Light the Music creates curricula and apps that help kids learn and create in an interactive ‘visual music’ experience.
Steve Van Dam, founder and CEO of Light the Music
What does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day is a blend:
- I’m working with educators, and teaching classes/workshops using the ORO Visual Music Education programs.
- I design curricula and app content—interactive sounds and visuals.
- As we scale up our initial traction in eight schools, I’m meeting with investors and business strategists to hopefully ensure we take the right steps.
- As a professional musician, I’m still creating music for film and television, and playing live with my band E3.
- Most importantly, as a dad, I have the pleasure, (and challenge), of raising two of the most amazing teens in RVA. For fun, I kayak, garden, golf, and do some yoga, outdoors if possible. Oh, and Texas Hold’em.
What inspired you to start your company?
Mid ’90s, driving back from a gig in Atlanta, I had the crazy idea to combine music and art together in an interactive way — with an inescapable, intuitive connection between the sounds and visuals. Almost 20 years later, I realized that the time (and tech) was right, and ORO Visual Music was born. ORO removes the barriers to musical creation, making it a great tool for learning music, physics, art, collaboration, and creativity. We think it will also improve music therapy and will be an incredible AR/VR experience!
What’s your favorite thing about Virginia?
I love the mix that VA offers — four fairly even seasons, decent access to the beach, rivers, and the mountains, a tasty blend of people/backgrounds. Richmond, in particular, is an undeniable hub of creativity, makers, art and music, great food and drink, all in a setting that’s been described as the ‘biggest small town in America’.