Funding Friday: Music Labs For Kids

I saw this project this morning and backed it instantly. It checks a lot of boxes for me.

#hacking education

Comments (Archived):

  1. Richard

    Nice – is you believe in artists, you have to be long Apple. APPLE gave artists a reason to smile about technology. Has your due date for your call on Apple not being a top 5 tech company passed ? #long Apple

  2. Tereza

    This is fantastic! Will back and share out with my music lover parent-friends.

  3. Lawrence Brass

    Watch “…no guitars needed!”, at the end of the video. :)I liked that. I think people of his generation will rock this world because of that.Be whatever you want to be. No guitars needed.

    1. Richard

      – rock the world without musical instruments ? In the archives of history electronic music just won’t measure up. I hope these programs are smart enough to include the study of musical history along with coding.

      1. Lawrence Brass

        I read the guitars as the established ways to do things.Rock with no guitars, well.. perhaps not the best choice of words.. haha.

  4. Stephen Bradley

    In the same vein, or close… game-like software teaching kids to create music… a company I like a lot is Music Quest (

    1. Lawrence Brass

      testing..( )+ put a space after the url and before the closing ), it will fix your link

  5. bfeld

    Done! That’s an easy one. Thanks for the hat tip.

  6. sigmaalgebra

    Good grief!!!So, we’re talking art. Implemented with lots of electronics.Hmm, but art is the communication, interpretation of human experience, emotion.So, a lesson: To create art, even to enjoy art, need some “human experience, emotion”. In particular, commonly artists are advised to pursue, express, communicate, the experiences and emotions they know well personally.By now, art is quite highly developed, going back at least to the old cave paintings.In music, some of the expressive techniques and qualities are just astounding. E.g., here is Pavarotti singing “Una furtiva lacrima”:…Big, obvious point: The expressive techniques he uses are way, Way beyond the beginnings of electronic music with just periodic wave forms, that is, from Fourier theory, a fundamental pure tone with overtones. WAY beyond.He has another advantage: He is using very well the human voice, and from the womb and throughout life that communicates via some shortcut direct between the ears. Commonly electronic music will have to compete with the human voice.For more on the expressiveness of the human voice, at…is Renata Scotto, Puccini – Madama Butterfly, “Un bel di vedremo”. Again that’s about “human experience, emotion”; without that can’t create or appreciate art.Young people CAN appreciate some of music; there’s one piece of famous Christmas music I liked well before I was 5 that has never left me. No surprise that a 5 year old can appreciate art: No doubt already in the womb children essentially appreciate the sound, communication of human emotion, of their mother’s voice.Yes, music has long had a severe bottleneck — the need for some astounding manual dexterity and muscle memory.Can electronics be the main source of performance of music? I believe yes but: From all I’ve seen the electronics and especially the needed software have a very long way to go.E.g., as in these two examples I gave, the notes are often not at all simple and instead change timbre, loudness, etc. within the note. That’s super tough to do on violin and next to impossible in any very significant sense on piano. So, to do such things electronic music will have to work hard on just the individual notes, one at a time, particular to the performance. Next, even with the changes possible, the artistic expression remains the main issue and will not be easy.For now, Donizetti, Puccini, Pavarotti, and Scotto are next to impossible to beat. The secret is all that Italian pizza? Nope!The issue is the art: Word processing DOES make writing easier but essentially only just by making the typing easier and not by making the thinking of the actual content easier. There was lots of great writing in the past without word processing. Electronics and software can make music performance easier to do but not by making the thinking of the actual content easier. E.g., D. Knuth’s TeX makes the typing for mathematics next to trivial but does not make creating the math any easier!So, net, for the electronic music, by far the more important issue is the music and not the electronics. So, K-12 schools have long been able to teach courses in music appreciation. Maybe they should get back to that, with or without electronics. But school boards and academics have not wanted to devote class time to music appreciation.By the way: I grew up in Memphis. I heard a LOT of Memphis and Nashville music and didn’t like it. Then by accident I heard some Beethoven and never looked back again. I REALLY like music, in spite of Memphis!!! No way would I recommend teaching appreciation of Memphis music — vile, degenerate, toxic culture stuff — to kids. Current pop music? The same — vile stuff.Did I mention, for now, Donizetti, Puccini, Pavarotti, and Scotto are next to impossible to beat?

