A year ago I saw a job offering by a wee Finnish company called Mehackit. They were offering some sort of creative technology courses for secondary schools and needed teachers. I contacted them. Fast-forward to September 2015 and I was in a middle of a training weekend near Hämeenlinna with a dozen like-minded people roughly my age. Then two weeks later I started teaching my first Arduino course at Sammon keskuslukio. Now, in April 2016, one week ago, I had the last class of my second Arduino course at Kalevan lukio. Both courses simply rocked, but since this post isn’t titled Arduino, I’m gonna write about those experiences another time.
Sonic Pi… seems fabulous. Like really. I had a two-hour training session over Google Hangouts with @tommikoskinen from Mehackit yesterday and fifteen minutes into it I already saw the (endless) possibilities of the language and the whole concept. So I’m going to have a day-long workshop in Viiala for 20 9th graders. I am excited because of two things: their age and Sonic Pi. People of their age should find this so cool that we’re going to have lots of fun and the day will be quickly over. This is just the sort of a thing where you can literally touch the things you’re creating and it doesn’t feel like some obscure cyber thing where something is only
written to STDOUT printed on the screen. When you grab the basics which should be over in 10-20 minutes, you can go wherever you want.
This is something totally different compared to Python or Arduino or some code block learn-to-code languages.
So what is Sonic Pi?
I’m not sure if I can answer that just yet. But it’s a live music coding language & IDE/playground/starship built on top of Ruby. And it’s damn FUN. I’ve never ever come up with any sort of music of my own, other than singing to my cats, but this really held me in its grip throughout the intro session. Lets see where this leads me.
I couldn’t find the kind of videos I wanted, so this is not the best, but check it out. Jump over to the 10 minute mark and find some other videos, too. You’ll see the point immediately. Learning material by Mehackit may be found here.