Sidney started composing when he was 6. He learned species counterpoint when he was 10, and entered Juilliard when he was 15, studying composition with Hall Overton. He also studied with Roger Sessions and Otto Luening at Juilliard, with Darius Milhaud at Aspen, and with Charles Dodge at Columbia University. Over the past 10 years, his hearing has diminished rather severely. But with some creative programming of his hearing aids, he has continued composing, and today is at the top of his creative powers.