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The Science of Music: Rock-A-Doodle-Doo at the Doseum

The science behind music is just as equally beautiful as the artistry that goes behind it. On August 15 at the Doseum, the Office of Cultural and Creative Development are teaming up with the San Antonio Children’s Museum to bring us “Rock-A-Doodle-Do” an interactive event that will teach guests about the physics of sound and audio engineering. For example, what causes sound waves to distort, or why does syncopation make people want to move and dance?

Chris Navarro, organizer of the event told Sobre Sound that the idea came from a piece of constructive criticism from a young volunteer who was also parent stating that their events felt more like activities her grandparents would be interested in and that her family enjoyed going to concerts at family friendly venues.

“This planted a seed that our organization wanted to be responsive to, and I personally wanted to see happen as I play in The Vinyl 45s (a rockabilly band), and am passionate about live music and the long history of rock in San Antonio,” Navarro continued to explain. “Another bit of feedback came from a San Antonio College freshman engineering student who was a participant in a service learning program that is part of our semi-annual Inventors’ Workshop.”

“He pointed out that rock and heavy metal have been a tradition in San Antonio for three generations and that there are a number of audio production and audio tech companies,  as well as music stores in the city; and he expressed that rock audio engineering might be another way to engage kids in physics and engineering. These two moments of direct feedback from a parent and a partner inspired Rock- A –Doodle- Do. Our excellent staff has provided me with ideas and feedback to flesh out the idea, and the name for the program came from Christa Simpson, our Manager of Retail Operations.”

Rock-A-Doodle-Do is a chance for children and their families to learn and get a hands-on experience with rock music concepts, instruments, videos, and design. The kids will also be able to rock out on actual electric guitars, basses and drum sets.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

The event is spread out through two featured exhibits at The Doseum. At the Sensation Studio, guests will have the opportunity to practice percussion and discover how music producers layer sound during recording sessions.

“A drumming play-shop will educate children and their families on the history of drums, the idea of syncopation (that part of the rhythm that makes you want to move) and rock drumming styles; kids will get to play drums during this play-shop. Kids will be invited to craft a simple drum they can take home. They will learn about audio engineering and the inner workings of electric instruments and amplifiers through hands-on demonstrations,” explained Navarro.

Meanwhile, the Innovation Station exhibit will become a reverse engineering lab where guests can explore the inner workings of electric guitars and amplifiers and even learn how to craft a musical instrument in specialized workshops.

Apart from the concept of music itself, Navarro said the event gives children insight to everything else that goes into the process of making music, “They will also be inspired to create imaginary rock bands in an art and creative writing activity by designing album covers with liner notes (another history lesson!). They will then use print making and collage to create rock concert posters for their imaginary band; and there will be a songwriting play-shop in which they can write a song for their imaginary band.”

Apart from the learning opportunities, families will be able to enjoy some local bands performing kid friendly songs that ‘make you want to dance’.

“The music will also take kids and their families through a brief history of Rock n’ Roll starting with golden oldies, moving through classic rock, and then into modern indie rock. The bands performing are The Vynil 45s, Gary Garcia – San Antonio’s Young Elvis Tribute impersonator, Alamo Music’s Rock School Summer Camp band (actual kids!), Elora and Gasoline Alley (another group of youngsters!), and Pop Pistol,” concluded Navarro.

 Rock-A-Doodle-Do takes place on Saturday, August 15 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the price of an admission ticket to the Doseum.