Branching Out: BMF Presents Science of Sound in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor Downtown Library launches electronic musical instrument loan program with two sessions of Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool presentations


It was great fun to be invited by the Ann Arbor Downtown Library to present two condensed versions of  Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool on August 1, 2012. The two events marked the kickoff of the library’s new Music Tools Collection, which includes gear from such noted manufacturers as Moog, Korg, Maywa Denki, Bleep Labs, Chamber of Sounds, Folktek, Critter & Guitari and more.

BMF Sonic Ambassador August Worley (former engineer, Moog Music, Inc.) guided children of all ages through the science of sound and the importance of creativity and imagination in two hour-long events.  He talked about Bob Moog’s pioneering history, the concept of invention and ideas, the physics of waveforms, the principles and functionality of theremins and synthesizers and much more. After each session, the audience was invited to play on several Moog instruments as well as the other instruments from the library’s collection.

Here is August’s reflection on the events, ” It was a genuine pleasure to participate in this event, and I was honored to be a part of what I believe will be a landmark initiative by the Ann ArborDistrict Library. Being able to sign out an electronic musical instrument to provide children, (and adults!), tools to explore the physics of sound generation, and to offer them the wondrous journey of sonic exploration at no cost is a profound service to the community.

Making music and making sound inspires, and these kids do certainly “get it”: I am continually amazed at just how easily children connect with the instruments. I expect that Bob Moog would’ve been deeply gratified to see the smiling faces of the children playing his instruments in the Ann Arbor library that day!”

A special thanks to the staff at the library, and to BMF supporters Michael and Bubba Ayoub and Karl Knack for loaning their Moog instruments for the day, saving the BMF hundreds of dollars in shipping costs.