One day, if it's not already under way somewhere, somebody will write a thesis on the rich variety and incredible range of music written by composers in Scotland who have received a Creative Scotland Award. With £30,000, composers have experienced a unique opportunity to cut loose with their visions and inspirations, to undertake a composition of scale and ambition that, without the award, would have been unthinkable.

Some of the results have been weird and wonderful. Within the past few months we have had the unveiling of Gordon McPherson's set of three orchestral nocturnes, laced with accounts of spiritual manifestations, the voice of Chopin, the gadgetry to connect you with another world, and all reflecting in musical terms the results of McPherson's lifelong investigation into the paranormal.

In another, less ethereal world we recently heard the ear-bending results of William Sweeney's investigation into his roots, more Drumchapel than The Other Side, which unveiled a spectacular vehicle for the blues harmonica virtuosity of Fraser Speirs.

Next out of the Creative Scotland Award stable comes composer John Maxwell Geddes with a £30,000 project that is, in his own words, "not fashionable" but has a scale of ambition at least on a par with more apparently imaginative exercises. Geddes, in a one-year project, proposes nothing less than to take a large number of talented teenage music students, who have expressed or demonstrated an interest in composition, and train them to write short pieces which will be performed by professionals.

The project is being rigorously organised and will be highly systematic. There will be 18 students: six from the north-east, six from the urban west, and six from the south-west in Dumfries and Galloway. The range of schools includes a specialist music school, independent schools, and comprehensives.

Nine players from the Paragon Ensemble will work with the children. Geddes will supervise, mastermind and teach composition techniques to the youngsters.

The children will each compose a short trio for the instrumentalists of the Paragon Ensemble. These will be triggered and shaped by Geddes's title for his project: New Vistas in Composition.

"The vistas are literal," said Geddes. "The Dumfries and Galloway children will use landscapes as their motivating force; in the west of Scotland it will be seascapes; and in Aberdeen it will be starscapes." Geddes has already been knocked out by the quality of imagination demonstrated. "I'm just teaching them technique. I'm listening and they throw out amazing ideas which short-circuit logic. They have something that all poets and composers should have: imagery. I'm getting a real artistic buzz from them.

"This old head, which has quite a lot of experience, is dazzled by some of the ideas the young people are coming out with. I mutter and moan because they've got no technique, but that's what I'm here for."

The role of the Paragon players is to advise the young apprentices about the resources of their allocated instrumental trios: what's possible, what's extreme, what's not practical, what's unplayable, and the sound and colour palettes available.

Each group has a different instrumental trio: Aberdeen has harp, vibes and cor anglais; Castle Douglas has French horn, violin and cello; the west of Scotland has flute, clarinet and bassoon. The fledgling composers won't be asked to do anything ridiculous or impossible. "They'll have a wee palette of primary colours. What are the possibilities?"

For the grand finale, a Paragon Ensemble concert in each area, Geddes will also compose a new piece to stand alongside the childrens' compositions. He'll write a nonet to feature all nine Paragon players, and, en route, he might throw in a few trios of his own, too.

One of the most remarkable features of the project is that all costs are being met directly by Geddes, who is putting the bulk of his Creative Scotland money in on the shop floor. He's paying for all travel and associated costs to the professionals. He's hiring the Paragon musicians, paying for transport, the organisation of the concerts, hiring the halls and dealing with any administration. He says: "It's an honest project. I'll just have to watch that there's some money left to cover my costs."

For Geddes, there is a personal angle to the scope of the project. For many decades he has been one of Scotland's best-known composers, at home and abroad. Less-well known is the fact that he is one of the country's longest-serving music educators. He has taught in schools, colleges and universities. He has taught at the RSAMD. He has taught composers. He has also trained teachers and this writer). And this project is a culminating point for him.

"It's an opportunity, at the age of 65, to bring together two strands of my life, the educational one and my own composition. It brings together my lifetime's work as a teacher and composer."