Should Someone Develop a Sonic Pi Course on Kadenze?

As mentioned in my lengthy intro, Sonic Pi opened the door for me to learn diverse things.
Been using some material from the Kadenze course platform to appropriate some musicking environments (ChucK, Max, Reaktor…). Not that it’s groundbreaking pedagogy, but it’s a convenient way to get a bit of hands-on training.

Was going through the Kadenze course catalog and noticed a course on audio on the Raspberry Pi, but nothing on SPi. Mentioned that absence on Twitter and it sounds like they’d be interested in having this situation redressed.

Wonder if they approached @samaaron

Sounds to me like someone from in_thread could do a great job developing a course on that platform. Would allow more musickers to appropriate our favourite platform and contribute to its outreach. It could also bring deeper pedagogy to the “video and exercise” model of online educating.



I love Kadenze. Took the course on ChucK and am taking the one you linked to above as well as dabbling in several others. I think an SPi course on there would be a big hit. I would be happy to pitch in to help develop a course if the opportunity should ever arise.


You had me at ‘pedagogy’… mainly as I had to go look it up… :slight_smile:

Yeah… count me in too…



To be more specific, this can be about heutagogy! :wink:

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@mrbombmusic @enkerli Jordan from Kadenze here. First of all, glad to hear that you guys are enjoying our courses. Honestly, we’d love to have a SPi course/Program on Kadenze - SPi is a fantastic platform and together we would certainly extend its outreach and inch closer toward its educational goals.

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This one I had to look up :wink: . Will gladly help if I can!


@jordannatan HI Jordan. As you saw, there are some of us who would love to see a course like that on Kadenze. This would all obviously depend on the approval of @samaaron, who is currently very busy trying to obtain further funding to continue his work on Sonic Pi. But if he gives his blessing, I’m sure there would be several members of this in_thread community, including myself, who would be willing to contribute to the course’s development.

Please keep us in the loop should any developments be made.

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Hi guys, just wanted to say I’d love to see a Sonic Pi course on Kadenze, I am active on there myself, mostly doing visual arts programming courses at the moment, but I am a music technology lecturer and very interested in live coding music. I am planning to teach Sonic Pi to my third year music technology students next academic year, and I would be happy to contribute to the development of the course.


In a way, this might be an occasion for a collaborative effort. Building a full course requires enough energy that many of us would hesitate before committing, without a good reason. And crowdsourcing projects require coordination. Yet, there are enough teachers in here that it could be fun to create something together, whether or not it complies with Kadenze formats and standards.


I agree. We can look to start organizing a place where people can start submitting ideas for important concepts, lesson or unit plans, sequencing of lessons and examples etc as well as an agreed upon format for how these lessons/tutorials should be presented in. We can also decide if this is something we want to format for a Kadenze class specifically or make it more open ended as a crowd sourced class for Sonic Pi made by members of the Sonic Pi community for members of the Sonic Pi community (and then maybe tweak it later on to fit Kadenze).

There was another thread where @kniknoo brought up the possibilities of creating intermediate tutorials which Sam seemed very open to. That might be a good starting off point.


I was gonna suggest that as a starter. Would be cool to move from there to a wiki so we can make it comprehensive after that.


Sorry that I’m a bit late, but did anything come from this?

I made some tutorials for Youtube, and I’d like to contribute to a community-based tutorial series.

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For my part, I can upload lesson plans and reflections on here directly for people to discuss.


There has been talk of doing this, but so far nobody has stepped up and
said ‘right, lets get started, here’s some stuff. tell me what you think…’

In other words… no team leader type has volunteered as yet,


I’m not a leader type but I will start:

I made a Discord server:

And a Github repository:

My idea is to collect a big list of things that should be covered in a course.
Second step: organize and group the list into topics.


I would like to raise an issue concerning a tutorial on Sonic Pi:

In my experience (at the University courses I give and in my own practice) there are (at least and by no means exhaustively) two ways of approaching a tutorial. In the case of Sonic Pi you could say:

  • the coding perspective
  • the musical perspective

Definetely there is no clear borderline between these two but for the sake of clarity let me give an example:

  • you can ask, what sort of things can I do with Sonic Pi (e. g. play samples and manipulate the rate or what can I do with spread)
  • you can ask, how can I approach a given task within the musical context (e. g. blend in part of the music or how to create a bassline while live coding)

It is a bit like buying a car: Some ask things like: How fast can it speed up or how much space is in the trunk, does it look expensive and others will (more practically) ask, can I store my 4 suitcases in it and can I easily back in a parking space with this car.

Usually my students have some more or less concrete ideas they would like to hear as music (meaning: would like to code) within Sonic Pi. That goes not without problems but it is a legitimate request. I more and more tend to - at the one hand - start coding and let Sonic Pi guide me in the creative process (that’s asking the question: where does Sonic Pi want me to go); but - on the other hand - occasionally I have a specific idea about what my composition or live coding should sound like (that is more like asking to solve a specific challenge).

I tried to collect some solutions concerning the ‘musical perspective’ here (an ongoing project and definitely under construction).

What do you think about that?
Should a tutorial reflect these positions?
Do you have other ‘perspectives’ and ‘learning objectives’ you think would be important to be covered?


That’s something I’ve been thinking about in the past.

I come from both directions equally (studying computer science and making music for 15+ years)

I have followed both approaches, and I think both should be covered in the course.
One other perspective would be the ‘learn to code’ approach, aimed at beginner programmers.


By the way: In my opinion there is no need to cover what’s already in the inbuild tutorial. I think the most important reason for that is that @samaaron did handle first steps (and much more) very well. The second reason (also from course and personal experience) is that you should get aquainted with the inbuild ressources, because you’ll probably need these repeatedly - even if you are more advanced.

So a Kadenze tutorial should not compete but complement. But that’s just my opinion.


I also agree that these are two very different but equally important ways of approaching the code.

I think one way to break this down that seems to be the way the inbuild tutorials are set up is by introducing a function or command (which would be more of the coding side), explaining how it works and then introducing how it can be used in a musical way (the musical side).

Part of my approach has been skimming through the language part of the help and seeing what is there. I get a sense of what a function can do and then see how I can apply it musically. But I am also coming from a musical background and am much more confident figuring out how to apply coding concepts to do something musical.

Perhaps there is a way these tutorials can be constructed in a way where it can be crossed referenced either from a musical or coding side as different users are going to be more comfortable with one or the other.

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