YCIW is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated towards promoting music composition in the school classroom.  Through the combination of a progressive curriculum, technological resources, online composer mentoring and live performance our goal is to help every kind of learner regardless of experience engage in music composition as a basic part of her education. The YCIW curriculum program, composer mentoring and live performance is a free resource and service for NYC Public Schools.  We believe that the larger and more inclusive our community of teachers and learners, the greater the experience will be for all participants.

Pedagogical 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.

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.


YCIW began as a progressive curriculum project at the Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) in New York City in 2010. Through its strong commitment to progressive values LREI is a leading institution for developing cutting edge pedagogy.  YCIW was made possible because of the supportive, experimental and visionary faculty and staff at LREI.

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