STEM + Music

It all fits together.
Students construct paper bullhorns to learn about acoustic amplification.

Curious? So Are We!

Music has important cultural and emotional aspects by itself. It also can help us ask and answer lots of crazy questions like, “What does sound look like?” (More on that below.)

While Sound Curiosity is all about music education, we think it’s important to spend some time every meeting exploring questions of physics, math, biology, engineering, and tech — and how they’re all related to music.

Then, about once a month, we take everything we’ve learned and use it on a special STEM+Music project.

Children can play with these plastic tubes to learn how to build their own instruments.

Why are bells different sizes? Why does a cello sound different than a violin?

Every week, participants explore age-appropriate experiments to answer these questions and more.

Then what?

We build our own instruments

Why are phones and tablets so useful? Lots of creative engineers made them that way. That's why we explore STEM alongside music.

Technology alone is not enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.
— Steve Jobs, tech entrepreneur

Tech doesn't make us smart
We make smart tech!

How do our ears work? Why do some things sound good together when others don’t?

Can you make a computer write music? Can you build a robot to play an instrument?

There's no limit on the questions we can ask, so get ready for serious fun:

Stand back...
Let’s Try Science!

How About a Sneak Peak?

Every STEM activity will be a little different. Here’s an experiment you can do at home: Find a rubber band and strum it. Notice the sound it makes. Now listen as you stretch it and strum it again. What happened?

Changing the tension on the rubber band changes the way it vibrates. Pulling on it makes it vibrate faster, which makes a higher pitch sound. Loosening up does the opposite. Congrats, now you know how the different strings on a guitar work!

At Sound Curiosity, one of the beginning experiments we like to do is to dip handchimes in water to see (and hear) what happens. You can actually see the sound waves on the water!

But that's not the only way you can see sound. In the video below, check out how we can use a special camera to see sound, heat, and other invisible things!

Check out how we can use a special camera to see sound! (h/t NPR)

Sound Curiosity Logo

We #BuildBetterBrains in Champaign County, Illinois, and beyond. Sound Curiosity is an Illinois non-profit organization.

Sound Curiosity engages our community in learning through music rehearsal and performance enriched with exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

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