Makey Makey and Spaces for Creative Learning

By Michael Patrick Wall

In this 5-minute Spark presentation, I will overview the Makey-Makey invention kit and briefly describe how and why it can be used in a classroom setting.  I will describe a project in an instrumental music classroom where this was integrated and the thought process behind the technological integration.  

The Makey-Makey is a small circuit board that connects to your computer through a USB cable and allows the user to turn almost anything into a proxy for a computer key.  By connecting anything that conducts electricity to the Makey-Makey via alligator clips, you can use everyday items to play music, games, or engage in a variety of other computer based activities.  Makey-Makey opens up a world of exploration that is quickly and easily accessible to teachers and students.  In this presentation, I will discuss the Makey-Makey in general as well as specifically how utilizing the Makey-Makey can help music educators expand the notion of creative music-making activities and allow for more varied and technological musical experiences within the classroom.

Within my own instrumental music classroom, I engaged in a project with three of my students.  Using the Makey-Makey, they experimented with various ways to make music, ultimately deciding to combine their love of music with art and robotics and create a working clock that played music as the hands passed each number.  This opened up a number of other possible music-making activities, such as performing acoustic music along with electronic music – combining art, robotics, and electronic music with traditional music-making activities.  In this presentation, I will describe and share examples of student work as well as describe the process of integrating the Makey-Makey into the classroom.  

Audience members who have not heard of Makey-Makey will take away a basic understanding of what it is and what it can do in and out of the classroom.  Audience members already familiar with Makey-Makey will see an example of a project done in a public school classroom as well as gain insight into the thought process behind the project so that they may feel more comfortable integrating it into their own classrooms.

Speak Your Mind