|The Bose® Harmony
With Education® Program
Why do I have to learn this stuff? When am I ever going to use this in the real world?
Why should I care about this? If these questions sound familiar to you, chances are you
are in the company of youths challenging the lessons provided by many educators,
professionals and parents.
There are many approaches to address questions such as these, but perhaps you wouldn't
expect them to be addressed by a privately held research corporation. "In order to be
better, you must be different" - guiding advice from Bose Corporation's Founder,
Chairman and Technical Director, Dr. Amar Bose. This is a fundamental value bred
throughout the company since its founding in 1964. And since Dr. Bose is a former
educator, it seemed natural that Bose Corporation should develop an education outreach
program to provide students with a unique way to learn standards-based academics.
The Bose® Harmony
With Education® Program
is an education outreach initiative developed by Bose Corporation in conjunction with
MENC: The National Association for Music Education. The purpose of this program is to
provide the education community with a free and engaging program that educates late
elementary to early middle school level students about fundamental concepts in science,
music, and mathematics.
We quickly learned from speaking with educators that a field trip experience would be
fantastic, but it would also need classroom activities to support its retention. For this
reason, there are two components to the In Harmony With Education program: an in- class
curriculum and a field trip experience.
The in-class curriculum is available online at www.bose.com/inharmony
, where there are downloadable lessons focusing on interdisciplinary instruction in
music, science, and math. These lessons are designed for any teachers to use or modify to
fit their unique classroom needs. The second component, the field trip experience, is
currently available in the Northeast United States and Southern California. Additionally,
the program has been launched in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Canada and
During the field trip experience, students participate in a 90-minute field trip
consisting of two 45-minute stations. One station defines sound in terms of vibration,
pressure waves and detection, and also consists of a surround sound show produced by Bose
exclusively for this education initiative. The other station focuses on scientific methods
for analyzing sounds. Therefore an oscilloscope is introduced, explained and used to
present audio/visual connections such as pitch/frequency and loudness/amplitude. After
these science points are introduced, students use authentic musical instruments to
reaffirm these sound wave characteristics, and gain multi-cultural enlightenment about the
instruments themselves. Finally, this session wraps up by having all students play
together as an orchestra using simple-to-make instruments (emulating the authentic ones),
with each instrument type assigned to its own rhythm. This helps the students obtain
musical appreciation, and a more thorough understanding of the concentration a musician
must posses while contributing to the entire orchestra.
Developing this type of program takes considerable time input, management and
resources, which is representative of Bose Corporation's dedication to education.
Differentiating between "edutainment" and true education required collaboration
among not only Bose employees, but also with credible organizations such as MENC and
research within the education community itself. The result is an educational experience
that teachers can harness and use to apply to new teaching methods. Consequently their
students can learn in a new way. We're taking traditionally difficult concepts across
multiple disciplines and making them fun to learn.
|"Music is universal. It touches the human spirit at a very
fundamental level. Everyone 'gets' music. But deeply rooted in music are mathematics and
the physics of sound, topics that can be difficult for a young student to 'get.' Music is
a door that students can easily open to illuminate topics in science and math. That is the
aspect of IHWE that is most exciting for me: through enjoyable classroom and field
experiences with music, students are exposed to some solid concepts in physics and
mathematics." - Dr. William Short, Bose Fellow and key contributor to the Bose In
Harmony With Education program.
In the nine years the program has existed, an increasing emphasis on
education emerged. Today nearly everyone knows what NCLB stands for and at least some of
the ramifications it has had on the American education system. Accordingly, teachers are
tasked with ensuring their students achieve academic standards. "Teach to the
test" is unfortunately an all too common phrase. With this increased emphasis on
standardized test scores, enrollment in the In Harmony With Education program has
experienced constant growth. Why? Because although it is designed to be engaging and fun,
the subject matter directly relates to the National Education Standards, and consequently
to state education frameworks. This has proven an essential key to the existence of the
field trip component of the program, with educators constantly needing to rationalize
funding for busses, admission and other associated fees for field trips. With the Bose In
Harmony With Education program, educators can state what frameworks will be addressed, and
better understand how the expected outcomes go well beyond enrichment.
Most recently, Bose has expanded the In Harmony With Education program to international
regions where Bose has a presence. Currently the program is operational in Singapore,
Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and India. For these regions, we used a similar
approach of meeting local needs. While the primary content of the field trip experience
stays intact, we conduct research on the regional education syllabi to ensure the program
is promoted to the proper age group, and we explore subtle changes to meet local cultural
needs. In some of these countries, we also hire a dedicated program manager to ensure
compliance with the governmental education requirements and to ensure a quality experience
for everyone involved.
The Bose In Harmony With Education program regularly seeks to collaborate with
universities and large primary schools throughout the Northeast U.S. and Southern
California. With university collaborations, we look to host the field trips on a campus,
provide a training seminar for the university-appointed instructors who will deliver the
field trip experience and provide the materials necessary to teach the field trip. When
collaborating with a primary school, we prepare classroom teachers to teach the field trip
experience by providing a professional development seminar, and by temporarily installing
the necessary materials to operate the field trip experience (instruments, theater
equipment, etc.). For either operation model, we request that approximately 2,000 students
from the region participate over a 4-5 week time period. This typically is accomplished by
teaching 3-4 classes per day. If you are interested in learning more about the Bose In
Harmony With Education program, or would like to explore the possibility for a
collaboration to implement this program, please call 800-905-1541 or email email@example.com.
A fifth grader plays a Peruvian maraca, while her classmates
observe the wave patterns on an oscilloscope
Jason Brisbois is the International Operations Manager at the Bose Corporation.