Google Summer Squad - Making Music with Code

  • As part of Google’s free Summer Squad program of workshops and activities for ages 8-13, young people from across London were given the opportunity to play and learn how to write code by writing music at the same time!

  • Google Summer Squad - Making Music with Code

  • Google Summer Squad gives young people unique opportunities to interact with new technology from making robots move with code to building a special code-powered photo booth to take snaps with friends. The Google Summer Squad took place in Google’s only retail stores in the world, here in London, over 8 weeks of free in-store activities for kids aged 8 to 13.

  • After we’d introduced ourselves and our aims for the session the young people were introduced to the Rapsberry Pi,  a tiny and affordable computer that you can use to learn programming through fun, practical projects, a programming environment called sonic pi and the Ruby programming language.

  • We began by making our Raspberry Pis  play simple melodies with Sonic Pi. Sonic Pi was developed by Dr Sam Aaron to help anyone “Learn to code creatively by composing or performing music in an incredible range of styles from classical & jazz to EDM.”  Sonic Pi provides a great way for those who enjoy music to learn coding. Apart from their dramatic development in coding skills the young people are also rewarded with interesting sounds and music as a result of their experimentation.

  • Several challenges were then presented to the children who came from across London to take part, many of them returning each week to collect their badges and stamps in their Google Summer Squad booklets. Many of the participants became hooked on the idea of completing the simple melodies and using trying to work out the ‘next bit’ of the melodies we had started them on. Others wanted to explore and were introduced to loops, drum loops and the different synthesizers that are all built in to Sonic Pi.

  • It was a pleasure to be involved in the Google Summer Squad events this year and see so many bright and inspired young people thoroughly enjoying learning, tinkering and making with technology. Many parents stayed throughout the sessions and commented on how engaged and motivated the children were over the course of the workshops.

  • If you would like to run your own similar event at your school or youth setting please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss how we can work together to motivate and inspire your young people around STEM and the arts.

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