A Moogsperience of a Lifetime [Part 2]: MoogLab

Bob Moog’s Legacy Comes Alive in Engaging, Interactive Curriculum

By Marc Doty

Marc Doty is a songwriter, composer, and synthesist from Washington State.  His obsession with Moog and other vintage analog synthesizers led to him the creation of a synthesizer demonstration YouTube channel, Automatic Gainsay which now has nearly 4 million views.  His video work as well as his passion for the work of Robert Moog, synthesizers, and the history of electronic music has resulted in the Bob Moog Foundation bringing him on as “Artist in Residence”  for one month this summer.  Marc will  be using his visual and videographical skills to aid the Bob Moog Foundation in various projects including developing materials for the MoogLab curriculum. You can see more of  his synth education work at http://www.youtube.com/automaticgainsay.

I come from a long line of great teachers, so I come by my urge to help people learn about stuff honestly.  What you might not know is that I also have a degree in music education.

I majored in music education because it afforded me the most music classes possible, which I preferred over the less-intense music major.  But the drawback with majoring in music education was the fact that, in addition to all the great extra music classes I got to take, I also had to take education classes.

Personally, I don’t believe a someone can be taught to teach.  Teaching is a talent.  You can’t teach a person to have a talent, you can only foster that talent.  I feel similarly about curricula.  So often, they are well-intentioned but uninspired structures which end up interfering with the specific talents of teachers.  I think that curricula are often designed by people who have passion for education, but lack passion for the subject(s) addressed.  It’s easy to get bogged down in various requirements, challenging administrative environments, and a general lack of inspiration in regard to the talent that is teaching.

One of the greatest educational challenges is creating a curriculum which delivers required content as well as being fun and interesting.  As a college student, I saw a lot of curricula which succeeded in either one or the other.  As a classroom student, I saw a lot of curricula which succeeded in neither.

So, when I was taken on to design support materials for the MoogLab curriculum project here at the Bob Moog Foundation, you can imagine what I expected.

But immediately… not only were my fears assuaged and my expectations proven inaccurate, but my faith in education, love for sound, and inspiration to help children learn effectively were ignited.  The group assigned to this task is made up of talented, skilled, and enthusiastic people. We’ve worked together to create the curriculum I thought impossible: one that is as informative and effective as it is fun and interesting.

We have wrapped the science of sound in the love of music and simplified it in a way that is both digestible by the second grader, and completely accurate.  That is quite an accomplishment!

It is incredibly exciting to be involved with a program that will have the impact this will have, and it is truly inspiring (and no surprise at all) that it’s all built around the genius of Bob Moog.  See?  This is another reason why the Bob Moog Foundation is so important.  His legacy is a powerful motivation and inspiration for education, and the passion of people here at the Foundation who recognize that legacy inspires incredible results.

I am continually amazed and inspired by the many ways the BMF is weaving the genius of Bob Moog through people’s lives with a goal of igniting the innovators in all of us.