Something new! I am encouraging my students to “learn to code” (if they don’t already know how) and have some fun using Sonic Pi, an innovative live-coding platform for learning to do musical programming. Sonic Pi was developed by Dr. Sam Aaron at Cambridge University.  Dr. Aaron has provided a lot of helpful resources, including videos, a free e-book, lots of examples, and even links to school curriculum materials using Sonic Pi.

Although Sonic Pi is designed to work with the Raspberry Pi, you can download versions for Apple Macintosh and Windows computers. The programming environment is well-designed, intuitive to use, and a lot of fun!


Sonic Pi website with downloads

Sonic Pi Ted Talk video

Sonic Pi school curriculum

Coding Challenges (Part 1)

These are beginning-level code challenges that focus on some basics of programming and how Sonic Pi works. The Sonic Pi code editor loads and saves text files. You can download these files and load them from your own computer, or you can open them in your browser or text editor and copy-and-paste the text directly into the Sonic Pi code editor. General and specific instructions for each lesson are included in each file.

Challenge 1 – Play Sounds

Challenge 2 – Rhythm

Challenge 3 – Half and Whole Steps

Challenge 4 – Operators and Code Blocks

Challenge 5 – Variables and Conditional Statements

Challenge 6 – Changing Sounds

Challenge 7 – Rhythm Part 2

Challenge 8 – Intervals

Challenge 9 – Triads

Challenge 10 – Create

Coding Challenges (Part 2)

These code challenges are a bit more advanced than those in Part 1.

Challenge 11 – Arrays

Challenge 12 – Arrays Part 2

Challenge 13 – Threads

Challenge 14 – Scales

Challenge 15 – Functions

Challenge 16 – Functions Part 2

Challenge 17 – Effects

Challenge 18 – Chord Progressions

Challenge 19 – Randomization

Challenge 20 – Counterpoint