Education: Music Lessons

By Erin Mulcahy


What’s that sound? It’s the Synth Kit making the rounds at workshops and classrooms near you! To kick start your own jam sessions, check out some of the latest ideas that the littleBits team and our community have come up with:

 Create your Own Orchestra

Using flashcards and hand signals, Hans Tammen has created large multi-movement pieces with large ensembles of electronic instruments for over a decade. As part of this year’s MakeMusicNY, he worked with an ensemble of littleBits synthesizer players. See the full details here on how to assemble your own orchestra (the video from the event pretty awesome too).


Model the Human Vocal Tract

This 2 hour, advanced workshop was run at MoogFest by our Lead Engineer Geof Lipman, featuring the littleBits Synth Kits and logic modules. The goal of the workshop was to create a modular synthesizer that models the human vocal tract by producing vowel and consonant sounds, or phonemes. Check out the lesson slides and overview here.


Explore Clock Division and Multiplication

Practice your math skills with this musical lesson. Clock division and multiplication are handy tools for sequencing melodies, drum patterns and control signals.

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 Combine Music and Physics

Hook up your Arduino at Heart Module to the Synth Kit to view the waveforms of the pair of slightly different frequencies as well as the waveform of the resulting beats.  You’ll quickly understand why “the ‘square’ waveform has a rich, powerful character and the ‘saw’ waveform has a more mellow, rounder character (see below).

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Expand your Setup

The Synth Kit booklet is a great place to start, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg for exploring the sweet beats that the Synth Kit can produce. Try out some of these projects to further engage your students or create your own and share on our community page!

Bring the ocean to your students with these high pass filter coastal sounds:

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Combine 2 Synth Kits for double the fun:

korg 2 kits

Add an Arduino module to create your own Midi Interface:


Don’t forget your construction materials! Adding some LEGOS transforms this synth setup into a musical working engine:



Thanks as always to our community for sharing your unique creations!


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