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Asheville education project introduces kids to magic of electronic music

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4/18/2012 - Asheville education project introduces kids to magic of electronic music
by Barbara Blake - Asheville Citizen Times

Daniel Zuckerman, 4, of Asheville, plays with the eerie science fiction movie sounds of a Theremin during Dr. Bob's SoundSchool at UNC Asheville's Lipinsky Auditorium with a little help from volunteer, Jenna Bryner, and his father, Michael. The Bob Moog Foundation event on Saturday is part of the North Carolina Science Festival. The sessions included two 45 minute interactive presentations and hands on exploration of the science behind electronic music.  Daniel Zuckerman, 4, of Asheville, plays with the eerie science fiction movie sounds of a Theremin during Dr. Bob's SoundSchool at UNC Asheville's Lipinsky Auditorium with a little help from volunteer, Jenna Bryner, and his father, Michael. The Bob Moog Foundation event on Saturday is part of the North Carolina Science Festival. The sessions included two 45 minute interactive presentations and hands on exploration of the science behind electronic music. / John Coutlakis/jcoutlakis@citizen-times.com
ASHEVILLE -- The kids who attended Dr. Bob's SoundSchool on Saturday as part of the North Carolina Science Festival may have been only 10 or 11 years old, but they knew brilliance when they heard it.

 Surrounded by electronic synthesizers invented by Bob Moog to turn electric currents into sound, these youngsters didn't have the opportunity to meet the man who changed the face of electronic music before his death in 2005 at age 71. 

 But Gabriel Baker, 10, a student at Vance Elementary, figured there was some serious brain power going on when Moog, a former professor at UNC Asheville, revolutionized sound with his inventions. 

 "I would think it probably had to take a lot of time, especially the (instruments) that cut off notes, and control the mix," Gabriel said. "It seems really, I would sort of say, genius." 

The organizers of the North Carolina Science Festival apparently agreed, tapping the Asheville-based Bob Moog Foundation to present its Dr. Bob's SoundSchool program during the 16-day festival that is criss-crossing the state with more than 400 science and technology-related events through April 29.

At Saturday's gathering in Lipinsky Auditorium at UNCA, festival director Jonathan Frederick confessed that he "may have stalked" the Moog Foundation to enlist its participation in the science extravaganza, now in its second year.

"We're big fans of what they do," Frederick said, his eyes opening wide as he put on headphones and let an otherworldly melody flow through his ears. "It's like every science fiction movie my dad made me watch."

Dr. Bob's SoundSchool is the Moog Foundation's hallmark educational project, teaching the science of sound through the magic of music. The program is currently being taught to second-graders in Asheville, with hopes of expanding into Buncombe County and, eventually, across the nation.

Saturday's event was an opportunity to open the teaching project to others, said Michelle Moog-Koussa, Moog's daughter and executive director of the Moog Foundation.

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