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Teaching Computational Thinking through Musical Live Coding in Scratch

This paper discusses how Scratch’s “musical live coding” capability can reinforce musical and computational concepts.

Our project centers around exploring Scratch as a platform for composing and computing music. We're currently exploring this work with high school students and undergraduate students in a general education course. We are also exploring physical computing through student-created musical instruments using IchiBoard sensor interfaces.


The attached paper has been accepted for presentation at SIGSCE 2010, March 10-13, 2010 in Milwaukee, WI.

The work described in this paper is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0722161, "CPATH CB: Performamatics: Connecting Computer Science to the Performing, Fine, and Design Arts" and a complementary Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) supplement. Principal Investigator: Jesse M. Heines. Co-Principal Investigators: Fred G. Martin, Gena Greher, Jim Jeffers, and Karen Roehr. Senior Personnel: Sarah Kuhn and Nancy Selleck. Student Researchers: Paul Laidler and Charles Saulters II. Additional information on the Performamatics project can be found at

Alex Ruthmann's adaptation of musical live coding in Scratch is based on his collaboration with Andrew R. Brown and Andrew C. Sorensen at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Antony Brooke-Wood

 Can anyone tell me where to buy the IchiBoards?? Can't seem to find a supplier anywhere.

Anders Berggren

Interesting project, but where can you get the Ishiboard? It´s nice with the acceleratorsensor. Any website? Where to buy? Etc....

Ai Boon Tan

Just sharing.. I printed out the Ichiboard article and passed it to my son.  He said,   "Ichiboard, let's start

scratching." Then he burst out laughing. So did I.