About

My Partners

  • Max Cowan: As described below, my music producer is Max Cowan. Click here to see his website.
  • Dan Kirshner: Since the start of 2013, I’ve been posting interactive quizzes and flashcards on my site. These were programmed by Dan Kirshner. Click here for his website.

Sciencemusicvideos: The Story

My name is Glenn Wolkenfeld. I’m a science teacher at Berkeley High School, in Berkeley, California. Currently, I teach three sections of biology to mostly 9th graders. I’m also a co-leader for our science department, and for the BHS professional development team. In previous phases of my life, I’ve worked as a school administrator (from 2002 to 2005) and as a project manager in the then nascent multimedia industry (back in the 1990s).

I’ve been teaching (on and off) since 1987. I wrote my first science song, the Cell Song, while in my first week of teaching, at the Phoenix School of Roseburg, in Roseburg, OR. Phoenix was at that time a school for kids at-risk of not graduating. Having a guitar in hand was a pretty effective way – maybe the only way – to get these energetic, sometimes distracted students to listen and think about science. Three of my songs —The Cell Song, The Octet Rule, and Food Chains–date back to that first year in the classroom.

Twenty years later, in 2007, my wife Nancy and I took our children, then aged 13 and 10, to live in Cordoba, Argentina, with the goal of having them return as Spanish speakers. While my children heroically endured the complexity of adapting to a school where they didn’t speak the language, I studied Spanish, took guitar lessons, and spent time in our apartment writing my two Photosynthesis Songs (The Light Reactions and Calvin Cycle and Cyclic Electron Flow). Once I wrote and recorded the songs, I was left with the problem of how to distribute them. That led me to make them into music videos which I distributed on YouTube. Sciencemusicvideos was born!

Before leaving Argentina, I produced one more music video: Food Chains. Two summers later, in 2010, I wrote a song based on the Carbon Wedges idea of Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Institute —Seven Ways to Reduce Carbon. The next summer I recorded and produced three more videos: The Cell Song, the Octet Rule, and a new song, Glycolysis Time.

In 2012, I teamed up with my incredibly talented producer Max Cowan, and ventured into rap science. You can connect with Max by clicking here. We’re also using rock, Reggae, and country. You can see the results in my latest videos:

2012 music videos: DNA, Fantastic!, Pump it Up! (about the Circulatory System), Mitosis!, I’m a Virus, and Glycolysis!

2013 music videos: In 2013 I’ve added three more biology videos:
Krebs!, Meiosis!, and Membranes!
Three climate change videos:
The Greenhouse Effect, Keep Those Fossil Fuels in the GroundDisrupt, Climate Disruption!
And a song (with video still to be produced) about the scientific method.The Scientific Method,

Please let me know what you think about my songs and videos. I’m also trying to support each song with curricular materials (diagrams, crossword puzzles, and slideshows). And, just for fun, I’ve started to tweet biology haikus, which you can peruse on Twitter or in my blog.

I’m hoping to keep on producing about five songs every year

70 comments for “About

  1. SB
    January 25, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Dear Glen,

    I wanted to tell you that I find your videos amazing! They are so well done and clearly have taken so much effort to put together. What wonderful ways of introducing difficult, often dry material! I teach anatomy and physiology and have referred your site to so many of my students.

    We await all new songs you produce! Hats off to you!

  2. Tom
    February 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks

  3. February 28, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Glenn,

    I just discovered your site and I posted a link to your site on my web site and am sharing with all of my science friends and teachers friends and science teacher friends and students and…

    Thanks for this great educational resource. Perhaps I will purchase your songs and download to my iThing or Android Phone so I can enjoy and share at will with anyone who will sit still (or dance along) long enough.

    Marilyn

    • Mr. W
      March 1, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks so much, Marilyn! I really appreciate your spreading the word!
      Mr. W

  4. Brendan
    March 10, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Wonderful work! Our low literacy students are delighting in learning through the lyrics and images. All the way here in Australia your songs are making an educational difference too. Let the warm glow of that flow over you.. you deserve it!
    Brendan

    • Mr. W
      March 17, 2014 at 6:55 am

      Wow, Brendan. That makes my day! Low literacy is a major challenge for many of our students here in Berkeley, too. I’m glad that my songs are helping your efforts
      Thanks!
      Mr. W

  5. Felicia
    April 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I just stumbled across your videos. I am working on mitosis in my classes right now. Can you guess what they will be seeing on Monday? I am going to add many of these videos in my daily lesson plans. I will be sharing this site with my students and next year will be in my syllabus as a place to get help. I hope you plan on adding more videos! Thank you for these and the “extra” materials you have put with them.

