My upcoming preso at CSTA2020

I thought people might be interested in the description of a workshop I’m putting on for computer science teachers this summer. The title is “Creative Computing with Sonic Pi: Live Music Coding!”

Here’s the description:
Why should computer science only appeal to hardcore software and hardware types? Sonic Pi is an entry point to CS for those with a creative/musical bent. A free, multi-platform program, Sonic Pi appeals to ages 10 to adult. It is easy to use, yet extremely extensible, and gives users a platform for creating music while also learning about loops, variables, and other CS concepts. Participants in this session will try their hand at creating their own original pieces. We will start with the basics of the Sonic Pi IDE, look at its integrated help system, then start programming our own tunes. Along the way, we will examine some of the intermediate features of Sonic Pi, such as the use of samples, synths, options, and effects. A passing understanding of musical terminology, like rhythm and notes, is helpful but not required.


Sounds really great. Good luck and do let us know how it goes! :slight_smile:

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Thanks! I will definitely report back. And I’ll give lots of props to the creator of this awesome software!

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OP here. Just found out today that all of CSTA this summer is being moved online. They wanted to know if I felt comfortable doing my workshop virtually.

My school has moved to virtual schooling, using Zoom, so I’m sure the online part of delivery won’t be a problem for me. I’m wondering if anyone here has actually taught Sonic Pi online to a live group? How did it go? Tips, tricks, and traps?

I think it could certainly be done, but it would be different for sure. Any thoughts?

bumping this post up!

OP here, post-presentation, just giving a report back.

CSTA is a conference of about 1,000 computer science teachers, who cover everything from early primary grades through college/university. I was aiming the preso at beginners, had 90 minutes, and the whole conference was virtual. It meant that I had less interaction with attendees than in a f2f workshop, where I would normally circulate through the room and listen to music, help troubleshoot, offer suggestions. However, given the strictures of online learning, I think it went really well, judging from some very enthusiastic thank-you’s! Several said they couldn’t wait to either try it in their classes or recommend it to their music colleagues.

Here is a link to the slide deck. I gave full props to Sam and this amazing forum as well.

Thanks to all who made suggestions.