A LaunchTN SBIR Matching Fund Recipient: Muzology, based in Nashville, is a technology company centered around a digital platform that uses music to make learning fun, engaging and effective. With the understanding that today’s learners need to be engaged, Muzology assembled a team of PhD’s, curriculum experts, and hit songwriters to create the company.
We caught up with the team to hear about their mission, the problems the company is addressing, and other businesses the company admires in Middle Tennessee!
Would you give us an overview of your organization?
Muzology’s mission is to use music to enable ALL learners to improve performance and unlock potential. The Nashville-based company was started by learning expert, Dr. Lana Israel, and music industry veteran, Bob Doyle. Dr. Israel came up with the idea for Muzology after decades of experience working in education, cognitive psychology, and the music industry.
Muzology has developed a music-based learning technology that is powering remarkable results. Developed by cognitive scientists and hit songwriters, Muzology is an educational breakthrough that takes students from failing to passing math quizzes in minutes using instructional math music videos.
The Muzology platform is an end-to-end, supplemental learning system comprised of a library of instructional math music videos that teach complex topics in an understandable way, gamified Pre- and Post-Test assessments that measure understanding and learning growth, customizable and assignable playlists that guide learning and differentiate instruction, and administrative tools including real time dashboards and analytics to track student performance.
Muzology was selected as one of six top innovative start-ups of 2018 by The National School Boards Association, Winner of the Software and Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) 2020 Innovation Showcase, Winner of SETDA (State Educational Technology Directors Association) EdTech Pitch Competition in 2021, CODiE Finalist for Best Emerging Instructional Technology Solution in 2021, and named to the Top 10 of the GSV Cup for Emerging Education Companies in 2021 (out of 700 global companies). Muzology has received four competitive SBIR grants totalling over $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation and US Department of Education.
Who are the key team members at Muzology?
Dr. Lana Israel, Founder/CEO
Jason Ducan, CTO
What inspired you all to start the company?
Muzology’s mission is to use music to enable ALL learners to improve performance and unlock potential. Muzology was started by learning expert, Dr. Lana Israel (a Harvard and Oxford educated Rhodes Scholar, who wrote her first book at age 13!). After working in the music industry between New York City and Nashville for over a decade, Dr. Israel became fascinated with the learning power of music. She joined forces with Bob Doyle, longtime manager of Garth Brooks, and set out to instantiate music as a credible pedagogical tool that could be used beyond early childhood to teach entire subjects to learners of any age. This led to the creation of Muzology
What need is Muzology currently solving or seeking to address?
The US Department of Education characterizes math skills, and in particular Algebra, as the gateway to future success. Conversely, failure in Algebra becomes a gatekeeper, a barrier to achievement in school and beyond, no matter the career. Correlations between math proficiency and college/career success are so strong, they’ve become a dividing line between advantaged and disadvantaged youth. Muzology exists to eradicate performance gaps in math education and enable ALL learners to reach their full potential. In addition to driving math achievement, Muzology mitigates the drop-off in engagement so prevalent in middle and high school. In addition to harnessing the power of music to deliver math instruction in a relevant, relatable, and engaging way, Muzology also leads to massive transformations in student pride, self-confidence and self-efficacy.
Could you describe your company in three words?
Music based learning.
How did you hear about the LaunchTN SBIR Matching Fund program?
Through an email blast.
Key people who helped make the funding opportunity happen?
Buzz Thomas, former CEO of Great Schools Partnership, Dr. Jim McIntyre, former Superintendent of Knox County Schools, and Gary Petko, PreK-12 Math Supervisor at Knox County Schools helped launch Muzology through R&D initiatives and support that led to district-wide adoption in Knoxville, TN.
What do you plan to achieve with this funding?
We will be expanding Muzology’s catalog of instructional math music videos to reach and teach even more learners using the power of music.
Any other funding that Muzology has received and that you are excited about?
Phase I and II SBIR grants from the National Science Foundation and US Department of Education.
Do you have any thoughts on what LaunchTN can bring to Tennessee that would make us the ‘most startup-friendly state’ in the nation?
Provide startups with mentorship, business coaching, and commercialization opportunities as well as incentives (e.g., funding, benefits packages, or some type of salary matching) to be able to attract talent who can often find higher paying jobs with larger, more established companies.
Favorite local business in your company’s city?
Every great Nashville establishment that features live music and supports artists and musicians!
Date founded: 2016
Company based in: Nashville, TN
Learn more about Muzology’s technology and mission at muzology.com.