We organised an elven day intense course in materiality for musical expressions to explore underlying principles of New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) in higher education. We grounded the course in different aspects of materiality and gathered interdisciplinary student teams from three Nordic universities. Electronic music instrument makers participated in providing the course. In eleven days the students designed and built interfaces for musical expressions, composed a piece, and performed at the Norberg electronic music festival. The students explored the relationship between technology and possible musical expression with a strong connection to culture and place. The emphasis on performance provided closure and motivated teams to move forward in their design and artistic processes. On the basis of the course we discuss an interdisciplinary NIME course syllabus, and we infer that it benefits from grounding in materiality and in the place with a strong reference to culture.