Music Origins Project is a website documenting the history and future of music (and other related art forms). We are engaging students and teaching students “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) skills via the compelling medium of MUSIC.

This site is a searchable, educational virtual museum offering informed dialogue and “primary sources” demonstrating the cultural origins of musical art forms along with other forms of geolocated multimedia documentation.

The Google Map identifies the cultural regions and specific locations that were important to the origins of various musical art forms. Using Google Street Views, Google Maps, and Virtual Reality headsets students around the world are able to view locations in Virtual Reality. They will also be able to view, interact with, and submit their own 3D models into Google Earth.

Contribute to The Music Origins Project

The Music Origins Project is challenging you to join the team to add new articles and improve existing article entries with more research. We are a group of students and experts who research music history to identify new locations and subjects for the map. In addition, we define and document new and emerging genres of music. Students and music aficionados around the world are being challenged to create unique virtual museums documenting locations important to each musical art form covered.

We are challenging students and volunteers to research musical genres to create short documentary films, and mashup videos on music and post them along with musical samples, mixes, images and other “primary source”, documents, to create multimedia “virtual museums” highlighting places and musical venues that are important to music history adding a compelling nuance to the existing body of musical knowledge.

In addition to teaching geolocation, we are also challenging students to create 3D Models of buildings and locations important to music history using tools like Google SketchUp a free 3D modeling tool to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Skills.

Educational Programs Offered By Our Collaborators

David Grandison Jr, instructional technologist and the founder of the Music Origins Project, has partnered with the Teams at Washington Hill Productions and Mark Hines and Marksmen Guerrilla Production Network team to offer their compelling and cutting edge educational experiences using VR and inexpensive mobile technology to underserved urban students.

The Marksmen production team has been involved in the design, development, implementation and program execution on educational projects around the country, from Cornell University to Horace Mann High School, and the Police Athletic League in NY. Marksmen has collaborated with the artist Sanford Biggers on interactive transmedia exhibitions with educational components that have been hosted in museums like Detroit’s MOCAD museum.

Here are a few examples of the programs that we can offer teachers and participants in the Music Origins Project:

CHHC – Hip Hop Culture Curriculum

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The acclaimed, DJ, and Marksmen producer, Rich Medina, is a developer of the Hip Hop Culture curriculum Cornell University. He is also an Advisory Board Member and lecturer for the program.

Rich Medina’s Fela Tribute, JUMP N FUNK (JNF) operates as mobile, immersive interactive event with the mantra “Party to Learn, and Learn to Party”. Medina’s music and the visual remixes provided by Mark Hines have been featured around the world, and in esteemed cultural institutions such as The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Art in Houston, as well as, the Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Music Festival and dance floors of Winter Music Conference in Miami.

Through it’s signature high energy events, which blend AfroBeat, Soul & House music, and Live instrumentalists, with compelling video rarities from across the Black Diaspora , JNF parties are the ultimate culture mashup. The exclusive remixes and mashups Medina and partner, The Marksmen, share with eager fans make each JUMP N FUNK immersive exploration of the Afrobeat sound.



Is an educational organization that bridges the gap between the current curriculum in schools and the immediate need for schools to prepare students for future STEM opportunities. They offer schools, community organizations, and parents, solutions to prepare their students for future STEM opportunities. If you are interested in in-person courses taught through project-based learning and explorations using the tools The Music Origins Curriculum offers, contact us. They have partnered with us to implement the Music Origins Curriculum in schools as afterschool and summer programs. Yvonne Thevenot, is the director of STEM Kids NYC, has partnered with us to offer our curriculum in her after-school and summer camp programs in the NYC Tri-state Area.

The Detroit Sound Project: Detroit Techno 101

The lessons in Detroit Techno 101 will teach students about the history of Techno while a variety of skills from filmmaking to how the exploration of history via primary source documents can be used to document the stories of people who have personally witnessed past events of musical significance. We will use project-based learning to challenge students to make their own films, to document the stories of their elders, and to tell their own stories on video.

Our teams are joining forces to promote and implement programs that practice project-based education on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) concepts with an emphasis on integrating Arts & Engineering. Our programs offer students cutting edge 21st century skills that extend learning into areas of video editing, music programming, 3D modeling, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Geospatial Information Systems (GIS). Most projects have been designed to be completed by students with inexpensive mobile tools.

We have developed a variety of types of curriculums and our team is currently piloting custom-curated programs like the, Detroit Sound Project that focus on the interests and needs of urban youth in underserved cities like Detroit. This project is challenging students to create and geolocate video, and primary sources to create virtual museums on music history using short films like Electric Roots and TechnoMecca as models and members of each production team as mentors. We hope to expose youth to computer programming, and transmedia techniques used in video and music production, and through our partnership with Marksmen Productions, we hope to extend the curricular offerings of the Music Origins Project into new areas of media production. Mark and his team currently have a variety of unique multimedia production courses, like “Mechanics of the Mash-up”, available via iTunes U.

Raised in underserved cities themselves, the developers of these programs have a passion and in-depth understanding of ways to make learning STEAM skills fun and compelling for urban youth. David Grandison Jr, is originally from Detroit, and he went on to attend Columbia University, Teachers College and Mark is from Harlem, and he went on to attain a degree from Princeton University. These ivy league educated multimedia producers hope to provide mentoring and educational experiences that challenge urban students not only to pursue higher education, and careers in the tech industry, but to become “lifelong learners”. Our goal is use music, the “A”  in STEAM education, to provide educators with powerful and compelling project-based tools that empower, digitally savvy, urban youth to tell their own stories. Learn more about Detroit Techno 101 or view the Detroit Techno Timeline to learn more about the history of Detroit Techno.