We're a Learning Community

Alex Ruthmann and the crew at the NYU Music Experience Design Lab developed the foundational ideas of Play With Your Music at NYU Steinhardt. In the fall of 2013, Alex's research group, the NYU MusEDLab, teamed up with Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) to initially offer PWYM as an online course. In 2014, PWYM added legendary musician Peter Gabriel as a collaborating partner, bringing the musical multitracks from his hit songs Sledgehammer and In Your Eyes to participants. Anyone can know join the PWYM community, where like-minded musicians and learners from around the world can share their ideas about creative music and audio production. We have now redesigned the PWYM experience so that anyone (like you!) can join the community at any time. Today, PWYM still has online seminars, suggested readings, and hands-on activities, but you can go through this material at your own pace or join a cohort. All of our materials are available to anyone with a computer and internet access! No sign-up required.

Our Content

We began this project with a focus on the creative processes of audio engineers and producers originally launched in November 2013 as Play With Your Music. Since the launch, we've begun to expand the content offered under the PWYM umbrella to include tools for creative music making, learning and play. All content is developed by students, faculty and staff in the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions with the help of the NYU Music Experience Design Lab. More offerings and resources are currently in development and will be launched soon!

The Web is the Platform

Rather than hosting everything in one central platform, we utilize off-the-shelf, open-source software like Discourse to create the most open and collaborative community possible. We hope to model a learning environment that is easy for anybody to replicate.

A Big Experiment

PWYM has always been a big experiment, and the same is true now. We plan to continue to tinker with the community format and explore new tools for sharing ideas and supporting discussions. We hope you will continue to tinker with us and jump in as collaborators. Things might break, but we are committed to fixing them, and we invite you to break and fix things with us!

The PWYM Team

Play With Your Music was originally designed, launched and led by Alex Ruthmann, Vanessa Gennarelli, Ethan Hein, and Alex Case. Alex Ruthmann is Associate Professor of Music Education and Music Technology at NYU Steinhardt where he leads the Music Experience Design Lab, which researches and designs new technologies and experiences for music making, learning and engagement. Vanessa was Learning Lead at P2PU and designer of experiences large and small, Ethan is currently a PhD student in the NYU MusEDLab and writes about music, technology, and learning on his blog, and Alex Case is Associate Professor of Sound Recording Technology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and resident Audio FXpert at Recordingology.com.

Other original PWYM team members included Dirk Uys, Jamie Ehrenfeld, Julianna Mateyko, Robin Chakrabarti, and Bradford Swanson.

Got a Question?

Check out our FAQ. If you can't find what you're looking for there, pose your question to our community.