MIT project teaches music with responsive animated characters walking along a piano
image courtesy of MIT tangible media lab




ph.d candidate xiao xiao and professor hiroshi ishii at MIT’s tangible media lab offer an alternative approach to learn music correctly according with an interactive score called ‘andante’. the team believes that the system would help cultivate high levels of musicianship beyond correctness alone for students of all levels. drawing from their own personal experiences of learning to play the piano, they identified three skills central to musicianship – listening, embodied understanding and creative imagination. it uses a reflective keyboard cover with a projection surface for all the animations, to offer a better understanding of music rooted in the body.  


video courtesy of tangible media group



during lessons ‘andante’ helps students internalize rhythms before learning specific notes on the piano differentiating when the character walks and runs. the project by xiao xiao and hiroshi ishii presented this project to showcase alternative view of music learning by connecting the dots between the process of music learning to broader domains for design, relating ideas from music learning to existing theories of embodiment and cognition and apply their framework to the learning of other skills beyond music.


video courtesy of tangible media group