Pharrell Williams — artist-in-residence at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts — announced he will fund a needs-based scholarship to the Summer High School program at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at a rare, private masterclass on Saturday, March 5.

Pharrell Williams and his master class students

Pharrell Williams — Grammy-winning performer, songwriter, producer, designer, entrepreneur, and 50th Anniversary artist-in-residence at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts — hosted a rare, private masterclass on Saturday, March 5, for undergraduate students at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. During the one-hour masterclass conducted by NYU Tisch faculty members Bob Power and Jason King, Williams listened to students’ music projects, offered them constructive criticism and discussed the nature of the creative process.

“The idea behind the masterclass was to have Pharrell work directly with our students,” said King," and to give them ideas about how to shape the music they’re making. It’s our mission to train students as creative entrepreneurs, and few artists have married the art and business of recorded music as successfully as Pharrell.”

A follow-up event to Williams’s career retrospective interview at NYU in October 2015, Saturday’s masterclass event was part of Williams’s year-long residency during the 50th anniversary of the Tisch School of the Arts. 

In addition to hosting the masterclass, Williams and his wife Helen will fund a need-based scholarship, making it possible for a high school student to attend the Clive Davis Institute’s highly sought-after Summer High School Program this July. The scholarship will go to a candidate who has demonstrated high artistic skill and achievement, exceptional dedication, and a high level of financial need. The selected student will receive specialized training in music business entrepreneurship through instruction, special field trips, and immersion in the culture of the New York City music industry.

“The Tisch School of the Arts is fortunate to have Pharrell Williams as our 50th Anniversary artist-in-residence. He began the year with a thought-provoking school-wide conversation, and this spring’s visit made a lasting impression on all of our students. Now, his gift that will fund a scholarship for an aspiring music mogul is a true testament to Pharrell’s generous spirit and his dedication to education,” said Allyson Green, dean, Tisch School of the Arts. “As an artist and educator, I am deeply grateful to Pharrell Williams for being such a strong role model for all of us at the Tisch School of the Arts.”

Additionally, his foundation, From One Hand to AnOTHER (FOHTA), worked closely with NYU to scout students who would excel at the Institute’s Summer High School Program. Thanks to the Williams’ generous donation and the recruitment efforts of the FOHTA team, three highly talented students were identified and admitted with scholarships.

“I am, both personally and through From One Hand to AnOTHER, committed to bringing kids experiences that ignite their passions, challenge their minds, and provide them with opportunities to learn and be creative,” said Williams. “I’m confident they’ll receive that experience through the Summer High School Program at the Clive Davis Institute.”

“Summer High School is one of the Institute's most exciting development programs, where kids from around the world enjoy the opportunity to learn about music entrepreneurship, production, and arts and culture, in an intense and experiential way,” said Marat Berenstein, professional artist manager and faculty member at the Clive Davis Institute, where he also serves as lead instructor of High School Programs. “We couldn’t be happier to welcome three very talented students from Pharrell’s hometown of Virginia Beach to join us for a once-in-a-lifetime summer experience!”

About Pharrell Williams
While this is Pharrell’s first collaboration with New York University, he is no stranger to education and learning. In 2008, Pharrell founded From One Hand To AnOTHER (FOHTA), a non-profit organization focused on providing STEAMM education programs to underserved youth. One of today’s most popular and successful entertainers, Pharrell started his producing career as one half of The Neptunes with Chad Hugo (and he also created an unpredictable hybrid as part of the alt-rock/hip-hop group N.E.R.D). Over the last two decades, Williams has helped create such classics as “Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me),” Britney Spears’s “I’m A Slave 4 U,” and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You.” Pharrell has been honored with 10 Grammy Awards (including 2004’s and 2014’s “Producer of the Year”) and ASCAP’s prestigious Golden Note Award in 2012. He also received a 2014 Academy Award Nomination for his chart-topping original song “Happy” featured in the animated film Despicable Me 2. Pharrell can currently be seen as a coach on Season 8 of “The Voice.” With over 100 million copies of his productions sold, plus collaborative work with artists as diverse as Snoop Dogg, Madonna, and the Rolling Stones, Pharrell has truly led the way for innovation and stylistic cool into 21st century.

Beyond Pharrell’s music contributions, he also has a prolific body of work that includes designing a sculpture with Tokyo-born artist Takashi Murakami, accessories and jewelry for luxury goods brand Louis Vuitton, t-shirts for Japanese mega-brand Uniqlo, sneakers and sportswear for Adidas and a fragrance collaboration with Comme des Garçons. Pharrell served as Executive Producer on the film Dope, the indie darling of the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, which opened to rave reviews earlier this year. Williams’ latest visionary venture, i am OTHER — a multi-media creative collective that serves all of his endeavors, including record label, Billionaire Boys Club & ICECREAM apparel, textile company Bionic Yarn — continues to push pop culture forward.

About From One Hand to AnOTHER
From One Hand To AnOTHER (FOHTA) is a 501 C3 Not for Profit Foundation, founded by Pharrell Williams to provide supplemental education to underserved youth using a S.T.E.A.M.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math and Motivation) curriculum to help each child reach their unique potential.

About Tisch School of the Arts
For 50 years, the Tisch School of the Arts has drawn on the vast resources of New York City and New York University to create an extraordinary training ground for artists, scholars of the arts, and creative entrepreneurs. One of the world's leading centers of undergraduate and graduate study in the arts, the Tisch School of the Arts offers acting, dance, design, performance, film, animation, writing for musical theatre, stage, screen & television, preservation, recorded music, photography, interactive media, games, and public policy.

About The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music
The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music provides professional business and artistic training toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree for students who aspire to succeed as creative entrepreneurs in the music industry. The program bears the name of its chief patron and advisor, Clive Davis.

Pharrell Williams Masterclass

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