    • Mr. W
      April 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Awesome, Felicia! Thanks for the feedback, and let me know how it goes with your students!
      Mr. W

      • felicia
        May 2, 2014 at 7:15 pm

        Mr. W.,
        Thank you so much. The catchy tunes have my students asking to see these in class. I have also had several students singing the songs while walking down the hall. Many times I will have one playing as students come into class to give them a heads up on what we will be covering that day.

        • Mr. W
          May 3, 2014 at 8:03 pm

          Hi Felicia,
          You’ve made my day!
          If you have time, please take a look at my tutorials on the carbon cycle, food chains, and/or trophic levels. I’d love to get some critical feedback from teachers like yourself.
          You can email me at sciencemusicvideos@gmail.com, or use the contact form on my website.
          Thanks!
          Mr. W

          • Felicia
            May 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm

            Mr. W.,
            I had to share these comments from my students. After they took our state assessment test, several students said they know they got specific questions correct. (They are not allowed to discuss the individual questions from the test, so I do not know which ones). How you ask? They said they were singing the songs to themselves while answering the questions! Several students said they were doing the same thing 🙂 Other students stated it helped them to watch the videos after we had class discussions on the materials for clarification. You are a HUGE hit in my classes this semester and I am so grateful to you for doing these videos.

            Again, Thank you!

            Felicia

          • Mr. W
            May 28, 2014 at 4:59 am

            Hi Felicia,
            A comment like this from clear across the country really makes my day! Thanks!
            Mr. W

  6. Marissa
    May 12, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Mr. Wolkenfeld,

    I am wrapping up my second year of college and thus finishing up some classes I need for a general education before I begin my upper degree work. With that being said, biology is definitely not an area I am particularly extraordinary at. Your videos and quizzes are truly what have been helping me pass my Intro to Human Biology course.

    I’m sure I speak for a larger group of struggling bio students than you may be aware, but thank you.

    • Mr. W
      May 13, 2014 at 3:16 am

      Hi Marissa,
      I love comments like this. Thanks so much! If you can, please let your friends, teachers, and fellow students know about my website, youtube channel, and mp3s on iTunes.
      Good luck!
      Mr. W

  7. philina pastor
    June 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I find your videos helpful…it would make learning biology concepts more fun.

  8. Ayah Ahmad
    July 10, 2014 at 1:55 am

    Your videos are soo amazing ^_^ , you are such a great teacher who mixes between learn and fun , and make one understand easily , have passion and the push him to start studying his lessons with good mode ^^
    I like your way in editing the videos
    sooo helpful so beautiful ..

    Thank you a lot , your partner Max
    May God bless you and your families ^_^

  9. Rik Myers
    August 14, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I teach biochemistry to medical students, graduate students and undergrads. We recently discussed moving lecture content to “teh innerwebz” and my colleague sent me the link to your Glycolysis video. Wow. Just wow, man. I’d love to direct my students your way to supplement what I do in the room.

    Keep it up!

    • Mr. W
      August 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      Thanks so much, Rik. I think you’ll really like my next two movies: Electron transport chain and Protein Synthesis. Stay tuned!
      Mr. W (@GlennWolkenfeld on Twitter)

  10. Lindy van den Berghe
    August 18, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Congratulations on your brilliant and inspirational presentation of crucial basic science.

    • Mr. W
      August 20, 2014 at 5:29 am

      Wow! What a nice comment! Thanks!

  11. Hany
    September 27, 2014 at 4:35 am

    I want to thank you from my heart for the efforts you put in these songs. I played in my science classes and it made big difference.
    Thank you Mr. Glenn
    Hany Taha

  12. Katrin
    October 3, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Thank you so much Glenn for this wonderful way of teaching sciences! Our children are mightily impressed, even so we are in a german school, they understand enough to learn even more about the inner life of our cells!

    • Mr. W
      October 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      Wow! Thanks so much for such a beautiful comment!
      Mr. W

  13. Andrea Chick
    October 23, 2014 at 3:06 am

    Mr. W,
    I also teach biology (to mostly 9th graders) in Texas. I found your videos recently and am amazed at how much information you can pack into a 3-8 minute song. I am now offering extra credit for any student or group of students that can sing your song on the current content we are covering. Funny, kids will not do regular credit work can’t wait to do the “extra credit”. The students have no idea that the real credit will be in how much more they remember and the increase in their success!

