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Collaborative Music Composition
In this activity, players create a music composition by turning on notes arranged in a grid on the screen. The player can turn on and off notes that are played when a bar moves across the screen, playing one column at a time. The player can produce a chord by turning on two or more notes located on the same column. The player can also make the music slower or faster, pause it, or clear the screen.
Grades: All
Funcioning level: All
Skills: Creativity, fine motor skills, turn-taking, sharing and collaborating
Materials: Multitouch tablet, music software
Duration: Until players are satisfied with the music they have created


  1. Click icon. Double click the Music icon.
  2. Select approximately six notes.
  3. Pass the tablet to the next participant, who also chooses six notes to select or deselect.
  4. Take turns. Pass the laptop back and forth to add onto the composition.
  5. End the activity once the players are happy with the piece of music they have composed.
  6. Restart the composition by pressing the circular button on the bottom left of the screen.
  7. Exit the program by pressing the Esc key.

The tiles must be touched directly in their centers to be selected. If fingernails get in the way, it may help to touch the screen at a flatter angle. It may be difficult for a child with great motor issues to make precise touches, but touching randomly over the screen is also a strategy that can be used.

The music can be paused by pressing the button with two vertical bars on the bottom left of the screen. The green bar at the bottom of the screen can be used to adjust the speed at which the music plays.

Activity Variations
Another way to do this activity is letting a child compose and then sharing the completed piece with another. This does not practice skills such as turn-taking, but it does encourage sharing, a deeply social endeavor.

Questions? Contact Prof. Juan Pablo Hourcade at