Read all about when @sonic_pi got 40 children live & coding & gained 40 new fans!

  Last Thursday our school was proud to welcome Sam Aaron, Juneau Projects and Les Pounder for the Sonic Pi workshop won by Joshua Lowe back in January this year.  

 We had all been looking forward to it even though none of us really knew what to expect. It far exceeded any of our expectations – a few pupil quotes:

“I never thought I would understand coding (because I am not a computer genius ) but now I have fallen in love with it.” Laura.

“I will never forget this day!” Joshua.

“I love the speed that you can live code at, it is totally mind blowing.” Reece.

“My mum was amazed at what I had been doing and now wants me to teach her. You & your team have inspired me to code and many others as well.” Sarah.

Apart from Joshua, at the beginning of the workshop only 12 children had used Sonic Pi before when we looked at it in one of the Mary Mags Pi Club sessions, in fact many others had never used a Raspberry Pi before. Four hours later by the end of the workshop all children could set up a Raspberry Pi and code their own piece of music including live loops worthy of any nightclub dance floor. This is not only testament to the Sonic Pi software but also to the enthusiasm and passion at which the workshop was delivered. 

 The workshop started off with introductions from Sam Aaron and then Juneau Projects explaining a little bit about themselves and the Sonic Pi journey. Sam explained that – saying you don’t get technology is like saying you don’t get reading or writing. The children really grasped the concept of this and realised that coding isn’t learnt over night but you work at it and practice just like you would when learning a new language. They were then treat to Sam live coding and the jaws dropped, eyes fixated and bodies began to wiggle.  

 Totally enthused they then set to work coding their own pieces in pairs. Help was at hand if needed but most took to it like a duck to water. After a short doughnut break it was time to put the final bits together before parents arrived for the Finale.

   
    
 
It was now time to share the music, lights down, lasers lit, and the volume cranked up high! 

  
Are you sure these are the same children who said they couldn’t code 4 hours ago let alone produce a piece of music? Wow! Mind blowing.

   
 The Finale ended with the master at work himself and when he looked up found a queue of adoring fans waiting for his autograph.

  
Thank you Sam, Juneau Projects and Les for giving us this amazing opportunity. Thank you Raspberry Pi Foundation for the competition and finally thank you Joshua for entering it.

Keep coding and inspiring let the music play on!

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