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Unit of work

Musical micro:bit

Computational thinking, Computer systems, Music, Programming | MakeCode | 7-11 yrs

This series of five lessons is written for primary school aged 9-10 years (KS2 Year 5 in England). Pupils compose musical phrases and write algorithms to play their phrases on pitched instruments (e.g. glockenspiels).

They then program the micro:bit to play their phrases when events are triggered and and experiment with using the accelerometer. Finally, they consider whether the micro:bit can be used as a music-making device, especially for those who might not have access to instruments.

The unit comprises five lessons of approximately 60 minutes each:

  1. Unplugged lesson composing musical phrases
  2. Programming musical phrases in MakeCode
  3. Unplugged lesson on communicating with gestures
  4. Making the micro:bit into a musical instrument
  5. Modifying music programs, reviewing learning and evaluating micro:bit as an accessible musical instrument.

Learning objectives

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve problems 
  • can evaluate and apply information technology
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

Additional skills

Creative thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, evaluation, researching, presenting.

You will need

Downloadable resources:

  • Lesson plan
  • Lesson slides
  • Student handouts
  • HEX files

Other resources:

  • alligator / crocodile clip leads (optional)
  • headphones (optional)
  • MakeCode editor
  • micro:bit battery packs (optional)
  • micro:bits (optional)
  • musical instruments
  • paper - large sheets
  • paper - writing
  • presentation software
  • printouts of slides
  • speakers (optional)
  • student work from previous lesson