Meet Muzology 🎵🧠
Using music videos and mnemonics to teach kids math
At 10 years old, she wrote her first song. By middle school she was in a rock band and building science projects about learning and memory. Today her startup uses music and science to help millions of students learn math.
This is the story of Dr. Lana Israel and her startup, Muzology.
This story is part of my ongoing series for the science-focused founders and early-stage teams changing the future of learning and health. Enjoy, share and subscribe to meet a new founder each week.
Music and memory
Even at an early age, while writing songs and performing with her rock band, Lana was fascinated by mnemonics and memory. Her father was a training consultant with a focus on brain-based selling techniques. By middle school she was all in, and she had the full support of great teachers in the Miami-Dade public school system.
From 7th to 12th grade she used science projects to continue learning as much as she could about memory. Her work earned the Grand Award at the International Science and Engineering Fair, and a trip to the Nobel Prize! ISEF is an annual event hosted by Society For Science that brings together 1500 students from roughly 70 countries and territories to compete for more than $4 million in scholarships, grants, internships, field trips and cash prizes. Notable Alumni include astrophysicist James Gunn (1957), Nobel laureate Paul Modrich (1964), CRISPR biochemist Feng Zhang (2000), and congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (2007).
While preparing to give a talk at an education conference in Sydney, Lana created an illustrated book called “Brain Power for Kids: How to Become an Instant Genius” as an actionable handout for educators to share with students.
Within a week of the event, she had a book deal.
Harvard to Oxford
By the time she finished up her degree at Harvard and was Oxford-bound as a Rhodes Scholar, Lana had self-published 2 books on Mind Mapping, lectured across 5 continents, created award-winning multimedia on learning, and studied under renowned cognitive and memory scientist Daniel Schacter.
Taking the leap
It was while studying at Oxford that Dr. Israel decided to take the leap and pursue her passion for music. She moved to New York City and began working with Billy Mann, the Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer, and music executive who has worked with music greats from Pink and Cher to John Legend and the Jonas Brothers. It was while working with songwriters and producers that Lana realized music was the “holy grail” of learning.
She noticed music could power remarkable feats of memory that would be unheard-of in academic settings: for example, people could hear a song they hadn’t heard for decades and still remember all of the lyrics.
The idea behind Muzology and using music as a learning medium was born.
Music as a learning medium
Dr. Israel started Muzology in 2015 to harness the intrinsic power of music to supercharge learning. She assembled a team of PhD’s, curriculum experts and hit songwriters to create a digital platform that uses music videos to make learning fun, engaging and effective.
The results were clear, and have continued to improve with each iteration and new groups of students experiencing a new way to learn about math.
- 99% of students improved their math scores after using Muzology for 4 weeks
- 87% of students improved their baseline score by 50 points or more
- students who used Muzology during the pandemic increased their learning growth by 2+ years (while their peers fell behind)
National Science Foundation research
With more than $1 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation, the Muzology team is continuing its research into the mnemonic optimization of music and songs. They are currently working on:
- optimization of learning-based musical forms based on distinct mathematical information types; and
- creation of a non-linear, dynamic delivery platform.
Educators, parents and students can benefit from Muzology anywhere, anytime by reaching out or signing up to use their platform online.
The future of math learning is bright thanks to Dr. Israel’s passions, experiences and vision for a better future through music and memory.