Musical S.T.E.M. – The Beginning
I wish there was a fun and exciting story to tell about the birth of Musical S.T.E.M. A story about me growing up with a scientist father that was also a genius at the piano. Or that I was never allowed to play the piano until I finished my science homework.
The truth is… I am a homeschool mom.
I also have degrees in piano performance and piano pedagogy, and I’ve always taught piano. But the spark for Musical S.T.E.M. came from reading my son’s high school chemistry textbook. Chapter 5 was all about Covalent Compounds and their Molecular Geometry. Not necessarily words in my vocabulary.
The experiment due for his lab was bending water. We had to do it several times. We finally got it right and I had enjoyed every minute. Now I wanted to somehow share it with my piano students!
At this time my son was also being tutored in Algebra by a lovely teacher.Stephanie, a chemical engineer and also a musician met my son on a weekly basis. When Stephanie would give me updates about tutoring progress, we would get sidetracked. We started talking about summer plans. Then talking about working on a project together. Very quickly we thought it would be an awesome idea. And Musical S.T.E.M. was born.
We (Stephanie and Dorla) decided to call it S.T.E.M. instead of S.T.E.A.M. on purpose. The focus is mainly music instead of science with an art component. We wanted to find a way to bridge the gap between subjects. School subjects are consistently separated from the arts, when in fact, if combined add a new richness to learning.
What Is Musical S.T.E.M.?
Musical S.T.E.M. is an elementary level curriculum for playing the piano alongside science, technology, engineering and math. It is different from many music camp curriculums because it includes playing the piano. Piano teachers were the reason for putting it together. Specifically those that would like to include students of different ages and piano skills into one class.