Music Education Hackathon

You’re invited to join the best hackers in New York for a groundbreaking experiment: can technology transform music education in NYC schools?

You’ll have just 24 hours to ideate, collaborate and innovate, before presenting your work to a panel of esteemed judges for a grand prize of $10,000 cash.

Amazon has graciously donated a $100 AWS credit for every hacker, plus $6,000 in prizes.

Want to get involved? RSVP now!

To start collaborating, join our Hacker League. Get more info about the tools available at our API Resources page.

We have a collaborative Soundrop room for tunes.

Official hash tag for the event: #MusicEdHack.

Prizes only available for 18+.



      • Cece Cheng
      • Judge
      • CeCe runs Dorm Room Fund, a new student-run venture backed by First Round Capital that invests in student entrepreneurs. CeCe heads development and expansion efforts for Dorm Room Fund and leads the day-to-day activity of the student Investment Teams as they engage, support, and invest in their talented peers. 

      • Jason Saltzman
      • Mentor & Judge
      • Jason Saltzman a serial entrepreneur with a passion for marketing, technology, social innovation and helping others. Jason works with hundreds of startups assisting in advanced product development/design to business development. His latest startup, AlleyNYC, is the most badass co-working environment in NYC and it allows me to connect with some of the brightest entrepreneurs in the world.

      • Seema Shah
      • Judge
      • Seema Shah serves as Strategic Partnerships Manager at NYC Digital, managing public-private partnerships with startups and technology companies based here in New York City. Seema manages the recently-launched We Are Made in NY initiative, which supports a growing tech sector across the 5 boroughs. Seema earned her Master's in Urban Policy and Management from The New School University and her Bacherlor's from Barnard College, Columbia University. Follow Seema on Twitter at @SeemaShahNYC.

      • Bill Campbell
      • Judge
      • As Senior Vice President, Global Digital Business for Universal Music Group, Mr. Campbell oversees strategic partnerships, content licensing, and product and channel development for the distribution of UMG content, including a la carte downloads, subscription services, mobile personalization products, and streaming audio and video services across a variety of content delivery platforms.

      • Ryan Troy
      • Mentor & Judge
      • Ryan Troy has made a career of evangelizing disruptive streaming media technologies. Currently he serves as the Senior Director of Business Development at Boxee, where his focus lies in establishing OEM, SOC, Retail, MSO and Telco partnerships to increase worldwide distribution of Boxee's Cloud DVR software. Prior to Boxee, Troy worked on Netflix’s Partner Product team, managing their API-based device partnerships. He has also worked on music / video products at iMeem, Piczo, hi5, Filter Creative Services and Universal Music Group. In a past life, he managed bands and licensed music for video games, film, and TV. He thinks he may be the only person to ever have taken the bus from a LA NOC to a Grammy’s Party. There is a cover him rapping “Posse on Broadway” floating around iTunes. It’s horrible.

      • Barbara Murray
      • Judge
      • Barbara Murray is Director of Music for the New York City Department of Education. A 
        graduate of New York City public schools, Roberts Wesleyan College and the City College of 
        New York, she has enjoyed a long career as a music educator in school systems within the tristate area, and also in Rome, Italy. 
      • Eric Dalio
      • Judge
      • Eric Dalio has been a music educator in NYC for 12 years at both the middle and high school levels. Eric holds a Masters in Education, an MA in flute performance and a BM in saxophone performance.  He received the ACE award from the NYC Teaching Fellows and has been awarded two Fund for Teachers grants for the study of music in Senegal and Mali.

      • Barb Freeman
      • Mentor
      • Named the 2012 TI:ME Music Technology Teacher of the Year, Barbara Freedman has been teaching Electronic Music & Audio Engineering at Greenwich High School in Connecticut since 2001. She is the author of the book Teaching Music Through Composition: A Curriculum Using Technology published by Oxford University Press. She is also a consultant, adjunct professor, trainer and frequent presenter/clinician at local, state and national in-service conferences and events. Barbara’s motto, “Teach music. The Technology will follow” has become the rallying cry for music technology teachers around the world.

      • Darla Hanley
      • Mentor
      • Dr. Darla Hanley is Dean of the Professional Education Division at Berklee – which includes Music Business/Management, Music Education, Music Therapy, Professional Music, and Liberal Arts. Darla was a final educational adjudicator/reviewer for Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media, an organization that recommends educational resources for parents, teachers, and librarians.  She was also the founder of the Shenandoah Conservatory High School Choir Invitational (an annual festival for hundreds of singers and their directors), served as adjudicator for several show choir festivals in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the USA, and has conducted several District choirs (elementary, middle, and high school levels). 

      • Robert Lamont
      • Mentor
      • Robert Lamont is a founding faculty member of Gramercy Arts High School (GAHS) in New York City, where he created and teaches the Musical Theatre program, as well as pop choir and piano electives.  He is also a proud member of several NYC Department of Education committees on music education, is a mentor-facilitator for citywide professional development workshops and is thrilled to be participating in the Spotify Hackathon.

      • Scott Thompson
      • Mentor
      • Scott Thompson is a software engineer at Gilt Groupe, where he works on personalization initiatives. He's a full-stack engineer but particularly enjoys focusing on large-scale data mining, predictions and recommendations. Before joining Gilt in May 2012, Scott was a developer at adMarketplace, where he built ad pricing systems, and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, where he wrote software to support financial risk models. A grad of the University of Waterloo, Scott is a native Canadian. Outside of work, he enjoys hacking on the latest web technologies and home-brewing.

      • Chiho Okuizumi Feindler
      • Mentor
      • Native of Japan, Chiho Okuizumi Feindler works as Grantee and Compliance Manager of VH1 Save The Music Foundation, working with, among many others, the Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Minneapolis, and New York City to advocate for and restore music education programs.  She came to the United States to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Therapy specializing in music therapy for children with special needs. 

      • Heather Gilchrist
      • Mentor
      • Heather Gilchrist is the Founding Partner & Program Director at Socratic Labs, and edtech accelerator based in NYC who just announced their first cohort.  Previously, she was the Managing Director of RAK Tech Fund and an Instructor and Writer for Grockit.


6:00PM Doors open for Registration & Refreshments
7:00PM Introduction from Spotify and the NYC Department of Education // API Demos // Open Mic to Find Teams // Optional API workshops
8:00PM Dinner


8:00AM Breakfast
10:00AM - 2:00PM Drop In Hours with Mentors
12:30PM Lunch
3:30PM Hacking ends // All projects submitted
4:00PM Presentation of Hacks
6:00PM Winners announced & Prizes Awarded
6:00PM Cocktails & Spotify Session with the band St. Lucia
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