Lance has been a Yikes Tikes! board member since early 2014 and currently serves as the board’s Vice President of Development, where he helps to raise funds, build awareness through networking, and move the organization to the next level. In his day job, he works as a senior front-end developer for MediaMath as well as Chief Creative Officer for NeuroPop.
A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Lance was one of the first composers to apply algorithmic compositional techniques to commercial music production in the early 1980s. During his 20+ year career, Lance’s music provided the sound track for some of the world’s most recognized brands including McDonalds, Pepsi, Toyota, IT&T, Diet Coke, and most visibly with his composing the T-Mobile ring tone. Lance has also composed the music for the spoken word opera “Blue Gods,” created the world’s first commercially viable audio morphing program, and produced and worked with artists such as Julee Cruise, Talia Paul, Richard X. Heyman, Jesse Malin and Masabumi Kikuchi.
Q: What made your family want to join the Yikes Tikes! co-op?
A: Our son Zac was a bit precocious, but way too isolated, so we wanted to find some place where he could socialize with other kids, but where we would be able to participate in his daily activities. We didn’t know there was a name for it, but what we were looking for was a “parent cooperative.” It took some searching, but eventually I found Yikes Tikes!, and it was exactly what we had envisioned—somewhere he could socialize, where creativity and exploration are encouraged, and where we could materially participate in what was going on in his daily life.
Q: Why did you join the Yikes Tikes! board?
A: Of the various roles listed for parent co-op members, being a board member seemed like the place where I would be the most useful. I also felt that Yikes Tikes! is special and wanted to help it move forward as an organization.
Q: How does your professional experience in technology and music relate to early education?
A: Both tech and music are important for kids to be exposed to. As an engineer, I like to see kids doing puzzles, or learning numbers, or the alphabet. And with the games available now, it’s fun to watch them teach themselves all of this and more, and still be responsive in their social environment. As for music, I can’t stress enough how important it is—there’s an entire level of processing in the brain that just goes missing when children aren’t taught music. Spatial abilities, intuitive thinking, and the complexity of combining words, rhythms, sounds, and physical movement do wonders for their growth as little people.
Q: Can you tell us more about how you combine your experience in technology and music in your work outside of Yikes Tikes!?
A: I combine my engineering and musical skills in my company NeuroPop, where we create sounds and music to induce specific mental states. Our biggest success so far is the Sleep Genius app (http://sleepgenius.com/), while we currently have a piece of music that has proven to be effective in managing minor, acute aches and pains. Since these can be delivered to people just like normal pieces of music, and only require a pair of headphones to work, my long-term goal is that everyone, everywhere will use our music to help with the various stresses and strains in their daily lives. And hopefully, our “focus” work will help a new generation of students do better in school with less stress as well.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
A: I’m delighted and honored to be a board member of Yikes Tikes!, and I love seeing how all the kids have been progressing.