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Meeting the team and discussing ideas.

We have to plan and run an event for school children  aiming to convey the excitement of studying Music Technology at the University of York. Our teams were assembled and we got to work!

The team met up for the first time last week and we had our first planning session. This allowed us to gather our initial thoughts and try and formulate a more cohesive and practical plan for the school’s event happening in the final week of term.

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The first team meeting in session!

We had originally thrown around a lot of ideas when we first got put in our team under the umbrella term of interactive sound. Some of these included using Makey Makey to make sounds from everyday objects like fruit and veg; making a theremin with the Arduino board; thinking of ways to visualise sound such as the experiment with Chladni patterns on the guitar and using wii and xbox controllers to control MIDI messages.

After an overwhelming amount of creative thinking and generation of ideas, this initial phase of creativity had to be condensed into what we thought might be both practical and effective.

We were initially planning on having different workstations where each of the team could manage something separately which tied in to the theme of interactive sound. However whilst we thought the guitar’s resonance patterns and the Arduino based theremin would be interesting and effective tools, we decided that it might be too complex to have too many different things going on at once. We thought it would be better to focus on one or two ideas and do them to the best of our collective abilities.

We decided to move forward under the new idea of movement and sound and use the wii controllers to affect filters in Ableton and the Makey Makey as MIDI based fruit controllers. We thought that wii controllers and fruit were objects that most would have encountered at home and therefore made things a bit more relatable.

Our main outcomes for the workshop are to get the kids to think about new and exciting ways to use music technology with everyday objects; learn a little about the underlying principle of MIDI and how this is being used and most of all to enjoy themselves and be inspired by what we have shown them and maybe go home and start making and creating sound themselves!

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