Björk And NYPL Offer Program for Harlem Kids

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival & BjorkBjörk has teamed with the New York Public Library and other institutions to create an interactive learning program for children based on an iPad app of her latest music.

The classes will be designed around the Icelandic recording artist’s Biophilia app, which incorporates and borrows the name of her latest musical work.

It uses the iPad’s touchscreen technology to create “in-app experiences” involving music and the natural world, providing children with instruction in musical and scientific principles — from rhythm and counterpoint to lunar effects on the tides and tectonic plate movement.

Starting in July, programs for middle school children will be offered for five weeks at two New York Public Library branches — one in the Bronx, the other in Harlem. Additional classes will be held in the fall at different branches, a library official said.

Programs for children age 3 to 11, including summer camps and school groups, will be held at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan from July through December.

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Björk said the inspiration for the educational app was rooted in her frustration with the heavy academic emphasis she encountered during her formative years in music. She believes the experience should be more hands-on.

“It’s not a bookish thing,” she said at an event unveiling the educational program Tuesday. “You cannot learn to make music … from a book.”

“I love books; they’re like the best ever,” she added.

“There are things you can only learn from books, but it’s also important to introduce the physical aspects. So for me, it was very important to make, somehow, music education that was physical.”

The program will also involve the Center for Arts Education.

Biophilia is at the forefront in the development of arts-based education and the development of a child’s creative thinking,” said Andrew Ackerman, Executive Director of CMOM.

“Its portability allows for learning to take place anywhere — at school, the library and in a family setting at home.”

Additional information on the program and its schedules can be found at and

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