Dy’er Sez: A very interesting bit of musical technology which has both pro’s and con’s. On the positive side, something like this might encourage an interest in music for children who may have never even thought to pick up an instrument. Also, the possible applications for disabled children (say, mid to high functioning autism) could be a great enhancement in both education and a better quality of life for those afflicted.

On the down-side, children who rely on the technology might be discouraged when they actually pick up a real instrument and find that it is harder and requires more dedication.  Also, are you really learning to play when you’re ‘mistakes’ are fixed as you go?

Either way, it looks like a heck of a lot of fun!

Story from

Kids Making Music: Interactive Music Box Draws Experience from Games By Peter Kirn

Ten minutes. Four or five kids (or adults). Make a song. Go.

That’s the idea behind the Youth Music Box, developed by Silent Studios and Chris O’Shea. (Our friend Chris you may recall from various interactive projects and the blog pixelsumo; he sends this project our way.) The software is build in openFrameworks, the C++-based creative coding environment for artists.

With keys, drums, and yes, even a scratching DJ-style interface, the music box brings together kids for quick music making, inspired by the phenomenon of musical games. The experience is guided by genre, with some effort to make sure whatever they do sounds good, but it’s extraordinary how effective it is at conveying the experience of the successful jam. It’s a bit of a confidence builder, in other words, for a group musical experience, perhaps more so than those ear-splitting, cheap plastic recorder consorts I recall from my youth.


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