[chuck-users] teaching with ChucK (was Windows XP ...)
gewang at CS.Princeton.EDU
Thu Apr 20 19:30:48 EDT 2006
> btw: anyone using chuck for education? i am planning to use chuck in a
> class at university...
I think several institutions have started to use chuck as a teaching
tool, both for audio synthesis and programming. We taught and are
teaching the Princeton Laptop Orchestra with ChucK, and have been
pleasantly surprised by the result. Last semester, we taught ChucK to 15
freshmen (none of whom had prior programming experience). They were
hooked from the start (the assignments eventually included building a
on-the-fly generative drum machine, a soundscape, duo and trio
performances). The bulk of the success, I believe, was due to the sheer
creative will and energy of the students (they all were fantastic), but it
also proved to us that ChucK can be a viable and beneficial teaching tool.
Here is a highly encouraging quote (reproduced here from the README to the
drum machine assignment) from Anna, a student in last semester's course
(and a world-class cellist):
"... However, when everything worked the way it was supposed to, when my
spontaneous arrangement of computer lingo transformed into a musical
composition, it was a truly amazing experience. The ability to control
duration and pitch with loops, integers, and frequency notation sent me on
a serious power trip."
It wasn't all smooth sailing, of course, a multitude of bugs/features were
discovered, and a lot of on-the-fly fixing took place. But no one got
discouraged, and we introduced a lot of features and bug fixes (and new
bugs) as a result. Also, we taught using Max/MSP at the same time, which
turned out to be fruitful, pedogogically since it exposed two very
different paradigms, and practically because Max and ChucK tended to crash
in different places, and having options for the task-at-hand is usually
Perry, Dan Trueman, Scott Smallwood, and students can provide better,
potentially different, and more extended perspectives, this was just my
2::cent on ChucK and PLOrk.
If anyone else is using ChucK in the classroom (I know of folks at UVic,
McGill, GA Tech, and few other places that use chuck to various degrees),
we'd love to hear about it. Perhaps we can eventually make a list of
places that use ChucK for education, and share our materials/experiences.
(Feel free to fire away.)
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