Teething Ring Max/MSP Musical Instrument for Babies

Firmly in the “start ’em young” category, the TSI (Teething ring Sound Instrument) is designed to allow 0-3 year olds to create digital music in Max/MSP. Pressure from the baby’s mouth suckling at the teething ring is converted to MIDI messages and sent to a sound patch on a connected computer: Pitch corresponds to the change of the sucking pressure. When the teething ring is strongly sucked, a higher note rings. The “basic part” consists of a simple 3 note C-major chord played melodically in the form of a simple musical scale. This is something the baby can identify and …

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TamTam, Music Software for Kids, to be Fully Open Source; One Million OLPCs in Nigeria

The One Laptop Per Child initiative, aka “that $100 laptop” though it will initially cost more like $140, just got its first leg up. Nigeria has ordered one million of the custom Linux laptops. Now the big challenge will be whether the OLPC developers can deliver the machines on-budget and on time, given its wildly ambitious feature set. Interestingly, Intel and Microsoft, after publicly blasting the project as misguided, have each launched their own competing initiatives at significantly higher prices. Nigeria Orders First Million OLPC Laptops at vnunet.com, which also has two videos of working prototypes; via worldchanging For more …

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Creative, Networked Music Making on $100 One Laptop Per Child

Negroponte’s $100 One Laptop Per Child will include creative music making tools for children. Our friend Nathanael Lecaude writes us: Just wanted to let you know what I was working on during the summer, we’re doing a sequencer/algorithmic music generator for the OLPC project. We did all the protoyping in Max and are now porting it to Python/GTK using Csound as the sound engine. TamTam, music app on the OLPC Wiki TamTam is intended both as an instrument in itself and an environment for learning music. It has basic sequencing and synthesis capabilities, presented in a child-friendly format. It’s also …

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Kids Using High-Pitched Ringtones Inaudible to Adults (What About You?)

In case you haven’t seen it yet, The New York Times reports today that New York-area schoolkids have resorted to an unusual solution to cellphone bans. Apparently unaware of phones’ vibrate mode, the students have opted for an incredibly annoying ringtone pitched at 17,000 Hz. Theoretically, “adults” shouldn’t be able to hear that. (The real issue is middle-aged adults, an ironic choice in New York schools where many of the faculty are younger.) I also think that’s a liberal estimate of hearing loss; while most people lose some of their high-end hearing as they age, the numbers from the private …

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Leave No Child Behind in Theremin Education

Poor Tia Thomas! Here’s a whiz kid who can spell ortstein, velocious, marmoreal, and totipalmate, and she has the misfortune to be eliminated from the National Spelling Bee on the word Theremin: Theremin ends spelling bee contestant’s hopes [Theremin World] (She guessed “Theramin”, which Theremin World’s Jason notes is a misspelling widely spread on eBay.) Heck, I don’t even know what those words mean, though I’ll be the World Wide Web knows, as it’s smarter than I am . . . Let’s see, totipalmate has to do with webbed feet, marmoreal means marble-like, as in, “that’s a very marmoreal Theremin …

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NAMM: Latest Music Technology . . . You Know, for Kids!

Children and young adults were everywhere at the NAMM show. They ranged from musically-inclined tots like the one shown here to teenage musical stars. And in addition to teaching musicianship and musical creativity, there’s a new emphasis on teaching them technology. Here’s a quick look at the latest efforts to bring music to a new generation of musicians.

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Best of the Rest: Baby Synth Lovers, Keytar Swords, Synth Holiday Cheer

If I ran a giant blogging empire like Weblogsinc or Gawker, I’d have to pimp my other sites right now, like “Here’s the hottest news from the Facial Tissues Blog” or something. I’m glad I don’t have such an empire, because instead we can waste productivity looking at this great stuff: Tiny Tot Synth Lovers: More from the start ’em young department: Synth recommendations at 18 months [Music thing], and circuit bending at age 6 [Get LoFi] . . . previously on CDM: 3 year-old DJs, child keyboard prodigy I Want My Synth TV: Theremin videos [Theremin World], BBC Alchemists …

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Start `Em Young Pt. II: Keyboard Player Prodigy

I asked for more wee tykes “creating digital music,” and here’s the first: Excellent choice of synths, too: the Novation ReMote hooked up to what looks like Apple Logic Pro. No more information here, though this is on the Website of net label / artist community Experimedia. Keep practicing, Kayla, and you’ll be on the cover of Keyboard in no time. Oh, and I think there’s a song here: “Mothers, don’t let your kids grow up to be DJs.” Stick to the keyboards, kids.

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Start `Em Young! The Three-Year-Old DJ

A CDM fan who asked to remain anonymous sends us this photo of his 3-year-old son. That’s how to start the mixmasters early. FYI, the hardware in question is the excellent Mixman DM2 hardware, which you can often find as cheap as US$10-20. Windows-only, but add DM2MIDI and you can control anything you like. Earlier this week, we learned 3-year-olds don’t like SpectraFoo and its “scary interface” (see comments), but they do like Tracktion. Any other child research programs, folks?

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