Learning music is extremely beneficial to the development of a child’s brain, but hiring a teacher can often be too much pressure and a financial commitment and at home instructionals such as books or videos are often confusing and unhelpful. Illuminote makes learning instruments more affordable and accessible than ever. It offers visual aid to its users, helping them learn from their own flute and not from a book or video. Illuminote allows you to physically see which notes you need to play on the flute by turning certain lights on to indicate which keys to press and changing as they are pushed down. Additionally, the user is also given careful instructions on their computer, instructing them how to play, when to play, and what note they are playing. Often times, people who want to learn how to the flute can feel pressured by lessons or teachers, and Illuminote provides an option to learn stress-free, at home without any commitment or pressure. Financially affordable and made for home use, the Illuminote offers a new way to learn music that has never before been made for the flute.

"With a few changes, this concept can be applied to many other wind instruments, such as the oboe, clarinet, or saxophone which will expand our marketability and increase our products potential."
— Amanda

In order to implement Illuminote, we used C++ to code our Arduino, which is a microcontroller based kit for ​b​uilding digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control the physical world.​First, we made sure to create fully functioning code that worked with the touch sensors and LEDs while still attached to the breadboard. From there, we had to get them off the breadboard by stripping wires and attaching them to the sensors and LEDs. After careful attachment and several rolls of electrical tape, we had a fully functioning flute with attached LEDs and touch sensors that enabled the user to learn new notes.


Organization: Girls Who Code
Student: Amanda Xu
Project Team Members: Megan Ferrara (12th grade), Katie Summers (12th grade), Danya Baron (11th grade)
Type of Work: Hardware
Location: Boston - Microsoft
Grade: 11th Grade
Year Created: 2015

Girls Who Code aims to provide computer science education and exposure to 1 million young women by 2020. Make a donation today to help fund future programs.
Donate now »