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Your Voice Your Power - Coding through Music

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

Skateboarding, art and music have always been intertwined. Skaters often use their board graphics, music choices for their video or even their clothing as a way to share what they are passionate about. Join us as we team up with Amazon Engineers to learn coding through music. Explore how artists use music to tell their stories and will examine how music can inspire change.

Below are some benefits of music from a recent article at Kiwi Co:

Music encourages self-expression

As you engage with music, you’re unlocking a new form of communication — and a new method for self-expression. Music is an open-ended language that gives you a way to share your emotions when words fail. Different styles and tempos of music might even help you to manage big emotions and calm your body down.

Music supports self-identity

Research shows that making up your own songs is a great way to promote creativity and independent thinking. Music lets you express your unique wants and interests through melody.

Music builds math skills

Music can be used to make tangible connections to different math fundamentals. You can count — or dance! — to the beat of your favorite song or explore fractions and proportions through more complex rhythms. The best part? Kicking off math learning through music lets you experience a seemingly non-creative subject through a creative outlet.

Music inspires creative confidence

There’s a lot to be said for exploring music on your own — through independent, self-directed freedom. From tinkering with instruments, creating beats, or writing lyrics, music gives you a chance to confront new challenges and investigate the unknown on your terms. Sure, it can get kind of noisy sometimes, but just think of it as the sweet sound of confidence!

What You will Learn:

Make Beats

  • Artists use lyrics to express a purpose to their song.

  • Music has a message; however, it is not as straightforward as you may think.

  • Often, it needs to be decoded.

  • Music has played a pivotal role throughout history in creating change.

Learn Code

  • Coding and composing music have many similarities. They are mathematical,

  • structured processes that allow for creativity.

  • Using code/EarSketch is one method that students can create a message to share

  • their voice through music. EarSketch allows students to customize their message.

Express Your Passions

  • Music plays a pivotal role throughout history in sharing things our culture is passionate about.

  • Performing artists use both lyrics and instrumentals to reflect their values and beliefs

  • Music can give us a voice!

Get Started

Introduction - The Rules

Welcome to Your Voice is Power 2022! Your Voice is Power is both a learning experience and a competition. You will learn how entrepreneurship, music, and computer science are transformational pathways toward equity....all while competing for $5,000 in prizes. Wait... that’s not are not just learning about music and coding, but will have the opportunity to remix the actual song stems from three top recording artists. Yes, these artists want to hear your voice...and have you remix their music to promote a positive message. Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, and Khalid” That is right, some of today’s top recording artists want to you to remix their music. However, you won’t be doing this in a music studio, you will be remixing their songs using EarSketch a code to compose program. Let’s hear more about the challenge. Hope you are as excited as I am to start coding and remixing your songs. Let’s look a little deeper at the requirements. You will be coding a song that is between 30 seconds and three minutes, will include 5 unique musical tracks, and a sound clip from Pharrell. The song should be a remix of one the three featured songs (and for middle and high school students, you will need to show song structure through the use of custom functions). What is a remix?’ The technical definition of a remix is “a piece of media that has been altered from its original state by adding, removing, and/or changing pieces of the item.” This may be a little confusing to your students, but it is simply “changing” something about the song so it sounds different from the original, but is still has some recognizable elements of the original . Examples of changes to remix could be changing tempo, pitch, beats, lyrics, sequence, integrating audio from different songs and/or adding your own sounds. Listen to the 2021 Winners (after listening to Entrepreneur) and see if they can identify how the song was remixed. Here is an example of a remix of four Elton John Songs by Dua Lipa:

Now that you know what you need to do to enter...let’s look at what you will be competing for.. - 5 Grand prize Winners - 2 Division Winners ($500 Gift cards for each round - Middle School/Elementary School) - 10 finalists each round ($200 Amazon Gift Card) - 100 Semi-finalists each round ($25 Amazon Gift Card) You can complete this song on your own or with a partner. Winners will be announced in summer 2022. Are you ready to be the next big music producer? Could you be the next grand prize winner? Watch the music videos of all three featured songs that you will be remixing:

  • Entrepreneur - Pharrell Williams (music video)

  • New Normal - Khalid (music video)

  • Underdog - Alicia Keys (music video)

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

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