The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will use cutting-edge technology to engage students in STEAM-based music education learning activities.

The Orchestra announced plans for the Jeanne R. Johnson Education Center, which will open in fall 2024. The center, produced in cooperation with the Opera of the Future group at the MIT Media Lab, will serve students in first through twelfth grade for field trips each year.

According to the DSO, students will engage in STEAM-based learning activities utilizing cutting-edge technology. The learning programs include orchestra conducting using virtual reality, visual and dynamic AI components of sound waves, and the science behind acoustics.

“We are thrilled to work with the DSO on the new Johnson Education Center,” says Tod Machover, Muriel R. Cooper professor of Music and Media at the MIT Media Lab where he directs the Opera of the Future group. “Through the DSO’s gift to the Opera of the Future group at the MIT Media Lab, we have a wonderful opportunity to enhance music listening and understanding for everyone with the help of cutting-edge technologies, while opening doors to the creative uses of AI and the potential of music to enhance physical and mental wellbeing.”

In a press release announcing the new center, DSO explained that the new space will also offer interactive opportunities with live musicians alongside innovative technology and games. DSO said the entire center is designed to create an educational and entertaining experience.

“The Dallas Symphony recognizes the lasting impact that music education has on children and is committed to providing the in-depth engagement that the Center will offer to the thousands of children who will visit annually, including the more than 1,000 students in Southern Dallas who take part in the DSO’s free instrument training programs,” said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President and CEO of the Dallas Symphony.

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