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THE MUSICAL PUNCHING BAG

Designers:​ Paul Covert

Technologies Used:
● Makey-Makey: Circuit board used to connect everyday objects to an electrical current
and computer program. I use it to connect it panels on my punching bag so when the
participant touches each one it completes the circuit.
● Scratch: Coding platform used to code sounds. I used bass sounds that are programed
to each part the of the makey makey. There are also kick and snare sounds that are also
connected.

Learning Goals:
● Learning goal 1: ​Create​ ​unique ​melodies​ by using a ​strange​ and ​new​ instrument.
● Learning goal 2: ​Develop​ their own ​creativity​ to ​create​ music through means never
used before.

Assessment: ​Following the participants interaction with the musical punching bag I will ask
them to complete a google forms survey. I will ask them about melodies they created, how many
notable melodies they made, which one was their favorite. I will also ask about what sort of
ideas they came up with after using this instrument, musical and non musical, and have them
write a response in paragraph form.

Project Overview:​ ​The experience created with this instrument is about overlapping physical
movement and music. To interact with the punching bag you need to punch that panels and
physically move your body more than one would using a traditional instrument. An observer
would notice, from a distance, someone striking a punching bag, meant for martial arts. If the
observer were to move closer they would notice how the participant is actually making music
with this punching bag. The participants will use their hands to strike the panels on the punching
bag to make pitches and their feet to tap foot pedals to make a drum beat. I will allow them to
experience the instrument in any way they would like and read their responses after they are
finished using it.

Rationale: ​This project is meant to relate musical aspects with non musical aspects. I used the
punching bag, a tool for training in the martial arts, as a musical instrument to bring the two
opposing activities together. This tool is “creativity software ... students learn by exploring and
experimenting with the materials at hand” (Bauer, 2014, p.37). I am sure none of the
participants have played a musical punching bag before and I look forward to seeing how they
use it to make music. This instrument is also game like and “prerequisite learning is sometimes
necessary if there is a reinforcement aspect to the game” (Bauer, 2014, p.37). Participants will
remember the interactions and music that was made using this instrument, benefiting them
further.
Plan for Success:​ I plan to make the instrument more responsive from now until the final
reveal. Make the wires more secure to keep them from being fidgety. I also plan to add note
names to the panels on the bag to further help the user. The makey makey also needs to be
better secured in the back so it does not break or fall. Other than those things, this project is
close to completion and will be a success.