Forrest Headshot

Featured Work

If I'm up to something, you'll find it here 😈

She told me, 'Shut up, or I'll give you somethin' to cry about

trumpet + electronics - 2024

This piece does not have a description

Forrest with giraffe

A little bit about me

Since starting my academic journey as a composer, music has become primarily focused around alternative notation, non-linear forms, and low-barrier-to-entry music participation 🎶. One of my primary goals as a composer is to help musically fascinated people realize that they are more musically capable than they likely give themselves credit for 😊. Through creating music that blurs the lines between ensemble and audience, and by immersing those who partake in my music in a unique sound focused scenario, my hope is to broaden our general perspective about what music is 🎧. While there's always going to be a place for elite performers we see at concerts and on social media, music making is for everyone 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦. You can learn more about me by un-muting the background video.

My Portfolio

Click on a work to learn more

Call Center

1+ voices - 2024

And Where Do I Seek My 🐬 of Wisdom?

clarinet, electronics + projection - 2023


keyboard 1+ hands - 2023

Tap tap tap... and I Turn to Answer

clarinet + electronics - 2023

Daily Ostinato

electronics - 2023


electronics - 2023

Common Tones

electronics - 2022

Earth Time

electronics - 2022


electronics - 2022


electronics - 2022


electronics - 2022

My Third Eye

piano - 2022


electronics - 2022

Columns, Eroding

marimbas - 2022


percussion - 2022


percussion - 2022

Drunk Walk

percussion - 2021


electronics - 2020


voices - 2021

A Giant Tramples Through a Spring Forest

clarinet, horn, viola, cello + electronics - 2021

Study of Shapes: Lines

8 channels - 2020


2+ pitched instruments - 2019

Three Country Dances

string quartet - 2018


ensemble - 2018

Hidden Voices

2 dancers, 2 celli + electronics - 2017


string quartet - 2017

Orphan or Dancer

soprano + piano - 2017


1+ quartets - 2016

If You Cannot Sing Like Angels

soprano + piano - 2016


ensemble - 2016
Forrest with whale

My Resume

Accessible Composer +
Music Teacher

I am composer and music teacher with more than 12 years of experience teaching guitar, music theory, composition, and music technology. All of my musical involvement is focused on helping musically fascinated people achieve their goals while retaining their musical individuality. People are inherently more musical than they give themselves credit for, and my goal is to help them see that through performance of my low-barrier-to-entry-music, through my accessible teaching practices, or through my content creation. I have a unique set of skills that I continue to hone through my music that translates seamlessly into other professional fields such as web development, social media management, and event planning. If you're looking for an creative, empathetic, and accessibility-focused individual, I'm your guy.

Download my CV above for more detailed information.

Professional Experience

Graduate Student Instructor + Researcher

University of California, Santa Cruz, 2023 - present

Web Administrator + Social Media Manager

Earplay, 2021 - present

Private Music Instructor

Forrest Balman's Music Studio, 2011 - present

Artistic Production Manager + Electronicist

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, 2021 - 2024

Private + Small Group Music Instructor

Myriad School of Music and Dance Academy, 2018 - 2019


Doctor of Musical Arts

University of California, Santa Cruz, 2023 - 2028

Master of Arts

San Francisco State University, 2019 - 2021

Bachelor of Music

San Francisco State University, 2016 - 2019

Selected Skills

Music instruction + curriculum development

Front end web development + design

Ableton Live + Max MSP

Notation + Engraving with Sibelius

Adobe Premiere Pro

Forrest Balman 2024

Accessible Composer
Music Teacher


Send me an email or
get ahold of me on socials