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This project is creating a wearable musical instrument.  This is not a beginners projects as the soldering of the audio codec board requires some experience. This project is a 1-6 lesson project depending on if you do the whole project. I used this project in a 4 day workshop for 11-13 year olds alongside using makeymakey and RPI.  I pre-soldered the audio board, neopixel, colour sensor and Flora.  I modified the Flora soldering to have jumper cables which the students then wired up on a solderless breadboard. It is this approach that is included in this lesson plan. This project will take between 2-6 lessons depending on your approach.

Theories covered in this project. Soldering, Circuits, Sensors, LEDS, Power & Programming: Loops, data types, data conversions, code libraries,

Kit List

Audio Codec VS1053b adafruit
Headphone Jack
Color sensor
Wiring cable (or jumper cables)
Perma-Proto 1/2 sized breadboard
or Solderless  breadboard

Lesson breakdown but take as much time as it takes.  

  1. Solder audio codec and headphone jack (possibly 2 lessons if soldering in class)
  2. Solder Neopixel and ‘color’ sensor to the Flora or SEW these connections using conductive thread
  3. Solder Flora to Audio Codec Board or Solder jumper cables so the students can wire it up them selves
  4. Load the code, libraries and breadboarding section
  5. Stitch on to a glove & Test the code with anything coloured
  6. Debug and issues as a group – share good practice.  For students who have a working glove and are not required to help out other students then they can start 7.
  7. Create a musical score image for the students to play. Play and video each piece. (ShowCase)

Starting the project

The video includes other projects.  Piano Glove is only the first 1 minute or so.

NOTE: This project involves a lot of soldering. This can be challenging in a class setting. Depending on your class’ ability and interest you could solder the boards prior to the project and use the breadboard option for the lessons.


As you can see there are a lot of fine soldering points on the audio codec board. This is done first.

Audio jack

Above you can the Audio Jack on the perma board.

Flora piano glove

Soldering the connections on the Flora which can solder with jumper cables for breadboard option or directly onto the permaproto board for a permanent solutions.


Audio codec board Wiring image


Full wiring diagram of the piano glove (with V2 of audio codec board)

Creativity: 2+ lessons

Once the piano glove is built or breadboarded together this is when the creativity can be encouraged.

Play Sounds using a simple colour grid to give the students an idea of what each colour sounds like.  Following this use different images such as photographs or pieces of art work.

Colour Grid for piano glove

Colour Grid for piano glove

Using colour to create a score sheet.






Students can create there own art piece as part Computing Lessons or work in a cross curricular project with your Art Department.

On the LAST lesson use this for a show and tell or have an event for the school/ community showcasing the work that the student have done.

Curriculum Mapping:
UK Keystage 3 / 4
understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking, such as ones for sorting and searching; use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem

use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures such as lists, tables or arrays; design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions

understand simple Boolean logic [such as AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming; understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers [for example, binary addition, and conversation between binary and decimal

undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users.

develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science, digital media and information technology.

develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills.

Project mapped to commoncore


Digital Technologies knowledge and understanding
6.1 Investigate the main components of common digital systems, their basic functions and interactions

Digital Technologies processes and production skills
6.4 Define problems in terms of data and functional requirements, and identify features similar to previously solved problems
6.9 Manage the creation and communication of ideas and information including online collaborative projects, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols
8.10 Create and communicate interactive ideas and information collaboratively (online), taking into account social contexts
8.11 Plan and manage projects, including tasks, time and other resources required, considering safety and sustainability
Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding
6.2 Investigate how forces or electrical energy can control movement, sound or light in a designed product or system
8.3 Analyse how motion, force and energy, are used to manipulate and control electromechanical systems when designing simple, engineered solutions
Design and Technologies processes and production skills
6.8 Apply safe procedures when using a variety of materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to make designed solutions
8.9 Effectively and safely use a broad range of materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to make designed solutions
4.9 Plan a sequence of production steps when making designed solutions individually and collaboratively
6.10 Develop project plans that include consideration of resources when making designed solutions individually and collaboratively
8.11 Use project management processes individually and collaboratively to coordinate production of designed solutions