Switched on Sound

About

This workshop gives students the opportunity to explore some of the history of computerised music, including automation, punch cards and the development of digital music by composing their own multitracked piece of music using a Nintendo LABO piano. LABO is Nintendo’s DIY cardboard kit crafted to work with Nintendo Switch. 

The workshop covers most of the Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 National Curriculum for Music. 

If you have any questions about the workshop, please get in touch with the team: dsh@ukie.org.uk

Guidance for teachers

Suitable for: Key stage 2 (KS2), key stage 3 (KS3), key stage 4 (KS4)

Our resources are created with you and your students in mind. Not only are they outside-the-box, creative and brain-boosting fun, but we always ensure our content stays relevant. Our network of academic masterminds and video games practitioners enable us to keep delivering free content that is aligned to the UK computing curriculum and that is relevant to current industry best practice. We think you're going to love our play-based approach to Computer Science. We've even got the evidence to prove it. 

Download your lesson resources at the bottom of the page. If you're a Lead Teacher of a certified Schoolhouse, you can access the adaptable resources by logging in.


Guidance for parents & carers

Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of the Switched on Sound follow-along workshops below. Please note, these are live recordings. Sit back, relax and supervise or participate as a family.

Part 1 - no technology required!

Suitable for ages 7-16 years. Find out how computers represent sound with the help of lots of unplugged activities! 

What do you need to take part?

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Printed copy of our worksheet or paper (download below)
  • Tooth picks or drawing pins
  • Cardboard
  • String or wool
  • Lego baseplate and some bricks

What do you learn?

  • Binary representation of denary (decimal numbers) 
  • A brief history of digital sound
  • How sound can be sampled and stored in digital form
  • How sampling intervals and other factors affect the size of a sound file and the quality of its playback
  • The need for compression

Part 2

Suitable for ages 5 -16 years. Following Part 1, take everything you have learnt about sound and investigate the theory using your LABO piano!

What do you need to take part?

  • LABO piano kit
  • Nintendo Switch

What do you learn?

  • Binary representation of denary (decimal numbers) 
  • A brief history of digital sound
  • How sound can be sampled and stored in digital form
  • How sampling intervals and other factors affect the size of a sound file and the quality of its playback
  • The need for compression

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