Goal: To develop a music teaching aid that provides audio and visual cues as well as instant feedback about the student's performance.
When the student plays an incorrect note they will see what note they played in relation to the one they were supposed to play. The student would know which direction and how far they need to move the instrument to reach the desired note. It will make learning new songs more fun for the class and easier for the teacher.
Why does this project matter? It will provide a new educational tool that a school will actually use. It will improve music education and make learning to play harmonica more fun for kids. Also, since everything will be open source and completely documented, it will enable other teachers to construct similar devices and modify the design to work with other instruments.
Here is an outline of the device:
- Plays harmonica notes while lighting up the corresponding part of the harmonica either red(exhale) or blue(inhale).
- Notes can be played on a small remote keyboard.
- Has a microphone to listen to students play. The sound is analyzed to determine what notes are being played and the corresponding notes are illuminated.
- It can record and play back songs free of noise by playing samples(MIDI style).
- Based on a Teensy3.2 with audio adapter board
- Red or blue LEDs for each note.
- An ATMega328 handling LEDs and IR input.
- Audio power amplifier(HT82V739) and speaker.
- A simple remote keyboard using IR.
- Microphone connected directly to audio board.
- An SD card contains sound samples and recorded songs.
- It will be a long plywood board, 72cm x 18cm, representing a large harmonica.
- The notes will be colored red for exhale, blue for inhale.
- Each note will have individually controlled illumination.
- The large YAMAHA logo is there because that's what the real harmonicas look like so the kids know if the harmonica is upside down (It is not sponsored by YAMAHA, though that would be awesome).
- The electronics will be mounted on the back, probably in polypropylene folded and welded into a box(Stay tuned for that log as it is a handy trick).
At this point:
I'm wiring things up, testing bits of code and hardware, and making it look nice.