About Sound Formation

A Revolutionary Music Education Movement


Curtis Madigan, Sound Formation Founder & CEO

Curtis Madigan created The Sound Formation Method™ after growing up performing with numerous groups and luminaries and studying with University of Iowa guitar faculty Steve Grismore, then attending Berklee College of Music on a guitar performance scholarship and realizing that there was still a huge gap in his music education. In speaking with his peers that studied at Berklee, New England Conservatory, USC, Julliard, Musicians Institute, and other top schools, Madigan knew that many high-level musicians felt the same. After graduating Madigan studied Liangong and other internal martial arts before returning to music to develop his theory of rhythm and groundbreaking method.


Curtis Madigan’s innovative theory of rhythm heralds the arrival of an entirely new paradigm for music education. In my twenty years of evaluating arts programs across America, the Sound Formation Method is the most exciting and promising music step-by-step learning system I have seen. It capitalizes on the natural integration of music and mathematics and catapults student learning in both subject areas. Fortunate are the students who have access to this program! This is the future of music education.  – Lynn Waldorf, PhD, Arts & Education Consultant

What is the Sound Formation Method?

StringsCalloutBoxPic#1 A comprehensive theory of rhythm unlike anything ever seen before that works for all genres, all instruments, and all levels from beginner to the highest level of professional musicians whether performers, arrangers, producers, conductors, or musical directors. It is being adopted by top institutions and musicians worldwide. The unique theory Madigan has pioneered is as vast and comprehensive as learning traditional music theory. The Rhythm Compass™ is part of learning this “language” of rhythm.

#2 Extremely specific and detailed tools for learning the physicality of feel in music. Traditionally believed to be unteachable as an either “you have it or you don’t.” This includes rhythmic perception abilities like how to discern the characteristics of different parts of the rhythmic cycle, entrainment techniques for superior ensemble cohesion, and movement mechanics for greatly enhancing technical ability. Madigan has trained extensively in Liangong and understands how to prevent and alleviate many types of movement injuries.

#3 Prevent and eliminate music performance injuries. According to one study, out of 377 professional musicians surveyed 84% of them had experienced pain or injuries that had interfered with playing their instrument. This can be prevented and eliminated through the understanding of proper biomechanics, alignment, and simple corrective exercises. Developing proper and superior movement on your instrument should occur during your studies and this is exactly what happens in The Sound Formation Method™. The SFM also teaches a number of ways to practice off the instrument.

#4 The extensive mathematics and science within music. The math-music connection is often brought up but curiously leaves out actual specifics. This is because the math occurs primarily in rhythm. Learning the incredible amount of math involved in music actually makes it far easier to learn as it’s a natural part of understanding the unique language of rhythm.

How to Study The Sound Formation Method™

If you’re an individual looking to start or continue your journey learning music you can find a Sound Formation Certified Teacher. We teach online lessons and in-person lessons. If you’re a private lesson music teacher and want to study and teach the system visit our Teacher Certifications page. For teachers in K-16 that would like to become certified visit this page. We offer many virtual enrichment classes and if you’re in the Denver area we offer numerous after-school classes and summer programs. If you’re looking to greatly enhance your movement on and off the instrument visit here. Masterclasses with Curtis Madigan for colleges and universities can be booked by visiting the masterclasses page.


“Curtis Madigan’s courses are truly special. Students all over the world practice with metronomes all the time, but it seems there’s only a handful of players who really achieve great rhythm. It’s as if it’s in their bones and can’t be taught. Curtis’s method is the first that I’ve seen that can really teach that X-factor of great, deeply rooted rhythm. I feel like every musician should check this out.” – Drew Taubenfeld, Musical Director for Selena Gomez, Meghan Trainor, Demi Lovato, and Leon Bridges

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