St. Paul Chamber Orchestra | SANDBOX

I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as part of their Sandbox Composer Residency program. I’ll be writing a new work exploring one of our time’s most fascinating and challenging subjects: Artificial Intelligence. 


Residency in the Spotlight: Austin Classical Guitar

Do What’s In Your Heart is a 32-minute documentary chronicling 2022 triple Grammy nominee Clarice Assad’s Artist in Residence project at Austin Classical Guitar, through which she co-created a musical work with more than 50 students from Austin, Texas. The short film includes the students playing their original work, as well as a performance by guitarist Jorge Caballero with the Miró String Quartet playing Assad’s reimagination of the same work for their ensemble.

Play Video

Songwriter Idol

Songwriter Idol is a program that encourages young people to write, record, and perform music and lyrics about current events, personal experiences, and social movements. It provides an outlet for creativity and self-expression while raising awareness about important issues. Participants share their perspectives on a wide range of topics, from social injustice to environmental protection. In addition to promoting creativity and critical thinking, it also provides valuable experience in songwriting and performing. Through Songwriter Idol, young people can develop their musical skills and knowledge while making a difference in the world.

Play Video


Clarice Assad & Percussionist/Composer Robert Dillon

Musical Recipes

Can Music Be Made of Ingredients?​

The answer is a resounding yes! Anything and everything can be used as a musical ingredient to create all kinds of musical ideas and expressions. After all,  music is food for the soul. While some may argue that there are only a few essential ingredients needed for music, such as rhythm and melody, the truth is that creativity is the key ingredient. This program explores music making through specific components (frameworks) that people can use to create and understand the theory behind it. 

Music Notation

We humans are constantly trying to explain life and make sense of the world around us by communicating our ideas. In music, we look for patterns and rely on the magical world of numbers and symbols to share these thoughts.

Give me an example of an ingredient?

An ingredient can be the tempo indication of a piece. For example, let us imagine that it is in 4/4 time signature. and Quarter note equals 90. This simple concept can be the beginning of a recipe.

Simple Concepts

We begin with simple concepts, which we will call 'ingredients.' We then discuss and illustrate them with short examples. As we add more ingredients and start to cook these musical ideas, the once short musical excerpts become a whole piece of music, which we perform at the end.

An evolving language

Like spoken and written language, music notation is constantly evolving and it takes time to master. We often are left with more questions than answers. So this is why we created this program.

Happening Now

The Mosaic Project

A unique collaborative music experience that brings together people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures to create music.

More About The Mosaic

Click To Find Out More




Clarice Assad with high school students from Girls, Inc.  creating  an original, collaborative composition. The students began by analyzing Sojourner Truth’s 

Ain’t I a Woman” speech from the 1851 Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio. They discussed how society’s perception of women has changed throughout history and how it influences girls’ lives today. Together, they worked to construct the foundation of their new piece with inspiring lyrics, compelling spoken word, and beautiful melodies, culminating on a performance in June, 2019 with the Albany Symphony’s Dog of Desire ensemble as part of the American Music Festival.

Clarice’s skills as composer, singer, pianist, and improviser have enabled her to collaborate with Boston musicians of many ages and backgrounds. Clarice, joined by percussionist Keita Ogawa led workshops at three separate youth programs. At Camp Harbor View, they have made glorious music with singer David Fuller and the young campers of his Music Club. At ZUMIX in East Boston, they have jammed with young students and with faculty members Sissy Castrogiovanni and Jenny Shulman, under the care and guidance of ZUMIX Co-Founder and Executive Director Madeleine Steczynski.