Makey Makey Beats

Turn apples, bananas, and muffins into drum triggers  – Submitted by Javier Lozada

Looking for a new way to engage young participants?

Here at the Everett Studio Clubhouse, we use the Makey Makey as a way to introduce young participants into thinking about rhythm and grooves without being intimidated by the interface provided by the usual midi controller + DAW. In a sense, it provides a distraction from the pressure they may feel to “get it right” in the first try. We like to redefine lunch table beats and the use of Apple products by setting up the Makey Makey kit during their lunchtime and use the food items they are currently eating as pieces of a drum kit. The aesthetic of the kit is what usually draws young participants in to participate even if they have never shown interest in the music program. This also helps them develop 21st-century skills when they have to use logic and their knowledge in science to figure out what items could be conducive or how to wire the Makey Makes in a way that makes sense!

Items required:

  • Computer
  • Makey Makey Kit ($50)

The Makey Makey kit comes with proprietary software which lets you use it as a virtual instrument but here we like to use NI Battery or any other software samplers in order to be able to use custom samples which are more relatable and appropriate for the genres they are used to.

Warning: High Schoolers may love it too

Update: Using a Makey Makey kit + Logic’s musical typing I was able to pair it up with a sampler and use custom samples