Sunday, February 28, 2021

Pharrell Williams Teams with Georgia Tech, Amazon to Teach Students Music Coding


*Pharrell Williams is on a mission to teach coding to today’s youth. 

The award-winning artist has teamed up with Amazon and Georgia Tech to promote and teach music coding through a new initiative called “Your Voice is Power.” 

Pharrell’s education equity nonprofit, YELLOW, announced on Tuesday that the initiative will teach middle and high school students “coding while sparking conversations between the students and teachers about racial injustice.”

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Here’s more from the press release:

The “Your Voice is Power” collaboration includes five teaching modules with lesson plans that teach coding while kick-starting meaningful conversations among students and their teachers about the importance of racial justice. This collaboration concludes with a competition for students to share their own voices through remixing Pharrell’s new song “Entrepreneur” using computer code on Georgia Tech’s learn-to-code-through-music platform, EarSketch. 

“Your Voice Is Power” is hoping to attract upwards of 100,000 students as a way to add unique, meaningful, and entrepreneurial-minded content to their current virtual learning experiences.

“This collaboration between YELLOW, Amazon, and Georgia Tech is a celebration of Black creators and change-makers,” Pharrell explained. “YELLOW at its core believes that education is a pathway to success. Teaching kids future-ready skills like coding, especially those kids for whom opportunities like this have not been equally distributed, is how we prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

All middle and high school students around the United States and Canada can participate in “Your Voice is Power.” The first round of the competition will run from January 19 through March 12. The second round of the competition will run from March 15 through June 4. Student submissions will be judged by a panel of Amazon engineers, Amazon Music team members, and music industry professionals. Winners will be chosen based on the quality of music, complexity and organization of their code, and their inclusion of thoughtful messaging and calls to action about the importance of racial justice.

“We’re honored to join Amazon Future Engineer, and together build further awareness and enlist more artists to join this program that will break down barriers for students from underrepresented communities,” said Ryan Redington, VP of Music Industry at Amazon Music. “The more we support the next generation of artists and creators, the better the future of music will be. We are proud to work alongside Pharrell, a respected, visionary voice in promoting racial justice and helping students achieve long-term success.”

Visit AmazonFutureEngineer.com to see the full list of rules.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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