    Great videos–they make me smile!
    Andrea Chick

    • Mr. W
      October 23, 2014 at 6:52 am

      Wow! This is about the greatest thing (related to my work) that I’ve ever heard!
      Let me know how your extra credit project goes. If you ever videotape your students, I’d love to see it!
      Regards,
      Mr. W

  14. Paula
    November 5, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Senior level biology student at University of Central Missouri. I don’t think I could pass my cell bio exams without your songs! I just wish I had found them sooner!

    • Mr. W
      November 5, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      thanks, Paula. Let me know what you think of the quizzes and flashcards I’m posting. I’m curious if they’re useful for college students, too.
      Good Luck!
      Mr. W

  15. Sara
    November 11, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Hi,

    I’m Sara, a student from Leuven in Belgium (I’m studying to become a teacher) and I’m going to introduce you to my class tomorrow!
    We have to give a class about mitosis and I know some of my classmates have a bit of trouble studying it.
    So now they will have a nice way to study mitosis and other parts of biology!

    Thank you very much! You’re going global!

    Greetings,
    Sara

    • Mr. W
      November 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      Wow! Right now, I’m working on a new set of quizzes about osmosis…and I needed some encouragement! Thanks, Sara!

      Mr. W

  16. John Kwan
    January 8, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Way to go Mr. W!!

    • Mr. W
      January 8, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks, Dr. Kwan!
      Let me know if you want to work on an interactive tutorial together!
      Mr. W

  17. Oakland Freshmen
    February 6, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    we love you here in our freshmen bio class! GLYCOLYSIS IS OUR THEME SONG! you’re the best

    • Mr. W
      February 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Awesome! Is this Oakland, California?
      Let me know.
      Mr. W

      • Oakland Freshmen
        February 27, 2015 at 3:08 pm

        No, this is Oakland in PA! We love you here! Could you please send a signed photo of yourself for my biology teacher?

  18. Leanne miller
    February 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Hi all the way from England! I wonder if it is possible if you could please please send me a signed photo of yourself for my biology lecturer who is you biggest fan?! I would be very grateful.
    Thanks Leanne

    • Mr. W
      February 26, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Hi! Sent a digital image to your email. If you don’t get it, let me know and we’ll figure out something else.
      Enjoy!
      Mr. W

  19. Debbie Martin
    April 3, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Hi ! I am a doctor in Canada near Toronto. I stumbled across your spectacular youtube site in my quest to study anti-aging medicine. As I went along my reading, I discovered that my 52 year old brain was having trouble remembering “Just what IS the Kreb’s cycle and the electron transport chain? ” It all started coming back to me listening to your fun rap videos.

    So, my intention is to start a Canadian Antiaging and Metabolic Medicine group of physicians – my question is this – may I play your video to my doctors, and… this is a stretch, with all appropriate credits to you, may we perform one of them ourselves?

    Thanks so much for your efforts in this field. I wanted you to know that your expertise is of great value WAY beyond high school !!

    Sincerely,
    Debbie Martin
    debbiemartin3535@gmail.com

    • Mr. W
      April 3, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Debbie,
      This is about the greatest comment I’ve ever received. Of course you may use my videos however you wish! And, if you perform them, please make a video so I can see it!
      Also, please keep me apprised of your anti-aging efforts! I’m 53, and I’m sure I’ll need whatever you figure out in a few years!
      Regards,
      Mr. W

  20. Wendy Cheung
    April 7, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Hi, Mr. W. I am a university student studying biological science in Hong Kong. I have a biochemistry exam tomorrow and your songs are awesome! They help me a lot in learning kerbs cycle and electron transport chain. I will surely recommend your songs to my classmates. Thank you so much:)

  21. Andrew m.
    September 23, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Glenn! I love your videos! I’d love it if you went on tour or at least came to branson, Mo! Do you sell shirts?

    • Mr. W
      September 23, 2015 at 8:05 am

      Wow! A tour! No plans for one now (I gotta teach my classes here at Berkeley High). And guide me here. What would I put on that T-shirt? How would I sell it?
      Let me know!
      Mr. W

  22. Cecilia H
    October 8, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I like this song it really helps especially now that I am a freshman in college. It’s very catchy all I can do is replay it and replay to hopefully remember it all.

  23. Cecilia H
    October 8, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    By this song I mean the Cellular Respiration one.

  24. Cramming
    October 14, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    You’ve just saved me from failing my AP Bio test! Many thanks, Mr. W!

  25. Sally
    November 14, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Glenn,
    I teach secondary science in Australia: yrs 8 – 10, and senior biology. Your videos are now a regular part of my lessons – my kids (12yrs – >18 yrs old) love them. Some of them are even trying their own hands at science rapping!

