The Musical Instrument Museum released a virtual, hands-on, STEM lessons

The Musical Instrument Museum is offering stem-based lessons for students from kindergarten to eighth grade. The goal of these lessons is to teach children about science, engineering, and math by showing them how musical instruments are made and how the instruments make a sound. We talk with Brian Dredla about this. Dredla is The Director of Education in Public Programs at the Musical Instrument Museum.

Before the pandemic, Dredla said they offered a popular field trip at the Musical Instrument Museum. The field trip explored the connection between science and musical instrument. When Covid hit they had to pivot to the virtual space like many other organizations. They created virtual options like a virtual STEM tour that debuted in January.

Organology is the study of musical classification based on how they vibrate to produce sound Dredla said. The students can learn about organology through these videos. Dredla talked about the different instruments and how they work. He said the root of the STEM tour is understanding the instrument vibrations and the physics behind how it works. They also talk about the sound waves that are created. The tour goes through the core principles of sound waves that are universal across all musical types.

The tour is a hands-on and virtual learning experience. We talked about how they did this and how virtual and hands-on works together. Dredla said all the videos come with a list of the materials needed for the hands-on exploratory activity that’s needed during the video. They build some Instruments together on the virtual, hands-on tour.  They talk about the shape of instruments and help kids with the opportunity to design their own instruments. Lastly, we talk about how the Musical Instrument Museum is doing with the pandemic. Many museums are struggling. Dredla said they are fortunate that they have such massive space in their galleries so people can social distance. We also talk about how the pandemic has impacted music and people’s interest in music.

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Brian Dredla, Director of Education in Public programs at the Musical Instrument Museum

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