Introduction: The LED Piano

About: I love making things and simple electronics!
Pianos are great instruments.  They are fun to play and they are delightful to listen to.  I looked into my box of electrical components and I saw tons of LEDs and a few small buttons as well.  I wanted to try out my new soldering station so I decided to put together a mini LED piano.  Instead of hearing each note that is played, you see an LED light up which makes it easy to follow the music and experience it in a new way.  This LED piano is a copycat of the widely known instrument, the piano.

I was inspired to make this because...

- I wanted to use my new Aoyue 937+ Soldering Station (Thank you instructables for the awesome gift!)
- I already play the piano and I thought this would impress my piano teacher.
- I need something to fiddle with on long car rides!

You should make this because...

It requires few components.
- It is cheap and simple to build
- It is awesome!

In the video below, I am shown playing Mary had a Little Lamb on my LED piano.

Step 1: Materials

You will need...

A popsicle stick
- 3 LEDs
- 3 small push buttons
- Thin wire
- Three 3v cell batteries
- A Chinese food container
- Electrical tape


A soldering iron (with solder)
- Scissors
- A hot glue gun (with glue)

Step 2: Making the Three Keys

In this step, we will be making the three keys that are on your LED piano.  They are basically just a battery that powers an LED with a button to determine whether it is on or off.

To make the first key, solder a wire from one corner of the mini button to the positive lead of the LED.  Now solder another wire onto the negative lead of the LED.  Lastly, solder a wire onto the corner of the mini switch across from the corner you used earlier.  Make 2 more keys by following the same instructions. 

When we put a battery into each key, the wire coming from the negative lead of the LED and the wire coming off of the switch will be used.

Step 3: Assembling the Piano

To prepare our Chinese food container to house our LED piano, we will need to make three holes in a row big enough for the LEDs to fit through.  Now, directly under each LED hole, cut a small square big enough for the button to fit through.  Put each key into its respective place and make sure they stay there well.

Now use your hot glue gun to secure the LEDs and buttons in place.  Lay your popsicle stick across the bottom of the three buttons and hot glue it firmly in place.  Now, smother the buttons with hot glue so when you press each button, the container stays stable. 

To complete this project, we will have to insert our batteries into each key.  Take the wire soldered to the negative lead of the LED and hold it on the negative side of the battery.  Hold the wire coming from the button and hold that on the positive side of the battery.  Electric tape around the whole battery making sure the wires stay attatched to the battery.   Do this to each key and test each one by pressing the buttons on the top of the container.

Step 4: Playing Your LED Piano

Now you are finished your LED piano!  If you know any mini piano songs that only require three keys and you would like me to try it, please post them in the comments below!  The songs that I can play right now are Mary had a Little Lamb and Hot Cross Buns.  Check out my video on the first step to see a video of me playing Mary had a Little Lamb on my LED piano.

Although this piano may not impress a group as well as a real piano would, it will definitely be appreciated by anyone who likes electronics or science!

Step 5: Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy playing your LED mini piano!  Don't be like everyone else by playing a normal piano, experience music in a new way...through light!  Questions and Comments are appreciated so please post them below. 


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