    Thank you for making this amazing resource available. I am in awe!

    … from one very grateful, and very impressed, Australian science teacher 🙂

    • Mr. W
      November 15, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Hi Sally,
      Thanks for this great comment. You’ve made my day!
      Mr. W

  26. Sarah
    December 4, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    I LOVE YOUR VIDEOS! My friends and I are all studying for a biochem exam with them but I just start singing along and forget about studying. Thank you so much!!

  27. Stacey
    March 11, 2016 at 9:35 am

    When I was teaching osmosis I received an email from a student with a link to your osmosis song. He pequested I play it the next day in class – which I happily did. My students loved it and so did I. Since then, I have student repeatedly asking me if there is one of your songs for what we are currently studying.

    Thank you so much for making and sharing them. All of us love them here!

    • Mr. W
      March 11, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Hi Stacey,
      Comments like this make my day! Thanks so much.
      If you’re teaching AP Biology, please check out my new AP Bio Interactive Vocabulary Review. It’s at http://www.sciencemusicvideos.com/biomania.
      I’d love to know what you think!
      Mr. W

  28. aya
    March 19, 2016 at 4:12 am

    your work is amazing!
    you have no idea how much your resources help!
    thank you so much and keep doing what you do
    ^0^

    • Mr. W
      March 19, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks, Aya! It means a lot to me to get comments like this. Please consider doing two things: 1) spreading the word about sciencemusicvideos, and encouraging others to support my work by buying my mp3s on iTunes or Amazon!
      Best of luck.
      Mr. W

  29. Abe Weinstein
    April 18, 2016 at 4:45 am

    Hi Mr. Wolkenfield! I think I emailed you a week ago about this, but I have a friend who loves your videos. His birthday is coming up May 11, and it would be really cool if I could get your autograph for him, or something like that.

  30. Elise
    June 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I just found your videos and I think they are amazing! I am studying for the MCAT and they are helping so much. Thank you for making them!!!

  31. Paul
    July 16, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    You helped me get a 4 on my AP. Thanks Mr. W

    • Mr. W
      July 17, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Hi Paul,
      That is the most affirming comment I can imagine. Please tell all your friends who might be taking AP Bio next year to visit my site this coming year. Ironically, this will the first time in years that I’ve taught AP Bio, and I hope to make the site even more useful!
      Thanks again!
      Mr. W

  32. Glenn's BIGGEST Fan
    November 28, 2016 at 11:23 am

    glenn, good sir, you are a genius. you deserve to be in the ranks as one of the greatest minds of the age, up there with einstein and hawking. I have no idea how you are able to manipulate words and rhymes so well, but it is simply uncanny! One day I hope to get your autograph.

    • Mr. W
      November 28, 2016 at 11:56 am

      Wow…I don’t agree with the Einstein and Hawking comparison, but I do enjoy taking my favorite subject (biology) and rendering it into rhyme! Thanks!
      Mr. W

  33. Subtain Ali
    December 8, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Dear Sir,
    .
    I’m your fan since I watched your musical lectures and it is very pleasant experience to listen you. I’m an educator (Botany) and student as well. Your videos did a great help to me in improving my lectures. I will feel good to tell all of my fellows and students of my supra-fantastic experience. You said you are a high school teacher and I’m thinking of the lucky students enrolled in your class. And I’m also lucky as I’m your student since now. 🙂
    Thanks Sir for such a great job.

    Subtain Ali – Your Student from Pakistan

    • Mr. W
      December 9, 2016 at 11:54 am

      Wow, Subtain, what a great comment! Thanks!
      Good luck all you do!
      Mr. W

  34. Laura
    December 12, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Greetings from England! Just to say how much my students and myself love your songs – they summarise nicely the material they have been learning in class. Our favourite at the moment is the mitosis rap – very catchy! Thank you and keep up the good work.

    • Mr. W
      December 12, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks so much, Laura!

  35. Rich Kientz
    March 9, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Mr. W,

    I’m a first year biology teacher (I taught English for 15 years) and my background from college was Environmental Studies. I was ready to make a mid-career change and an opportunity to teach science (Earth Science and biology) was available. I really appreciate how you make the material accessible for students. Are there opportunities to observe you teaching in the classroom?

    Thank you,

    Rich

  36. Chein
    June 18, 2017 at 5:51 am

    I got b in bio….all the way from Nigeria…thankyou very much

    • Mr. W
      June 19, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Wow! Thanks for your comment, Chein!
      Good luck in your studies!
      Mr. W

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *