Let’s make toy instrument with adorable animals and flowers, and learn how harmonies are made on C major scale!
Harmony Farm helps children learn concept of ‘harmony’ visually and intuitively, by putting attractive animal toys on the cork floor and watching sprout grows and flowers bloom on the computer screen.
Harmony Farm plays notes per second when animals are put on the cork ground. Each ground represents 7 notes of C major scale (for the purpose of the activity we simplified the concept of chords by ignoring sharps and flats).
All seven notes can be played at once, and using our software, the player will know what notes are played, and whether they make ‘harmony.’ When a note is played, little seedlings grow. If the notes make harmony, flowers bloom!
Step 1: Supplies
1 makey-makey board (and electric wires)
1 big cork plate
1 wooden tray
1 box (A4-size)
1 artificial grass tray
1 plate magnet
1 copper tape
7 toy animals (if you can't find them, you may print them by 3d-printer!)
Step 2: Printing Toy Animals and Make Floors
- Make a big sqaure hole smaller than artificial grass tray, but bigger than makey-makey board on the wood platform by laser cutting.
- Print 3d model of animal.
Instrument hardware can have any kind of shape, but kids would be more interested if animals play the piano!
We need seven of them to put each of them on seven plates, which plays do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, respectively.
3d models are attached below.
(You may use Puppy by cerberus33: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38493,
Cat laying around by Makerbot: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38493,
or Low ploy stanford bunny by johnny6: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38493, !)
- Make the bottom of the animal flat and attach round magnet to add some weight.
Apply copper tape so that makey-makey circuit will be connected when animals are put on the floor.
Stick wires into the artificial grass tray to hide them.
Step 3: Harmony Evaluation Program
- Download and unzip attached Processing program on your computer!
- Reprogram your makey-makey board with this code.
You can download latest Processing from https://processing.org/download/
You can also download the Arduino software from https://processing.org/download/
- Connect your makey-makey board with your computer, and open ‘makey_makey_1_4_2.ino’
Click the ‘Tool’ button, enter ‘board manager’. Search ‘sparkfun avr boards’ and install it.
When installation is done, click the ‘Tool’ button again, and change the board to ‘Sparkfun makey-makey’.
- Click the ‘Tool’ button for the last time, and set the port to ‘COM#’.
# is a number, and it will be assigned different value every time.
Now, reprogramming will be done by clicking ‘upload’ button, which is right next to ‘v’ shaped button.
Step 4: Connecting the Entire Circuit
- Connect one with makey-makey board, at pin D5, D4, D3, D2, D1, D0, and A5.
Each pin is mapped with do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti sound respectively.
Connect the other wire with ground, using alligator clip.
- Put the wood platform on the A4 paper box, and all the complicated circuit will be hidden in the box!
- You may decorate the farm as you want!
Step 5: Step 4: Time to Play!
Open ‘HarmonyFarm.pde‘ at ‘HarmonyFarm’ folder, and run the program.
Place animals on the ground and listen to the sound of piano, and watch plants growing on the screen!
Now the only thing we should do is to play harmony farm and explore the concept of chords!