Making instruments in the classroom

Drake Music has been developing new ways for young people to explore digital instrument making in the classroom.

a small plywood box is on a stand with two leads coming out of the back An orange plastic cone with a white ball on the end Inside a plywood box we see wires and circuit boards

A new platform has been designed based around the Microbit; a small programmable computer used to teach code and computing. It aims to be both easy to use and accessible, from a code and electronics point of view.

Our DMLab technologists Gawain Hewitt, Tim Yates and Chris Ball have developed a software platform which allows up to 10 Microbits to talk to one laptop. This is still in prototyping and testing, more information will come soon.

The built-in sensors on the Microbit can be used to trigger sounds, as well as switches or touch sensitive circuits being added, vibration motors or lights can be also be added for feedback.

Through interacting with the software platform, session participants can create simple accessible musical instruments in the classroom, opening up some of the principles of bespoke musical instrument design to non-technology experts and disabled people.


This project has been co-delivered with Kent Music at 2 schools in their region: The Beacon School in Folkestone and Goldwyn School in Ashford.

As part of the project, Drake Music Associate Musician Gawain Hewitt  and and Luke Crook, Education Manager (SEND) for Kent Music worked with young people from The Beacon School to develop a sound installation for the YAASS Empowered exhibition at Turner Contemporary in Margate.

See a clip of the installation.

The exhibition is running until 6th Jan 2019, so make sure to take a visit and see the innovative and inspiring work from the Young Arts Advocates from across Kent.

Find out more about the exhibition on the Turner Contemporary website

A glass box filled with shapes sits on a white plinth. Underneath in a small slot a section of a piece of DIY music tech is visible