Pilot Program of Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool Begins!

Bob Moog Foundation Announces Pilot Program of Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool Curriculum in Asheville City Schools


The Bob Moog Foundation proudly announces the launch of a pilot program of its hallmark educational project, Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, at Asheville City Schools’ (ACS) 2nd grade classrooms.

Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool (formerly known as MoogLab) ignites the creative and innovative spirit by teaching children the science of sound through the magic of music. The experiential curriculum, which meets state and national standards, integrates intuitive, engaging electronic musical instruments to teach the physics of sound to young students. For the pilot phase of the program, the 2nd graders are using theremins, which were donated to the BMF by Moog Music, Inc. In addition to an introduction to the physics of sound, students are taught about scientific method using examples from Bob Moog’s science notebooks, as well as examples from other seminal inventors.

Images from prior SoundSchool outreach (Photo credit: www.sicimages.com)


The SoundSchool curriculum was developed over the summer of 2011 by a team of music and science educators  along with music technologists. Jonna Kwiatkowski, PhD, Assistant Professor at Mars Hill College and experimental psychologist specializing in creativity, coordinated the curriculum team.

Following the development of the curriculum, the BMF collaborated with eight participating 2nd grade teachers from ACS, teaching them the necessary background knowledge regarding the concepts of sound in preparation for successful teaching of the SoundSchool curriculum. This professional development was conducted in the Fall of 2011.

Teacher training in fall 2011: Learning the priciples of sound (Photo credit: Tracie Acreman)

The pilot program will run for 10 weeks during the winter and early spring of 2012, after which an assessment measuring science proficiency and creativity will be issued to participating students as well as to a control group who will use a state provided kit-based curriculum.

The curriculum development and teacher training have been guided by Donalyn Small, Instructional Coach for Science at ACS. “This unique opportunity has been an honor for our district. It gives our students a chance to learn the concepts of sound using lessons that have been designed using a constructivist approach. They are innovative, authentic and promote creativity as well as 21st century learning skills. This partnership was timely as the state has recently adopted New Essential Standards for Science. The SoundSchool curriculum reflects these new standards,” Small explains.

Following the assessment of Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, the BMF plans to seek grant funding to grow the program nationwide. Currently, the Foundation is conducting a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo.com in an effort to raise $50,000 for the program.

The last in a series of kickoff events will take place on Tuesday, January 31 at Vance Elementary School. BMF volunteers August Worley and Ben Hovey will explore ideas, invention, sound, and music with 2nd grade students as an introduction to the course work that will ensue over the next 10 weeks.