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Free Education To The World That Is Sustainable

Making Free Education To The World A Reality

Photo of Dr. Brandon Bernstein
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Music LifeBoat is a company I co-founded with a mission to bring a free, high quality and sustainable education to the world. By blending Khan Academy-like videos of world masters with innovative games, we are able to make learning not only accessible, but fun, engaging and available to all. In 2015, we released a free music education app called BandBlast that include lessons by Philharmonic orchestra members, combined with musical games. One of our key advantages as a company is our ability to simultaneously  create for-profit apps quickly and at low cost. We achieve these goals by making small modifications to the code we created for our free educational apps, and further design them to appeal to multiple demographics, from toddlers to teenagers, from university students to adults. I also foresee an ever growing market for our skills as more and more corporations turn to gamification code apps as a cutting edge way to dynamically boost employee engagement and morale. In short, by developing code for free apps that will draw a world of users to our free product lines, our ever expanding platform will create a synergy of profits combined with progressive social change.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

― R. Buckminster Fuller

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

Our Educational system needs to be fixed on a macro level and this is a solution. By way of technology, creativity and collective conscience we can bring millions of people access to education. Profits can sustain the free versions and a percentage can be used to help bring better in-person education to our communities.

This idea emerged from:

  • An individual

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I would like help designing this idea, (both visually and conceptually), to make it more concise. I would greatly welcome any thoughts, ideas and possible collaborations.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We currently are trying out this idea in our company Music Lifeboat. Please check out the app BandBlast (free high quality education app), and 'BandBlast Rock' (for profit app based on slight modified code).

Tell us about your work experience:

I have a very unique background with a wide variety of skill sets. I am a jazz musician, professor, activist, author, TEDx speaker and an entrepreneur. I completed a Doctorate Degree in Music from USC in 2009. I volunteer regularly with the homeless, incarcerated, camps, veterans, hospitals and other underserved communities. I also serve on the Board of several 501c3’s in Los Angeles.

Attachments (1)

Lifeboat Vision 2017.pdf

A visual of our vision.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Andrea Zelenak

These are really cool!

I will definitely have to check out the rest of the apps and website in full. I used to create songs for learning capitals and countries and even rocks/minerals throughout my years of school, and always youtubed ways to learn through music. I do have to look at the rest of what you offer, but are all of your products based on learning music? Or do any of your products use music to learn other subjects? I think it's amazing and I would love to see how much more you can expand this into higher education!

Photo of Andrea Zelenak

Do you think or could also be incorporated into the music world?

Photo of Dr. Brandon Bernstein

Hi Andrea
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. Currently, all of our apps are music related; however, if we can prove this model works with music and is sustainable, this model can be interchanged with any discipline. Does this model make sense? Do you have an thoughts/suggestions/ideas on how it can be improved or designed better?

Photo of Dr. Brandon Bernstein

Absolutely! These are great solutions! My only suggestion, and it's subjective, is I wonder if their sustainability vision can be better improved?