Help Support Free Music Education in Chicago with The People's Music School

We're throwing our 2nd Annual Music Hack!

Saturday, April 9

2112 at Fort Knox Studios

The Background

The People's Music School is the only completely FREE music school delivering over 100,000 hours of game-changing music mentorship every year to over 500 underserved students -- reaching 10,000+ students in our 40-year history! Music inspires young minds to reach beyond the boundaries of their world. It offers limitless possibilities for creativity, achievement, and growth - socially, emotionally, and intellectually.

Today, The People's Music School is turning to technology to provide even more access to music education. We've launched tech pilots with 5 innovative startups. But that's just the start.

Our Music Hack is our open invitation to Chicago’s brightest minds to dream and build music tech that takes engagement and learning in music to the next level.

Event Details

Calling all developers, designers, makers, musicians & creators:

REGISTER HERE* to join us!

Be sure to view our participant prep if you register after 3pm on Friday, 4/8

10am - Kickoff! Hack challenge introduced + teams get to work

6pm - Demos + Celebration, including performance by world-renowned Avalon String Quartet

The Music Hack 2016 challenge will be revealed at 10am on April 9.

Hints and resources will be shared with registered participants in emails leading up to event.

*Interested but don't know how to code? You can join a team when you arrive,
or bring a friend who can code to maximize your chances.


Compete for $45,000+ in total prizes, including:

Chicago Innovation Exchange Memberships, including Fab Lab access

VL Group Radio + Demo API Packages

Apple Watches

Hardware, tech tools, music access, and more!

Judges + Advisors

Chris Amos

Chief Digital Officer

Carnegie Hall

Alex Chen

Creative Director


Bryan Pardo

Associate Professor

Northwestern University:

Department of Electrical Engineering + Computer Science

Bienen School of Music

Interactive Audio Lab

Adrian Holovaty

Founder + Developer



Django web framework 

Sumit Varshney

Head of Corporate Strategy


Alex Zoghlin

Global Head of Technology

Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa

President + Artistic Director

The People's Music School

Sponsor our Music Hack

Looking to build brand awareness?

Recruit great talent from Chicago's best schools?

Engage your company's developers and designers in a fun community event?

Network in Chicago's music + tech community?

Build excitement + credibility around a new product?

Sponsor the Music Hack at the level that's right for you and your goals.

Contact Jessica Tansey for more details.

Select Sponsors + Event Partners



In-Kind Sponsors



Academic Partners 


Additional Partners 


About 2112 + Fort Knox Studios

2112 is a business incubator like Chicago's downtown incubator 1871, but with a focus on the arts. Part of Fort Knox Studios, Chicago’s most talked about music rehearsal, production, and recording ecosystem, 2112 is a place where musicians, music industry insiders, and technology entrepreneurs cross paths and collaborate. It's the PERFECT venue for The People’s Music School’s Music Hack -- and a great opportunity for everyone to come see what they're up to!


More info

Check back here often for updates & announcements!

See our one-page event snapshot and Built In Chicago's event coverage for key details.

Learn more about our Senior Advisor for tech initiatives, Adrian Holovaty.

Check out a recap of last year's inaugural #musichack on our blog!

Explore The People's Music School - our work and approach, our leadership, our team, and our latest school-wide news.