    1. Richard

      It’s all about ROI on AVC and USV, Mozart just doesn’t pay the bills.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        ROI? YouTube claims that the Pavarotti clip has 3.3 million views so far. That’s pretty good ROI for YouTube. Besides, YouTube gets to do some ad targeting and, thus, get more ROI.For pop music, I would regard it as animal cruelty to play that noise even to a deaf dog.My guess is that the main interest in the electronic music project today is not really music and, instead, is to get kids, especially poor ones, typing, clicking, etc,, hearing the resulting sounds, trying again, and getting involved with keyboards and clicks and computers and their video screens, involved like a laboratory mouse pressing a lever to get the reward of a food pellet, more enthralling, addictive, than a slot machine or Facebook, and nearly as addictive as a video game. So the real goal is beginning computer interest, involvement, and literacy for poor kids.Mozart? You mentioned Mozart? Gee, you said the magic word! Oops, I mean The Magic Flute, that is, Die Zauberflöte, as at…I know; I know; ROI. Well, for that clip YouTube claims 4 million views.That’s the Queen of the Night aria. As you likely know, but some grade school readers might not, there’s lots more to The Magic Flute, lots of fun stuff.Does Nancy Pelosi want to be like the Queen of the Night?For more from The Magic Flute at about 5:20 in…Papagena is a DISH and ALSO can sing! Those two need to get a room! If that silly twit bird catcher Papageno can do so well, then there’s plenty of hope for the rest of us!!!Mozart was GOOD at writing duets!ROI again? BTW that clip has 1.8 million views.Ah, can’t play that for grade school kids — they might try singing duets!YouTube went on and played another Mozart duet for me:…right, Bartoli & Fleming – Le Nozze di Figaro, “Sull’aria”.Now that you got me into music, one more that I like:…Camille Saint Saens, Samson et Dalila, “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix”, Elina Garanca, another DISH — where can I apply to be Samson??? But much less good if I couldn’t see her!!!!Right, ROI — 1.2 million views!Pop music — it’d be a least disrespectful to play it even to a dead deaf dog.

        1. Richard

          Don’t overlook “the abduction at Serille” – Mozart’s German opera. Simply, a masterpiece.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Thx. I’ve heard of it but never saw or heard it.Magic Flute is also in German! Right, in the movie about Mozart there was a claim that the German language was too harsh and ugly to be used for pretty, lyrical music in a nice opera. Of course Mozart proved the skeptics wrong. Of course, in part Mozart cheated — the names of the characters were Italian!Mozart was definitely exceptional.Well, anyone who is exceptional is, well, obviously exceptional in that nearly necessarily nearly no one else is doing what the exceptional person is doing so that the exceptional person is in a tiny minority with no one else liking their ideas, plans, etc., at least not before the final result.For that situation, don’t have to be a Mozart or even very exceptional; it’s enough to be just the Little Red Hen in Mother Goose.Being exceptional is nearly always sufficient to be, at least before the fact, in a tiny minority, but being in a tiny minority is not nearly sufficient to be exceptional (in the desired good way). So the person who would be exceptional also needs a way to know that their ideas are sufficiently good, not just to have them be in a tiny minority but also to be correct! For this, the usual way is for the exceptional person just to know in solid terms what the heck they are doing. Well, Mozart knew, quite well by age 19 when he wrote all five of his violin concerti, what the heck he was doing!Sure, he grew up playing violin and keyboard. Okay. Then, sure, he quickly learned the basics of how to write music for solo or ensemble. But that was not enough. In addition, for what he accomplished, he needed to know how to do well with the art. Now we know he did do that although I’ve seen no explanation. And I’ve not seen such explanations for Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Puccini, Verdi, Wagner, J. Strauss, Tchaikovsky, R. Strauss, either. Or, “We dance ’round and ’round and suppose while the secret sits in the middle, and knows.”.

          2. Richard

            Or Dr. Suez !