Interactive Aural Music Notation

About: Primary and High School Music and General Classroom teacher. Passionate about technology integration and transformative teaching. Music Technology author with Bushfire Press and Music Ednet Mentor. Makey Mak...

How to make an interactive music notation poster or piano keyboard to learn staff notation and aural note/pitch activities.

Supplies:

Makey Makey Classic, template printout, laminator and sheets, aluminium foil, scissors, double sided tape, ruler, pen, craft knife, cutting mat, guillotine

Step 1: Print, Laminate and Cut Templates

Print the PowerPoint file, see tip below. I have made 2 files that can be used with the same Scratch file, a Treble Clef or a Piano.

Laminate the printed template.

Treble Clef

  1. Cut either side of the dotted line
  2. On the front clef (bottom clef, without the dotted rectangles) cut at both ends of the staff lines

Piano

  1. Cut at the bottom of the front piano image (top image with small squares) leaving about 1cm at the top of the bottom image which will become your base
  2. Cut off the remaining sides of the front piano image

Educator Tip:

The Powerpoint file is set up to print A4. It is also an editable document so you can change the size of the images if you wish to change it to Letter or A3.

Notation images from The Big Free Music Notation Image Library by Midnight Music https://midnightmusic.com.au/2013/06/the-big-free-music-notation-image-library/

Step 2: Cut Holes for Makey Makey Keys

Treble Clef

  1. Use the craft knife to cut out the inside of all the semibreve notes.

Piano

  1. Use the craft knife to cut out the inside of all the small squares.

Educator Tip:

Place a cutting mat underneath so you don't cut your table.

Step 3: Add the Aluminium Foil Strips to the Base

The same instructions apply to the Treble Clef and the Piano template.

  1. Stick double sided tape inside the dotted rectangle on the base plate, run it to the top and fold over the back an extra 1.5-2cm. Don't peel the tape backing off until you are ready to stick on the Alfoil (Aluminium Foil).
  2. Measure the width of the dotted rectangles, you do not want to have the alfoil too close together.
  3. Measure the length from the end of the dotted rectangle to the top of the laminated sheet, add an extra 1.5-2cm to fold the Alfoil over onto the back. This will ensure the alfoil doesn't come away from the laminated sheet and will last longer.
  4. Cut strips of Alfoil to your above measurements.
  5. Peel the backing off the double sided sticky tape on the first one (do one at a time or your project might stick to the table!).
  6. Stick a piece of Alfoil onto the tape and fold it over the back.
  7. Repeat for all the strips.

Step 4: Stick the Top to the Base

  1. Stick double sided sticky tape around all edges of the top.
  2. Peel back about 1cm of the tape backing to help you when placing the top on the base. (If you peel the entire backing strip off to start with, you may find it hard to separate the top and base if you need to reposition)
  3. When you have positioned the top on the base (use the staff lines as your guide on the Treble Clef), press the corners down that have the tape backing pulled back. This will secure the position.
  4. Pull the tape backing off from one side and secure the top by pressing along the edge.
  5. Repeat for each side.

Step 5: Connect the Makey Makey

Connect the Makey Makey to the Treble Clef or Piano using the below key guide starting from left to right:

Middle C4 - W key

D4 - A key

E4 - S key

F4 - D key

G4 - F key

A4 - G key

B4 - Space

C5 - Left Arrow

D5 - Up Arrow

E5 - Down Arrow

F5 - Right Arrow

Connect the Makey Makey to the computer via the USB.

Use the following Scratch projects with the Treble Clef or the Piano:

C4-F5 notation with sounds for Makey Makey

C4-F5 notation with sounds for playing multiple notes Makey Makey

Educator Tip:

Possible Activities:

  • learn note names
  • learn position of the note on the Treble Clef
  • Aural practice
  • Identifying Intervals

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