News: Georgia Tech’s EarSketch Partners with Amazon, Ciara, to Teach Students Coding Through Music

Students using Earsketch

Posted November 21, 2019

By Michael Pearson

Amazon is teaming up with EarSketch, co-led by Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts Professor Brian Magerko, and singer/songwriter Ciara for the latest phase of the Amazon Future Engineer program.

The company announced Nov. 20 that students across the country will be able to compete for prizes by using the EarSketch platform to remix a song from Ciara’s latest album, Beauty Marks.

EarSketch is an innovative educational platform created at the Georgia Institute of Technology by Magerko and Jason Freeman, the chair of the School of Music. It is designed to teach students to code in Python or JavaScript through music and creative discovery.

As part of the project, students nationwide will use computer science and coding techniques such as iteration, recursion, and user-defined functions to create a remix with samples from “SET,” one of Ciara’s new songs, as well as sounds from the EarSketch library.

“We are excited to support the innovative and unique work Georgia Tech and EarSketch are pioneering to give students across the country more access to computer science, coding, and music,” Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon, said in a statement. “This competition will give thousands of students from underserved and underrepresented communities the opportunity to try something new and fun. It will build their confidence and, most importantly, encourage them to think creatively.”

Since launching in 2011, the free EarSketch platform has been used by more than 375,000 students in all 50 U.S. states and in more than 100 countries.

The National Science Foundation awarded a $3 million grant to the EarSketch team in 2014 and a further $2.1 million in 2018 to add an artificial intelligence-driven “co-creative” to the platform. The project also has receive funding from the Scott Hudgens Family Foundation, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and the Google Inc. Fund of Tides Foundation. It was highlighted by the White House in 2016 among its Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) national initiatives.

Contact For More Information

Michael Pearson
michael.pearson@iac.gatech.edu
404.894.2290