BlockyTalky: A Physical and Distributed Computer Music Toolkit for Kids

Shapiro, R. Benjamin and Fiebrink, Rebecca and Ahrens, Matthew and Kelly, Annie

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

NIME research realizes a vision of performance by means of computational expression, linking body and space to sound and imagery through eclectic forms of sensing and interaction. This vision could dramatically impact computer science education, simultaneously modernizing the field and drawing in diverse new participants. We describe our work creating a NIME-inspired computer music toolkit for kids called BlockyTalky; the toolkit enables users to create networks of sensing devices and synthesizers. We offer findings from our research on student learning through programming and performance. We conclude by suggesting a number of future directions for NIME researchers interested in education.