Coding Music Instrument Apps in Hopscotch & Tynker

Why should we bring coding into the music room?

Because not only is it cross curricular and ticking the STEAM methodology of teaching, it is also asking our students to think about the fundamentals of music. What is it we need to consider when making an instrument? Pitch, melody, and/or beat, rhythm, tempo and tone colour.

Tynker

hopscotchThe best iPad apps I found for coding music apps is Hopscotch and Tynker. Hopscotch is a simple coding program with limitations on design and sound files and its userface is unique to itself. Tynker is a bit more like Scratch with it’s userface and coding blocks and has more options in the ability to design and create and more sound files are available. Both apps still give enough scope to create both a melodic and percussion musical instrument and an authentic unit of work covering these objectives:

Knowledge: Musical instruments are invented and designed to play the pitch, melody, and/or beat, rhythm, tempo, tone colour.

Skills: Code a music instrument which, when tapped, changes its look in some shape or form and includes more than one sound/tone/note.

Summative Task 1:

Play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together as a class, each student playing on a correctly coded melodic instrument matching the Boomwhacker notes and colours.

Twinkle TwinkleBoomwhacker _sample

Hopscotch example

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Boomwhacker Piano

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xy3g0pu9q

Boomwhacker Spin Piano Note Names

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xyxy4anpx

Tynker example

Boomwhacker Piano

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https://www.tynker.com/play?p=58a3b5d35ae029880c8b4578

Summative Task 2:

In groups, arrange a composition to perform a simple song using your own coded musical instrument app in an iPad Band.

Hot Cross Buns_4 part arrangement_Sample

Hopscotch examples

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Hopscotch Hot Cross Buns Performance

Check out some Hopscotch instrument apps my students have created and yours can too!

Piano and Percussion App

Tap the squares to play the piano, tap the circles to play percussion/abstract sounds (N.B. this project is best played in the iPad app as it does not play so well in a web browser due to its complexity)

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xvtzpj372

 

Sound Effects Pad App

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Tap the emoji images to play the abstract percussion sounds (plays fine in a browser)

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xstfaq6r6

Drag to Play App

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Drag the parrot on top of images to play sounds (plays fine in a browser)

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xtt56eofh

Tynker examples

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Tynker Hot Cross Buns Performance

Check out some Hopscotch instrument apps my students have created and yours can too!

Animal Sounds

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Touch the animals to play the sounds

https://www.tynker.com/play?p=58c0af89949b56af0a8b456d

Winter Wonderland Percussion App

winterwonderland

Touch the animals & objects to play the sounds

https://www.tynker.com/play?p=58c0b2d5949b56990c8b4572

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Purchase this Unit of Work from my

Music Room Tech series

Includes:

  • Hopscotch Instructions (Tynker coming soon)
  • IB Unit of Inquiry
  • Australian Curriculum links
  • Step by step visual instructions
  • Charts
  • Scores
  • Arrangement worksheets

Have a go at coding instruments in your music classroom.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

 

 

Create your own MIDI musical instrument with Scratch and the Makey Makey

STEMvsSTEAM-GIRL

Coding is the new buzz word in primary education with many schools starting to teach it with the emphasis on teaching STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

It is also possible to add in the Arts, with new research showing  that teaching STEAM (STEM + the Arts) projects significantly impact learning.

Intrigued by this, I attended a workshop on coding in the classroom run by Stephanie Kriewaldt @stephkrie to see if I could add coding into my music classroom.

I was introduced to a computer and web-based program called Scratch, which is a simple coding program for use with students as young as Grade 3.

Percussion_codeit_bells_cropped

MaKeyMaKey_kit

We were also shown the Makey Makey Invention kit, invented to be used as a fun, electronic circuit MIDI controller using conductive materials as the triggers for computer games.

Seeing the Makey Makey attached to fruit and controlling a very simple piano coded in Scratch (the fruit being the piano keys), I came away from this workshop enthused to write a 10 week unit of work for my Grade 6/7’s titled

SC_Makey Makey_FC_smallScratch Coding for the Music Room: Makey Makey Edition

as it would fit perfectly with their IB PYP classroom Unit of Inquiry on inventions.

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I started by creating some projects in Scratch myself, connecting them with the Makey Makey, setting up stations around the room for students to investigate.

 

See the slideshow below.

We also talked about virtual instruments coded for use on iPad’s and computers and discussed how MIDI instruments are played.

Check out my Scratch  Percussion with Metronome project 

 

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I created a Scratch tutorial for my students to learn to code music sounds into scratch. Then sent them off on the summative assessment task to invent their own musical instrument, by coding a virtual instrument in Scratch and then inventing their own MIDI instrument to play their virtual Scratch instrument using the Makey Makey.

The result was fantastic, my students were extremely proud of their work, so much so that they wanted to share their projects with their parents and the school community on Graduation night. Below is a slideshow of my student’s projects:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Scratch Coding for the Music Room: Makey Makey Edition

is part of my Music Room Tech series with Bushfire Press. It includes everything you need to teach, including tutorials, scratch project files and more.

View my introduction video below.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

 

Scratch Coding for the Music Room- Makey Makey Edition