We believe that everyone is a songwriter and every person has a story to tell. We connect students with community members to write original, personalized songs together. Join us and let’s connect, empower, heal through music!
In 2012, a group of students at Princeton started the Genuine Medicine program with Genuine Voices, a music education nonprofit in Boston. The program paired teens in detention with pediatric patients to write songs.
They worked with “T”, a 16-year-old boy in juvenile detention, who wrote a song with Alexa, a 9-year-old girl with brain cancer. After the program, T said, “I feel this song made me want to help everyone and everything I can.” Alexa said, “This [song] will be my new Hospital Song to help me be strong while I fight my brain cancer.”
Stories like T’s and Alexa’s – connections formed through collaborative songwriting – serve as the basis for our activities today. In 2017, we took the step to establish Humans in Harmony as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so that more people can experience these musical connections.
Here is another story from one our workshops, where Kelsea, a nursing student, writes a song honoring the story of a child in foster care:
Jacqueline Yeon, Director
Jacqueline is an undergraduate student at NYU majoring in Individualized Studies primarily focused on Music Composition and Integrated Digital Media. She believes in the importance of empathy and social connection, and wants to create a culture of compassion for others and self through her songs and collaborative songwriting. She also tutors at a local public school through America Reads and is part of MusEDLab as a researcher where its goal is to develop technologies to enhance music learning and producing experiences.
Gideon is an undergraduate student at Princeton University majoring in Astrophysics. In Summer of 2019, he joined Humans in Harmony through Princeton Internships in Civic Service, where he directed the Summer 2019 Music Corps program and launch of the HiH student network. He’s a bass in Princeton’s Old Nassoul A Capella Group, and is curious about exploring music in its many forms—whether by self-learning piano, practicing space music, or arranging music.
Haitian Ma is a recent graduate from New York University Shanghai where she centered on world literature and translation studies. Haitian is interested in the changing conception of noise and its presence in public spaces. She has created pieces on the soundscape of Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum and Shanghai neighborhoods, and writes about noise as an enabling metaphor for alterity and difference. Joining Humans in Harmony in 2020, Haitian finds it beautiful and empowering how music brings forth a mode of collectivity from intimate acoustic experiences.
Erica Cao, President
Erica believes that the arts, humanities, and sciences intersect to make the world a better place. In 2011 she developed a songwriting program at Genuine Voices, a nonprofit which taught music to at-risk youth. She received her bachelor’s in Psychology with a Certificate in Music Performance from Princeton, a Masters in Music from Cambridge University, and attended medical school at Columbia University in 2014-16. Erica is a pianist and enjoys literature and creative writing.
Board of Directors:
Liz Butterworth, Director of Development, Humans in Harmony
Erin Langston, Faculty at Instrumental and Vocal Department & Community Programs at the Diller-Quaile School of Music
Stanley Katz, Director, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University
Ashwin Vasan, President & CEO, Fountain House
Alan Ziegler, Prof. of Writing at Columbia University, Director of Pedagogy and Community Outreach
Kelseanne Breder, Lucy Cao, Cory Chang, Jennifer Chew, Emilee Tu, Meghan Saletta
PO Box #250818, New York, NY 10025