The new Code-a-Key Backpack! Bringing the Makey Makey and the BBC micro:bit together for more invention fun!

New Project November: Full Scale Piano and Interactive Sheet Music

November 30, 2022

It's New Project November! Every week in November we are sharing new projects to try with your Makey Makey Invention Kit. Share your own ideas on social with #NewProjectNovember

For our last New Project November, we bring you not one, but TWO amazing ideas for creating music with Makey Makey. Here at JoyLabz, we are always tinkering with playful learning ideas, so check out this idea for making interactive sheet music with a new app idea we are testing out! 

The second project in this post shows you how to make a full scale chromatic keyboard! No coding necessary. (But you will have to remap your Makey Makey and break out that fresh set of new Makey Makey backpacks!)

Interactive Sheet Music

To make an interactive sheet music, first download this printable piano and musical scale.


Printable Makey Makey Piano and Scale


Then grab the brass fasteners and conductive tape from your Craft + Code Kit and let's make this paper interactive!

Place brass fasteners through each musical note.

Place fasteners through musical notes

Then fold brass fasteners down on the back side of the paper and place conductive tape from the fastener to the top edge of the paper.

Place tape for each note

Place a fastener through for each piano key. You can do this before the tape and make sure the tape touches the brass fastener for each note on the scale and the piano. 

Place fasteners on piano keys

Or you can use an exacto knife on the front of the paper to cut a small slit through the paper and tape. Then push a brass fastener though the piano note and through the tape. On the back side of the paper, fold down the brass fastener legs onto the tape to ensure a connection!

Place fastener legs down on conductive tape

Alligator clip arrow inputs and SPACE key on front of Makey Makey to each corresponding piano key.

Alligator clip to tape

Attach the Player 2 Backpack from the Backpack Bundle to plug and play the next six piano keys.

Attach Player 2 BackpackNow that the Player 2 Backpack is attached, you can alligator clips the inputs WASDFG to your musical scale.

Player 2 BackpackMake sure the clips touch the conductive tape. This connects the brass fasteners on the piano key and the musical scale to that key press!

Attach alligator clips to WASDF

Now you are ready to create a four bar musical masterpiece and play it with paper! Open up the Makey Makey Interactive Sheet Music App and start inventing music!

Test out interactive piano and scale


Want the full guide and more ideas for Interactive Sheet Music?


Create a Full Scale Chromatic Piano

Use this same printable to make a full scale piano with flats and sharps! Yes, really! Print and follow the same instructions as above, and then get ready to remap your Makey Makey.


@makeymakeykit Did you know you can get a full scale #piano with your #MakeyMakey invention kit? Use the ##MakeyMaxbackpack to plug and play all the inputs on your next musical invention! Backpacks are on sale at ##STEM##STEAM ♬ original sound - Makey Makey


Remap Instructions

For this project, if you want to use 18 inputs, you will remap the mouse controls on the back of Makey Makey to numbers 1-6. When you attach the Makey Max Backpack after remapping, the mouse controls will now be numbers 1-6.

Download your own Remap Worksheet

Make sure you have a Makey Makey of 1.4 or higher to use with the Makey Makey Backpack. (You can remap 1.2 or higher and use jumper wires if you do not have the Makey Makey Backpack bundle)
Check version number
Place alligator clips the way the illustration shows on the remap page.
Place alligator clips as instructed for remap
Hold EARTH and move the cursor with the arrow keys. When you get to the mouse header, press click, then navigate to change the top mouse input to the number 1. Repeat until you've changed all of the mouse inputs to the numbers 1-6.
Hold EARTH and change key presses
Make sure to save your settings!

Once your Makey Makey mouse controls are remapped, you are ready to attach the Makey Max backpack. Align all pins on the backpack board with the headers on Makey Makey.  

Gently squeeze the boards together with even pressure, making sure all pins enter the corresponding holes. 

Attach Makey Max Backpack

Add sharps to the physical piano, by drawing them in! Use your Makey Makey optimized pencil to fill in the black keys. Make sure to draw to the edge of the paper for the alligator clip to connect.

Draw Sharps on piano
On the piano app, change the amount of inputs to 18 and change the scale type to Chromatic.
Piano app settings
Test your inputs by placing an alligator clip in EARTH and testing each mouse movement to see if they are correctly remapped to the numbers 1-6.
Test Inputs
Test Keys and Scale
test keys and scale
Clip all of the arrow key inputs on the front of Makey Makey and then clip WASDFG and numbers 1-6 on Makey Makey Max according to how you've set up your piano on the piano app
Alligator clip to the max
Alligator clip to the max! 
Now you are ready to test out your full scale piano! What musical masterpieces will you invent? 
test out full scale piano

Bookmark the Full Scale Piano Guide

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