August 2014

Björk’s Biophilia Teaches Music and Technology

Bjork performs BiophiliaBjork performs Biophilia

Bjork performs Biophilia
Björk performed her Biophilia show in Santiago, Chile, and many other places around the world.

Björk’s Biophilia, the world’s first app-based music album, will soon be used to teach music, science, and technology in schools across Europe. Building on the album’s apps, Björk developed the Biophilia Educational Program. The program was created for students between the ages of 8 and 15. It was designed to inspire learning and encourage creativity through the use of new technologies.

Björk is a singer-songwriter from Iceland, an island country located between the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. She has recorded many different kinds of music—alternative rock, dance, electronic, and folk, to name a few. In her concerts, she likes to have fairy-tale-like costumes, colorful stage sets, and unusual musical instruments.

When Björk released the Biophilia album in 2011, she wanted it to eventually be used as a teaching tool. For several years, she worked with scientists, education experts, and music and science teachers to create the Biophilia Educational Program. The program uses touchscreen technology to present lessons and hands-on activities about music and science. Students can use the program on tablets, such as the iPad, and on smart phones.

The term Biophilia means “a love of life and nature.” Björk chose this title because she wants to encourage people to explore and appreciate their connection with the natural world. In addition to Björk’s music, the Biophilia apps feature narration by famous British broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough. The apps also include games, videos, and images that allow students to learn about connections between music, nature, and technology. Users can also take part in performing the music and creating on-screen graphics.

American students have also tried the Biophilia Educational Program. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan in New York City held workshops in partnership with Björk and the New York Public Library. Museum educators guided students and their families through the Biophilia apps. In addition, the workshops included hands-on science experiments, music, and dance. Some schools in Los Angeles and San Francisco also hosted Biophilia workshops. Students who took part enjoyed Biophilia’s unusual, hands-on approach to learning.

Image credit: ©Victor Ruiz Caballero/LatinContent/Getty Images

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Question 1
Who is Björk?

Question 2
What does the Biophilia Educational Program teach?

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