During Conductive Music events and workshops, we like to use fun & versatile MaKey MaKey boards. They allow us to set up and start making noise right away… as soon as we connect a computer and some conductive things! MaKey MaKey, since it acts simply as an extension of the keyboard, also supports first-time coding with the Arduino GUI and patches we have ready-made for our workshops.

Jay Silver, the inventor of the MaKey MaKey and CEO of JoyLabz (who are Conductive Music project partners), recently gave an interview with EdTech. We enjoyed reading about the beginning of MaKey MaKey, but we especially appreciated Jay’s thoughts on how accessibility and creativity are necessary for learning to code. When asked to explain the importance of coding in our present-day environment, his response was:

Code is now relevant because a “literature” and “culture” is emerging around it, and therefore it is interesting and inherently valuable. Not everyone has to be a professional writer, but everyone needs to know how to write a note or an email. Similarly, not everyone needs to make a living at coding, but everyone needs a basic understanding of how to do some simple coding so they can understand the world they live in and be engaged agents who have independence and self-determination.

Our Conductive Music workshops with MaKey MaKey will not teach you how to program a video game or website by yourself, but we will open the door to coding through teaching simple tasks, in the hope that some of our participants will go on to “be engaged agents” in an increasingly digital world.

For the full interview from EdTech, read this article: Q&A with MaKey MaKey CEO Jay Silver

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Emily Robertson