'She Blinded Me With Science' Star Now Teaches College

Thomas Dolby applied for, got position at Johns Hopkins

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 3, 2014 10:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Before composing his 1982 synth-pop hit "She Blinded Me With Science," Thomas Dolby sketched out the story line for the music video. That's not just rock 'n' roll trivia—it's one of the experiences Dolby can lean on as he teaches film and music students at Johns Hopkins University, a school known more for medical science and research than the arts. Not bad for a guy whose formal education ended at age 16. He began teaching his "Sound on Film" class Friday at Hopkins' Peabody Institute music conservatory.

Dolby's wacky video about a home for demented scientists became a favorite on MTV, which was then about a year old, helping propel the song to No. 5 on Billboard's US charts. Dolby, 55, released three more albums over the next 10 years that cemented his reputation as an electronic music pioneer. In the 1990s, Dolby moved on to film and video-game scoring and founded a Silicon Valley company that created software enabling cellphones to produce musically rich ring tones. School administrators can hardly believe they've landed a bona fide rock-star professor. Paul Mathews, a Peabody associate dean, said he was stunned when Dolby applied for the post in January. Mathews said he still listens to Dolby's albums.

In this Aug. 29, 2014, picture, musician Thomas Dolby is seen through a recording studio window as he speaks with students in his class, Sound on Film,” at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
In this Aug. 29, 2014, picture, musician Thomas Dolby is seen through a recording studio window as he speaks with students in his class, "Sound on Film,” at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.   (Patrick Semansky)
In this Aug. 29, 2014, picture, musician Thomas Dolby, left, prepares for his class, Sound on Film,” at Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute music conservatory in Baltimore.
In this Aug. 29, 2014, picture, musician Thomas Dolby, left, prepares for his class, "Sound on Film,” at Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute music conservatory in Baltimore.   (Patrick Semansky)
In this Aug. 29, 2014, picture, musician Thomas Dolby, top right, speaks with students in his class, Sound on Film,” at Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute music conservatory in Baltimore.
In this Aug. 29, 2014, picture, musician Thomas Dolby, top right, speaks with students in his class, "Sound on Film,” at Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute music conservatory in Baltimore.   (Patrick Semansky)
In this Aug. 29, 2014, picture, musician Thomas Dolby speaks with students in his class, Sound on Film,” at Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute music conservatory in Baltimore.
In this Aug. 29, 2014, picture, musician Thomas Dolby speaks with students in his class, "Sound on Film,” at Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute music conservatory in Baltimore.   (Patrick Semansky)
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