Using Music to Teach Theories

by | Jan 14, 2015 | Education & Colleges

As a Physics Teacher it is always interesting to find new approaches to teaching theories. A Canadian University of McGill student, Tim Blais became an overnight sensation when he applied music to help explain some of the most complicated theories including the String Theory and The God Particle or Higgs boson. He has received over 2.5 million views to date on his YouTube posts.

Acapella
Blais uses his voice and music to explain the String Theory to the tune of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. His YouTube video very cleverly uses newly written lyrics to explain the String Theory in hand with interesting voice and visuals. Dubbed Bohemian Gravity, his production has even been viewed by Queen’s guitarist Brian May. Interestingly Brian May also happens to hold his PhD in astrophysics.

Bill Nye
Blais was a huge fan of Bill Nye the Science Guy, a famous children’s show host who often used music to explain scientific information to his viewers. He was a major influence in Blais’ life and he appreciated the combination of science and music due to his own family’s musical talents. Blais has always struggled between music and science with deep ties to both. He loved music as a child and received music lessons when his parents noticed he was often mimicking his older brother’s playing. He has played in bands with his brother and was the genius behind his video including the singing, beats and camera work.

Original Video
Bohemian Gravity was actually Blais’ second video. His first used Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” to create his version, “Rolling in the Higgs” which was based on the God Particle (or Higgs boson). He used the same Blais acapella style and was successful at rendering an interesting albeit complicated rendition to try to simplify the explanation for the layman. Blais’ natural affinity to music and passion for science allows him to find new ways to approach the subject and make it more interesting as well as easier to remember when put to music.

Music and Science
Blais has found it hard to define himself either as a scientist or a musician. He loves both and feels not everyone has a calling to just one career. He has found a way to balance his attention between the two. His new approach to science has allowed him to find musical expression with hopes he is also inspiring a new generation of physicists and scientists.

 

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