As part of Indire’s research on laboratory didactics and curriculum innovation in the artistic expressive area, the idea arose of creating an innovative didactic tool aimed to make learning music an easy and engaging process. MusicBlocks was therefore created. This is an original didactic game presented in 2019 at fair Didacta and subsequently patented nationally (2019) and internationally (2020).
Music block is a tool for visual music composition that helps children to familiarise in a simple and intuitive way with the core principles of music.
The device, especially conceived for primary and upper secondary schools is made up of a common plate for the use of toy bricks for constructions, representing an alternative stave where the notes, represented by the bricks of various colours and shapes can be placed.
The disposition of the bricks on the plate/stave enables, through an object recognition software, to interpret the bricks position and translate them into music impulses. The Y axis of the plate represents the pitch of the sounds and the X axis the duration (4 beats of 4/4): in this way students can compose music simply by arranging common building bricks, and observing and listening to the composition immediately.
The score of the composition just made can also be viewed via the Wi-Fi connection from any external device. This allows children to learn the basics of rhythm, melody and harmony through a playful approach based on learning by doing.
With MusicBlocks, the playful aspect is fully integrated with the educational one, favouring the development of basic skills in the music field, but also that of transversal skills such as creativity and problem solving.
As for the construction aspects, 3D printable materials, low-cost hardware and open-source software make this tool easily replicable in any school and also usable in interdisciplinary projects, starting from primary school.
For more information on projects, activities, publications and articles relating to the Research Structure, you can visit: https://musica.indire.it.