Limited consideration has been given to the challenges young composers and performers face when learning to communicate through notation in contemporary classical music, and the specific opportunities presented for peer learning. This article describes a project at a Swiss music conservatory in which two student composers wrote pieces for solo piano which were performed by three student pianists. Students were deprived of collaborative opportunities, with communication limited to score markings and legends. Results from individual interviews are discussed in relation to categories of approaches drawn from existing studies on learning new piano works, on notation and on collaboration, plus new categories arising from this research. The challenges and potential opportunities arising from this approach are examined here, highlighting specific areas to be targeted for future peer learning.