Make beats. Learn code. Promote equity.
Pharrell Williams, Georgia Tech, and Amazon invite you to engage your students in an inspiring new learning experience that explores the ways music, computer science, and entrepreneurship can be tools to advance racial equity.
The artist Pharrell stands on a white background wearing sunglasses and a hat.
Pharrell Williams, Georgia Tech, and Amazon invite you to engage your students in an inspiring new learning experience that explores the ways music, computer science, and entrepreneurship can be tools to advance racial equity.
About
Amazon, Georgia Tech, and Pharrell Williams’ philanthropic organization, YELLOW, invite you to engage your students in the Your Voice Is Power learning experience and coding competition.

Students explore how computer science, music, and entrepreneurship can advance equity. Using Georgia Tech's EarSketch platform, students code a 30 second – 3 minute musical remix using Pharrell's new song "Entrepreneur". Submitted remixes will be judged based on quality of music, code, and messaging by a panel of industry professionals.

Students can compete with their class or on their own from January 15 to June 4, 2021. Five students will win a $5,000 scholarship or grant to start a business, and five teachers will receive $1,000 for above and beyond instruction.
Competition Timeline
Round One
Opens: January 19, 2021
Closes: March 12, 2021
Finalists Announced: Late March
Round Two
Opens: March 15, 2021
Closes: June 4, 2021
Finalists Announced: Mid June
Grand Prize Announced: Late June
Curriculum
Bring the full experience to your classroom with the lessons below. Each module is written to take 60 minutes to complete and includes all instructional materials.
Optional: Intro to EarSketch
Students create an EarSketch account and gain a basic understanding of the coding platform.
Message in the Music
Students explore how to decode the message in the music and embed messages in their code with comments.
Layers of Injustice
Students examine the "layers" of both racism and music and code their own song layers with variables.
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Set Your Own Tempo
Students hear stories of amazing entrepreneurs who “set their own tempo” before coding their own unique 16 measure song.
Song Structure
Students discover the roles people can play in the fight for racial justice and code their own song structure with custom functions.
Call to Action
Students finish coding their remix of Entrepreneur and use their "voice" to embed a unique message to advance racial equity.
Teacher Training
Expand your instructor skillset by attending any of our free training sessions.
New to EarSketch Teacher Training
New to EarSketch? Bring the excitement of teaching coding through music to your class in this all-in-one training session. We'll cover the curriculum, the competition submission process, and the basics of EarSketch in a fun, two-hour session.
Curriculum Only
Already familiar with EarSketch? Join us for this one-hour power session that will leave you ready to teach the YVIP Curriculum. Learn to decode the message in music and how entrepreneurship, computer science, and music are pathways to equity.
Advanced EarSketch
If you've been teaching with EarSketch for more than a year and are ready to learn some advanced features, this workshop is for you! Join music technologist Chalece de la Coudray and take your EarSketch skills to the next level.
Racial Equity Discourse for Educators
Eager to deepen your ability to lead racial equity discussions in the classroom? Join this 90-minute session to develop the mindsets and skills necessary to facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion discussions with middle and high school students.
Awards List
All song submissions will be judged by Amazon and YELLOW professionals. Students can submit as many times as they’d like and in both rounds. Student prizes will be awarded each round with final student and teacher grand prizes announced in late June.
STUDENTS
5 Grand Prize Winners: $5000 scholarship or grant to start a business.
10 Finalists per round: $200 Amazon Gift Card + merchandise from YELLOW.
100 Semi-finalists per round: $25 Amazon Gift Card
TEACHERS
Five teachers will win a $1000 cash prize for above and beyond instruction with Your Voice Is Power. All teachers with ten or more student submissions will be eligible and contacted to apply.
Two of last year’s winners were first-time EarSketch Users! Winners will be selected across all ranges of ability, age, and experience.
Featured Videos
Layer of Songs
Music Technologist Chalece DeLaCoudray and Audio Engineer Mike Larson code sound layers in EarSketch. Mike Larson has worked with Pharrell has his Recording Engineer for over 10 years. Chalece was the first African American to receive a Masters in Music Technology from Georgia Tech.
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Layer of Songs
Music Technologist Chalece DeLaCoudray and Audio Engineer Mike Larson code sound layers in EarSketch. Mike Larson has worked with Pharrell has his Recording Engineer for over 10 years. Chalece was the first African American to receive a Masters in Music Technology from Georgia Tech.
Decode the Message in the Music
Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, Assistant Professor of Hip Hop Studies and Digital Media at Georgia Tech, schools us on messaging in music and how to decode it with her groundbreaking method, The O.U.T.K.A.S.T Imagination.
Song Structure
Music Technologist Chalece DeLaCoudray and Audio Engineer Mike Larson code song structure in EarSketch using functions.
Entrepreneurship
Beatrice Dixon, Co-Founder and CEO of The Honey Pot Company share her Top 6 Tips for entrepreneurs and the importance of entrepreneurship and equity.
FAQ
  • How and when will winners be chosen and notified? What are the prizes?
    For students: In late March, Georgia Tech will notify the top 10 student finalists and 100 runner ups from Round one. In June, Georgia Tech will notify the top 10 finalists and 100 runner ups from Round Two. All twenty finalists win a $200 Amazon Gift Card; all 200 runner ups win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Finalists will be entered into the Grand Prize Round and five students will be selected in late June as final winners. These students will win a $5,000 scholarship or grant to start their own business and special merchandise box from YELLOW.

