Introduction - Claire Quigley

Hi Everyone,

I’m Claire, I’m based in Glasgow, Scotland and have been a Sonic Pi fan for the past few years. I’m one of the organisers of CoderDojo Scotland, a coding club for young people, and we often use Sonic Pi at Dojos.

We’ve found it encourages new girls to have a go at coding as their familiarity with and interest in music overcomes some of the trepidation they feel about getting involved with coding, when many of them perceive the boys as being much more knowledgable than them (a belief that has a very varied amount of truth in it :wink: )

Similarly, during a series of workshops with a group of teenage boys who had been excluded from school, a couple of the boys really took to the idea of being able to make their own music with code. One in particular had really struggled to concentrate on earlier sessions with games programming, but sat for 2 sessions with fantastic concentration coding his own tunes.

I’m currently a part time lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, working with the first year BEd Music students (i.e. trainee school music teachers) on using Digital Making as part of their teaching. We’ve been working on Scratch this term, but I’m hoping to get them doing some Sonic Pi next term.

I recently used Sonic Pi to provide the dream soundscape for a Raspberry Jam project, also featuring a stuffed sheep (not real) and the Electric Sheep program. I’m hoping to extend it and make it a bit more interactive - at the moment the only interactive element is sound_in noises being filtered into the dream sounds with some echo on them. (Short video of it in action here: “Sheep Dreams”)

I’m really enjoying reading about everyone’s experiences with Sonic Pi - nice to “meet” you all!



Hi Claire
Welcome to in-thread. Great video Sheep Dreams!

Welcome Claire - as I’ve told you personally - I love all the work you do :slight_smile:

It’s a real honour to have you here in the forums.

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Thanks, Robin! I’m a big fan of your Early Music Sonic Pi pieces :slight_smile:

Thanks, Sam! It’s great to be able to read about what other SP fans have been doing :slight_smile: .

How did the meeting with ABRSM you mentioned on twitter a while back go? (assuming it’s not part of a secret project)

The ABSRM meeting went very well thanks. It was the first of a number of panel meetings for something they call “The Music Commission” :slight_smile:

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Hi Claire,

I’d love to hear more about what you do with the BEd students and Digital music making. I am a music teacher and don’t feel like creative coding is being explored enough in Music Education as a legitimate avenue for creative expression. I think the benefits, both musical and non-musical, are immense. I studied as an Instrumental teacher and while I do think that having that type of experience playing music is important, there are so many more possibilities when exploring where coding and physical computing intersect with art and music.

Looking forward to hearing more about your experiences!


Hi Liam,

It’s been really interesting to read your updates on teaching music with Sonic Pi - I’ve mostly been teaching coding with it before this.

So far with the student teachers we’ve only had 6 sessions on Scratch. The last two sessions involved the students using it to make a program that could either be used in a lesson to model a musical system or feature: e.g. how the various different parts played by musicians in a band fit together, or to practice a skill, e.g. interval training.

We also looked at the MaKey MaKey and the students were really taken with that and the idea that it could be used as a “customisable instrument”. One student created a program that would let pupils accompany a song called “The Dundee Ghost” by touching wired-up bananas playing spooky sounds. The musician in charge of each banana had to keep counting to make sure they came in on the correct beat of the bar.

I think the students are beginning to see the point of the exercise and have requested more MaKey MaKey stuff next term. I think they’ll also really like Sonic Pi as their favourite thing is, unsurprisingly, adding musical features and sounds to their programs. Scratch is quite limited in this, so Sonic Pi should give them a lot more scope!

I’m a big fan (and teacher ambassador) of MaKey MaKey. I did an enrichment class last year using Scratch and MM to create interactive sound projects. They came up with some great stuff and really enjoyed the process. I also use p5.js, the javascript version of Processing with Makey Makey and a similar device called the FunKey FunKey for projects using sound and visuals. I’ve also found the key press response time and latency is much better in p5 then Scratch.
I’ve have a lot of videos of those projects (and Sonic Pi stuff) on my youtube page:

One thing I’m really interested in is making some type performance ensemble using instruments and devices made with those platforms. I’m also waiting for Sonic Pi to incorporate key press events so I can hook up a Makey Makey and really have some fun!

Great projects! I’ll try and show some to my students next year for inspiration :slight_smile: . I’ll also look out for your Makey Makey ensemble!