Recently we took the kids (and a friend) to see The Science of Rock 'N' Roll, an interactive exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre. Making its Canadian debut in Toronto, the exhibition looks at how advances in science and technology have revolutionized music and how we make music, experience it and share it.
You don't often think of music as a science (at least I don't), so the exhibition is a fascinating reminder that music has evolved based on the tools available to both musicians and music listeners. “The story of rock is usually told in terms of artists, songs, albums and events," says Alan Cross, Toronto radio personality and the exhibition’s content developer. "The Science of Rock ‘N’ Roll is different; it shows how rock ‘n’ roll is the direct result of the collision of art, science and technology."
The exhibition starts with displays detailing musicians, instruments and listening tools from the 1950s to today. Although it was a great walk down memory lane for my husband and me (oh how I miss the "grunge" era), I was a bit concerned that the kids were going to get bored. And bored kids equals no time for Mom and Dad to explore.
But the displays held their interest just long enough for us to have a decent look. And then we moved onto the real fun...
The hands-on exhibits. There is even a recording booth where you can sing along to a small selection of songs and record the results. My little girl was initially shy, but she got into it pretty quickly. By scanning your "Backstage Pass" you can have your recorded song emailed or access content at ScienceofRock.com.
After I finally got my starlet in the making to leave the recording booth, we explored several more stations, making music as we went.
Of course the exhibition finishes up with a very cool music-related shop, at which I really wanted but resisted buying this Rolling Stones t-shirt. I'm kind of regretting not buying it now though...
We made sure to leave enough time after visiting The Science of Rock 'N' Roll to take in some of the other fun exhibits the Ontario Science Centre is known for. Like this hair-raising exhibit, which my
daughter was dying to try.
The Science of Rock ‘N’ Roll runs until October 26th and is free with general admission to the Ontario Science Centre.