    For teachers: In early May, Georgia Tech will reach out to any teacher with 10 or more student submissions. Teachers can submit an application for the Grand Prize. In late June, five teachers will be selected and awarded the grand prize for their work broadening access to computer science education. Winning teacher receive a $1,000 cash prize.
  • If I'm a teacher, how does this fit into my classroom/curriculum?
    We encourage ALL teachers (computer science, music, business, history, math, science, reading, etc.) to bring this unique learning experience to your class. Building an equitable future for us all requires teaching students about racial injustice and equipping them with the mindset, knowledge, and skills they need to combat it. Similarly, access to the skills of the future is not guaranteed in today's educational system. By teaching students the basics of computer science, entrepreneurship, and music production, you will spark student interest in new career possibilities.

    The provided curriculum is broken into 5-6 modules. Each module is written to take one class period (60 minutes) of instruction; however, teachers may move through the modules at their own pace. Each module comes with a scripted lesson plan, slide decks, digital student materials, exemplar code examples, and engaging videos! Review the materials to allot the time needed for your class to complete. All materials are aligned to the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards.
  • Can my students participate in both rounds?
    Yes! Students can submit as many times as they'd like and in any (or both) rounds. We will select 100 winners per round, and the top 10 finalists per round will move forward to be judged for grand prize. Students can enter into either round and with as many unique songs as they'd like.
  • Can students work in teams or must they submit individually?
    Students can submit songs in partner pairs or individually. During song submission, students will be asked to provide the name and email of their partner (if they have one).
  • If I'm a student, should I complete on my own or with my class?
    Up to you! You can certainly complete the challenge on your own now (head to EarSketch now to get started)! You can also share the opportunity with your classroom teacher to see if your entire class can participate.
  • Do I have to use the curriculum to participate?
    While strongly recommended, using the curriculum is entirely optional. The curriculum is provided to help teachers guide meaningful discussion and instruct students how to use EarSketch. Teachers may implement the curriculum however they see best for their classroom. Student winners will be judged based on their final song. Teacher winners will be selected based how they went "above and beyond" to bring this learning experience to their classroom.
  • What languages are available and what countries can participate?
    The competition and curriculum are currently available in English and Canadian French only. While anyone can utilize the curricular resources and EarSketch platform, students and teachers must live in the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Refer to rules and regulations for US and Canada for more details.

