Making Musical Interfaces with MaKey MaKey and Scratch

Presented By: Adam Patrick Bell

Keywords: Maker Space, Repurposing Tech, Usability & Accessibility

The purpose of this session is to provide participants with hands-on opportunities to collaboratively explore and create new ways to interact with sound and music by designing their own “instruments” or “interfaces.” To this end, the session will introduce participants to the MaKey MaKey (www.makeymakey.com), a user-friendly plug and play prototyping device and demonstrate how it pairs well with the sound scripts in Scratch. Participants needn’t be intimated if they’ve never heard of or encountered a MaKey MaKey or Scratch, only a few minutes of orientation is required to get familiar enough with the hardware (MaKey MaKey) and software (Scratch) to commence a meaningful and engaging design experience. Combined, the MaKey MaKey and Scratch afford participants the opportunity to invent new musical instruments using conductive household materials. The advantage of making new music instruments is that no one is an expert, leveling the musical playing field and forcing learners to think critically about the accessibility of making sounds and music. Thus, the session is intended for those who identify as “musicians,” “non musicians,” and every category in between. The session will be primarily hands-on and interactive, giving participants ample time to design their own instruments.

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