New Course for Classroom Music Educators

The course I’d like to build is an open course for classroom music educators interested in learning how to include music composition as part of their core curriculum for all students.

##A Little Background
I’m the founder of a nonprofit called Young Composers & Improvisors Workshop with the mission of bringing music composition to the typical music classroom. We offer the program as a free resource to NYC Public Schools. You can learn about the program here:
In a nutshell the program combines (1) a progressive curriculum which allows for students with any experience level begin composing, (2) online composer mentoring and feedback and (3) live performance of each student’s composition.

I am a full time teacher at Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin HS where I began developing the program in 2010.

##The Course
I’d like the course to help familiarize teachers with not only the technology necessary to implement composition in their classroom but also the progressive techniques that I believe to be most helpful.

The reason I’m most excited about building this kind of course with the help of the P2PU community is that I want participants in my course to feel apart of a community consisting of other music educators involved in the same pursuit(something that P2PU values and does so well!). I have already set up a Discourse site for YCIW teachers and I’m really hoping to have my Course in a Box hook into it.

I’m probably most in need of technical help to understand what possibilities are available. I’m not a web developer at all but I’m a fairly good tinker and I think that if pointed in the right direction I can implement above-average-technically-demanding things…
I’d also love feedback on anything and everything to do with open courses -best practices, common mistakes etc…

#Link to Course
Here is a link to the course:

Hello @paulallison -I’m a big fan of Youth Voices and all that you guys have done!
I teach at the Little Red School House in Greenwich Village. I’ve also founded a nonprofit based on a project based curriculum that I started at Little Red. You can learn about it here: In a nutshell the program helps classroom teachers include music composition as part of their normal music class. Every student, regardless of experience, can begin composing and they have their music performed by a professional ensemble. We offer the program as a free resource to NYC public schools.

I’m building an open course here at P2PU that would serve to help teachers take part in the program. I’m also interested in having a course that includes all of the student participants at the various schools (currently there is an online course and forum component to the class but they are housed separately for each school).

I’m wondering if you have any thoughts or experience on how to help classroom teachers feel comfortable and motivated to take part in an online, project-based experience with their students?

Thank you!

Best of luck, Matt. Call on me to look in if you need.

Hi @dirk
Do you know if it would be possible to include this javascript file in my Course in a Box?


It would allow me to include music notation directly in the modules.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you!

I’m having trouble embedding a video on my Course in a Box. It seems to be stuck on autoplay.
I’ve tried autoplay=“no”

Here is the code

Any ideas?

I’ve made a fair amount of progress on my course. I’d love some feedback if any one would like to take a look!

Thank you!

Hey @matt5834 - I had a quick look and it looks amazing!

I like the buttons when people need to do things on noteflight (like here: and the embeds!

Did you manage to solve the autoplay problem?

I replied to your question about Vextab in the separate thread where you asked.

Thanks Dirk!

I ended up just moving the videos to Vimeo and embedding them from there. It’s fine for now.

Hi @dirk! Just a couple of questions. I’m close to completing the course!

  1. How do I change the course in a box url? For example, I have the mechanical mood set up with the address I’d like to make my course in a box url something like:

  2. Now a Mechanical MOOC question:
    Is the Mechanical MOOC a jekyll page? (silly question I know). If so, is there some kind of plugin I could use to make a gallery of courses on the home page? For example, I’d like my first course in a box course to be listed in some kind of gallery of courses (I’ll like add other courses for teachers in the future).

Thank you!

To point at your course, follow the instructions at Once you’ve followed the instructions there, be sure to update base_url in _config.yml. Just leave it blank.

Changing it to is tricky, esp if you want other things things to live at

The Mechanical MOOC is not the same as a jekyll page, but it does share a lot of similarities.

Do you want to put a gallery of courses made using Course in a Box on the front page of your Mechanical MOOC? Is that right?

Yes, I anticipate there being several Course in a Box courses. That is correct.

Another question or dilemma I have about the Mechanical MOOC is how the email notifications are configured. If I have more than one class it probably doesn’t make sense to have them on the same Mechanical MOOC because how would I differentiate the emails…? Am I thinking of this correctly?

Mmm, the Mechanical MOOC can only handle 1 course at a time. Using it as it is currently would require a separate instance for every course you are running. If you only want to send out email notifications, look at using mailchimp to manage the mailing lists or discourse?

Thanks Dirk. I wonder if in fact I would need more than one course. I really like the way LCL has incorporated modules directly into Discourse. Maybe I’ll launch my Course in a Box on it’s own, see how it goes and then see about focusing more on Discourse.
I’d love to know what you think.

Thank you!