Coding Dash to Play Music

posted Oct 30, 2017, 5:06 PM by Patrick Johnson
Our latest STEAM project had students coding Dash to play the xylophone. Dash is a programmable robot.

First students were shown this video for inspiration. It is a xylophone version of Flight of the Bumble Bee.

Next students were introduced to Dash the robot and its xylophone attachment. Students were also shown the  Xylo iPad App where they could program Dash to play the xylophone as well as perform movements.

Then students were given the STEAM task:

Students were grouped into partners and they started their coding in the Xylo iPad App. Students were instructed that they must have the same amount of notes in each bar and their song could be no longer than 7 bars. When students were satisfied with their code, they transposed their musical score to paper. At the bottom of their scor,e it challenged them to figure out the total number of notes they used in their song.

Finally students connected to Dash with their iPads to test their code.

After everyone had tested their code, we consolidated the lesson by examining the variety of strategies students used to calculate the number of notes in their songs. We created a bar graph out of the strategies.

The strategies were:
  • making friendly numbers
  • repeated addition
  • using doubles
  • multiplication