I'm very new to this forum, so I apologize in advance if I've posted in the wrong spot.
I'm currently in my senior high-school year. Composing is something I love doing, enough that my band teacher suggested I look for composition classes outside of school, possibly from the local university. If you're lucky, the composing faculty of a university or college will be available for private lessons and you can hire them as such.
However, is it really worth the cost and the hassle?
On one end, I feel that having goals set for me by another person other than myself will motivate me to compose more often, and compose better, too; having a stronger grasp of compositional theory never hurts, either, and the teacher could help me build the much-needed portfolio for when I move on to university. (One of the most prolific (though not necessarily the absolute best) game-score composers out there, Jeremy Soule, took private lessons in composition all the way from middle school, and I've always been impressed at how quickly he can churn out some quite enjoyable orchestral pieces--that fact was what got me interested in taking private lessons in the first place.)
However, I've also heard that the best thing for a composer of my limited age and experience to do is to simply keep composing on my own, and develop a unique style that isn't influenced by a teacher. Some people have also said that "taking a class" is an uncomfortable step and ruins the creative process for them--that's a somewhat unsettling idea. There's been plenty of stories pertaining composers who never took any formal classes, and yet still managed to make beautiful music and a successful living off their art.
Since it's going to be at least a year before I qualify to join a university composition class (assuming I even make it in), is it worth it for me to look and pay for a private compositional tutor to fill the gap? Or is it in my best interest to teach myself?
Thank you for reading!