Develop Your Child’s Coding and Music Skills Using GO:KEYS

GO:KEYS with ScratchX

Now you can make music and learn to code at the same time using the ScratchX extension for the Roland GO:KEYS keyboard.

With so much of our world now taking place online, digital skills like coding are becoming increasingly important for our children. Coding is regularly being incorporated into the curriculum of primary age children and beyond, but it doesn’t need to stop there.

Contributed by Belinda Williams for Roland Corporation Australia

Coding games for kids

Coding is a fun activity that kids can enjoy at home too. Increasingly there are more and more games being developed to help children learn about coding. Now you can use the ScratchX extension together with the Roland GO:KEYS keyboard, and your kids will be creating digital masterpieces while learning coding at the same time!

ScratchX and the benefits of learning to code for children

GO:KEYS with ScratchX

Coding is more than just a technical skill. It also fosters your child’s creativity, their ability to reason systematically, and it promotes collaborative learning. That’s why the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) decided to create a visual programming language especially for kids. ScratchX is free to use, and millions of children around the world access it via an easy to use browser-based platform.

A powerful pair: the Roland GO:KEYS and ScratchX extension

Coding isn’t the only skill that’s useful for your child’s development. The benefits of getting your child involved in music at a young age are well documented and include helping them to improve discipline and focus, improving brainpower, to building confidence, social skills, and fostering creativity.
GO:KEYS with ScratchX

A great starting point for your child is the Roland GO:KEYS keyboard. Portable and easy to use, it lets children explore sounds and have fun with music. When used together with the ScratchX extension, the keyboard becomes a powerful platform to inspire your child’s creativity in exciting new ways and lets them experience the benefits of coding and music at the same time.

For example:

  • Program your own musical loops: If your child fancies themselves a budding songwriter, they can use the easy to understand ScratchX programming language to create an original song. Using intuitive ‘blocks’, your child selects the blocks they wish to use and orders them into a sequence to create their song. From selecting a key, playing a drum loop, or instructing the program to wait a measure, your child has all the blocks they need at their fingertips to arrange their very own song.
  • Make a character move in time to the music: for a visual and musical coding experience, your child can order the ‘blocks’ to make a character move in time with the music and carry out different dance moves. It’s a great way for kids to learn more about rhythm and coding at the same time.
  • Create an interactive animation: another fun way for your child to experiment with coding and music using the Roland GO:KEYS is to have them create an on-screen animation that is synchronised with their keyboard performance. Build the animation sequence using the ScratchX coding ‘blocks’ then watch it move when you play the keyboard.

How to get started coding using the ScratchX extension on the Roland GO:KEYS

Getting your child started on coding with their Roland GO:KEYS keyboard is quick and easy. Simply connect your Roland to your computer (Mac or Windows) using a micro USB cable. You’ll need to make sure you have the latest versions of the GO:KEYS software, Google Chrome, and Adobe Flash Player downloaded. Then you’ll need to enable Flash Player on your computer and download the ScratchX extension, and you’ll be ready to go. Child’s play!

GO:KEYS with ScratchX

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Created by Roland V-Drums specialist Simon Ayton, these patches were designed using the internal factory sounds and many of the techniques covered in the TD-50 guide. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!