Sonic Pi

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With funding from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, this project developed an experimental school curriculum for teaching programming through the medium of digital music. Using the Raspberry Pi as a standalone music synthesis engine, students can connect a keyboard and screen to define their own programs expressing musical structure. In the process, they acquire a range of fundamental computer science concepts and basic programming skills. Curriculum development and a pilot series of lessons were created in collaboration with a school in a low-income area of East London.

Project leader:

Sam Aaron


Linked Crucible projects:

improcess - Ian Cross, Julio d'Escrivan, Richard Hoadley, Tom Hall, Nicholas Cook, Simon Peyton Jones, Tim Regan, Chris Nash, Jenny Judge, Nick Collins

Sonic Pi Live and Coding - Daniel Brine, Pam Burnard, Michelle Brace, Franzi Florack, Michael Corley, Steph Hogger, Martin Russell, Matthew Gunn, Rachel, Juneau (names), all Pop-Pi video artists, Ben, other teachers

Defining Pi - Rachel Drury, Nicola Buckley, Gareth Bell-Jones, Chooc Ly Tan, Kate Owens, Rob Smith, Richard Healy

Computer Lab Advisors:

  • Technical inspirations and/or advice

Andrew Sorensen Synth algorithms / designs (e.g. the book you've used) Any Rainbow / CL members you have technical discussions with. Dominic Orchard, Luke? Alistair? Ian Davies?

Raspberry Pi Foundation

Eben Upton, Liz Upton, Philip Colligan, Lance Howarth, Carrie Anne Philbin, Alex Bradbury, Jack Lang, Andy Hopper, Alan Mycroft, David Cleeveley, Alan Mycroft, Robert Mullins

  • Other funders and donors

AHRC, NESTA, Arts Council of England, Pi-Hut, Moog

Performance collaborators

Ben Jonathan Graham Afrodita Nikolova Organ: Alex Coplan Piano:

Research communities

Dagstuhl seminar on Learning in Live Coding - Alex McLean, Julian Rohrhuber, Alan Blackwell, James Noble

AHRC Live Coding Research Network - Alex McLean and Thor Magnusson

The TOPLAP manifesto authors, including Alex McLean, Nick Collins, Julian Rohrhuber and others

Students who have worked with Sonic Pi in the Computer Lab

Giovanna Dimitri, Alexander Simpson, Emily Fox, the drumming attempts … Biko Agozino, Karolis Dziedzelis, [[Ruairi Dorrity], Mona Niknafs, Janie Sinclair