We teach life skills (collaboration, social-emotional awareness, feedback, troubleshooting, technology, time management) through the collaborative process of making original music.
We’re an international, New York-based, non-profit organization with a unique approach to music education. Since 2008 we’ve worked with over 20 host institutions and teachers to share our gift with more than 1,500 children around the world.
We have imparted important life skills to kids through teaching team-based original song creation, using modern production tools. While teaching kids how to read and write music is important, we teach them how to create contemporary music that mirrors the professional songwriting process. We achieve this by teaching students how to use computers, record their own original songs, and work as a team.
Why is this our approach? We’ve watched students create original songs with digital technology, and in each session, we saw this process transform and empower them as people while teaching them essential life skills. Not only was it an amazing experience, but it helped us create training materials that boil our method down to the essentials. If you want to bring our method to kids in your home, school, or community, you can find our curriculum options here.
Project Rhythm has worked with about 20 host partners including 5 NYC public schools, Sesame Street Workshop, and the Center for Court Innovation.
Project Rhythm was founded in 2008 by Jāmin Gilbert (aka Benjamin Shaffer). As a recording studio owner, engineer, producer, DJ, and a volunteer youth music instructor in the NYC tri-state area, Jāmin observed first-hand how group-based song creation using modern technology positively affected the young people with whom he worked.
In the face of the rapid erosion of music programs being cut from public schools, Jāmin saw an urgent need to preserve and further evolve the real-world experience that music can offer. He was convinced that Project Rhythm’s unique approach – the use of music as a tool to foster broader skillset development rather than learning direct music instrumentation – was a key to effectively reach underserved students in need.
Today, with a passionate team of board members, educators, and partners, Project Rhythm has grown into a multi-pronged, interdisciplinary youth outreach organization that cultivates both personal and professional skills through the progression of several programs including a mobile studio, a clubhouse studio, work-study, and mentorship.
By participating in these programs, our students encounter the breadth of possibilities that music had to offer while learning collaboration, conflict resolution, computer skills, engineering skills, planning, troubleshooting, performance, public speaking, and product creation.
Project Rhythm is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to changing young lives one beat at a time using music as a tool to educate, empower and enrich underserved youth who are rich in potential.