Thursday, July 15, 2010

Art or Science?

The Exploratorium's approach to learning and teaching made me wonder if that's the way I want to take my music. I want to share the excitement of discovering how things work musically in a way that leaves one questioning if it's art or science, though while one is excited in the act of exploring, that's the last question one is interested in.

For example, I've learned that there's no sound in a vacuum because molecules aren't there to bump into one another. The Exploratorium has a vacuum chamber with a bell inside; there's also a fan pointed at a tiny flag. You press a button to ring the bell (no sound) and the fan is running but the flag is still. You hold another button to pump air into the chamber slowly, and as the flag flutters more and more the clanging gets louder!

It's deeply appealing to a common human instinct to manipulate our surroundings and find patterns. This is teaching at its best. Then why not bring each other to apply curiosity to art?

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