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Our Philosophy

We believe that giving students the tools and support to make creative decisions using music is the best way for them to not only learn how music works but to also build skills and knowledge that can last a lifetime.

Our Mission

YCIW has grown out of the progressive environment at Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin HS. Continual experimentation with student centered learning has given rise to a new approach in music education. We strive to make this experience available to NYC public and independent schools.

YCIW is a free resource for any NYC public school. We believe that the larger and more inclusive our community of teachers and learners, the greater the experience will be for all participants.

Technology allows the young composer to manipulate sound and to create something with an immediacy that was previously reserved only for art class. Using the Noteflight webapp with our progressive curriculum allows our learners to make creative choices first. Our teachers and mentors help put the sounds into context at the appropriate time.

In a visual arts class concepts are explored through the formation of a unique art work. Technology now gives any student, regardless of musical background, the same kind of powerful experience. When a student has the authentic experience of being a composer, the skills and concepts acquired can last a lifetime.

Simply put, technology makes it ok for the student to be wrong. Being wrong is a key component in the experimentation and exploration required in music making. Previously, arranging sounds in a creative way was an involved process reserved only for those who were lucky enough to find the passion to do so. With programs like Noteflight every learner can easily mess around with sounds and instantly get the feedback that fuels their knowledge and passion.

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The Details

  • How do participants get Noteflight accounts?

    Participants receive their own free Noteflight account that is part of the YCIW Noteflight community.

  • Does YCIW come with a curriculum?

    Participants have access to online, interactive web lessons covering a wide range of composition topics. They are ideal for helping brand new composers begin their first piece and progressive to more advanced topics. Each lesson comes with three Noteflight practice assignments. Teachers may utilize these assignments or implement their own curriculum.

  • How do the composer mentors give feedback?

    Composer mentors make helpful comments directly on each student’s score throughout the process. Classroom teachers and peers are able to provide comments also.

  • When will Metropolis Ensemble play student pieces?

    Members of Metropolis Ensemble visit with participants early on in the process and then return to the school for a live performance of each student’s piece.

  • How much does YCIW cost?

    Cost is based on the number of students participating from each school. We apply all fees entirely towards musicians and composer mentors. Contact program director Matt McLean for further details.

  • How much does YCIW cost for NYC public schools?

    YCIW is a free resource for NYC Public Schools.

  • How long does each Workshop last?

    Each workshop session runs approximately 8 to 10 weeks.

  • What if I have an iBook?

    The free compendium iBook Music Works has versions of the web lessons for the iPad. There is also a compendium iTunes YCIW course that is perfect for the iPad. Visit iTunes U YCIW course.  The Noteflight web app functions on mobile iOS and is integrated in to both Music Works and the iTunes U Course.