    Both US and Canadian students should submit their song utilizing the final submission link inside the EarSketch platform.
  • What materials (hardware/software) are required?
    Students will need access to a web browser and internet to participate. EarSketch is a web based coding platform (no downloads necessary). EarSketch runs on chromebooks and any computer with a standard web browser.

    All curriculum materials can be used digitally or can be printed out. No other equipment is required.
  • My class is fully virtual due to COVID-19. How will this impact my ability to deliver the curriculum?
    The curriculum was designed to be delivered virtually. In December 2020, twenty four teachers piloted the full experience virtually with great success. While virtual instruction can make discussion and individual support tricky, the provided materials make it possible to deliver a rich and exciting learning experience to your students even from afar.
  • Who can I contact for questions about the competition or for help with EarSketch?
    Please email escomp@gatech.edu for any questions regarding this competition or for help with EarSketch.
  • How do students submit their final songs?
    You can submit your song directly from the EarSketch website through clicking "Submit to Competition" in the script menu. You can also go to the competition submission site and paste your script/song URL to submit your song. Click this link to read more detailed instructions.
  • I can't attend any of the trainings but I need support. What other training options exist?
    All trainings will be recorded and shared for those that cannot attend live training. Please see the EarSketch Teacher Training site for more information.
  • Who created the Your Voice Is Power Curriculum and Competition?
    Your Voice Is Power Curriculum and Competition was designed by educational experts in computer science and social justice instruction.

    CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCTION:
    Sabrina Grossman, Program Director, CEISMC, Georgia Tech
    Chalece DeLaCoudray, Innovator in Residence, CEISMC, Georgia Tech, chaleced.com
    Joycelyn Wilson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Hip Hop Studies and DM, HipHop2020 Innovation Archive, Georgia Tech
    Roxanne Moore, PhD, Senior Research Engineer, Georgia Tech
    Stephanie Walters, YELLOW Foundation
    Justin Funiliar, YELLOW Foundation
    Mike Galliard, YELLOW Foundation
    Krystal Hardy Allen, CEO, K. Allen Consulting
    Jaritza Alecon, Associate Consultant, K. Allen Consulting

    VIDEOGRAPHY:
    Tekquiree Spencer, Executive Producer, Spencers4Hire
    Jermaine R. Spencer, Executive Producer, Spencers4Hire
    Beatrice Dixon, Featured Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of the Honey Pot Company
    Mike Larson, Sound Engineer and Music Producer

    CREATIVE:
    Kass Escalera, Design Education Diversity, Amazon
    Ashley Glover, UX Designer, Amazon Fire TV
    Jimin Kim, UX Visual Designer, Amazon
    Matt Giuliari, UX Designer, Amazon Devices Design & Services Group ,
    Rina King, UX Visual Designer, Amazon Devices Design & Services Group

    TECHNICAL:
    Jason Freeman, Chair, School of Music, Georgia Tech
    Luke Heerman, Application Developer Lead, School of Music, Georgia Tech
    Love Park, Education Outreach Coordinator, CEISMC, Georgia Tech
  • What is EarSketch?
    EarSketch is a free web-based platform to help students of all ages learn core topics in computer science, music, and music technology in a fun and engaging learning environment. EarSketch helps students learn to code in Python or JavaScript through manipulating loops, composing beats, remixing sounds, and applying effects to a multi-track digital audio workstation.
  • What is YELLOW?
    Founded by recording artist, producer, songwriter, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams, YELLOW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to EVEN THE ODDS for all youth through education. YELLOW has a focus on 5 key priorities: Abolish Remedial, Revolutionize Teaching, Inspire Entrepreneurship, Nourish Youth, and Enlist Communities. Through these priorities, YELLOW will transform education and teach for the future, creating a lens of possibility.
  • What is Amazon Future Engineer?
    Amazon Future Engineer is Amazon’s signature computer science program, designed to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue computer science. The program is part of Amazon’s $50 million investment in computer science and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.