Apple's iconic Soho store is also one of its busiest, hosting a wide range of events and presentations ranging from filmmakers and authors to performers and luminaries. Recently, as part of Apple's twice-yearly "Noting the New Musical Classroom" series, the store played host to Michelle Moog-Koussa, Executive Director of the Bob Moog Foundation, who held forth on the Foundation's innovative educational curriculum, Dr. Bob's SoundSchool.
Presented by SKJ Consulting and the Manhattan Producer's Alliance, the event was presided over by arts and education consultant Sandra Jordan. During the interactive Q&A session, Moog-Koussa spoke extensively of Bob Moog's lifelong passion for innovation, his dedication to bringing together the worlds of music and science, and how the Foundation is carrying on this legacy through programs like Dr. Bob's SoundSchool.
The conversation focused on the pressing need for experiential science education for American students. Moog-Koussa detailed the implementation Dr. Bob's SoundSchool, its phenomenal growth since launching three years ago, and the Foundation's plans to expand the program nationwide. Audience members, including music and science educators, musicians, and technologists, expressed enthusiasm for New York City as a focus for that expansion.
Dr. Bob's SoundSchool is a ten-week curriculum that teaches elementary school students the science of sound through the magic of music using acoustic and electronic musical instruments, as well as oscilloscopes and custom materials. Through the curriculum, students learn about vibrations, waveforms, sound travel, pitch, loudness and the physical difference between music and noise. The program has been lauded for its multi-sensory approach to learning that enables students to see, hear, and touch sound.
As Moog-Koussa pointed out, the Bob Moog Foundation's work fills a need recently addressed by President Obama for a new educational focus on science, technology, engineering, and math. At the 2013 White House Science Fair, the President stated, "We need to make it a priority to train an army of new teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects to receive the respect they deserve."
"It was gratifying to see the interest and excitement among the New York City audience for Dr. Bob's SoundSchool," remarked Moog-Koussa. "The innovative delivery of our STEM-based curriculum has been well received among educators and others interested in encouraging elementary students' engagement with science, the arts, and creative thinking."
The Bob Moog Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that carries Moog's pioneering legacy forward to future generations. Their mission is to ignite creativity at the intersection of music, science, history and innovation. Find out more at www.bobmoogfoundation.org.