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Lab Virtual
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Edtech Advocacy &
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Music Composition to Build Coding Skills

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Sunday, June 23, 11:30 am–1:30 pm
Location: Posters: Level 4, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 41

John Mlynczak  
Through composing music, students learn to use small musical building blocks in a logical sequence in order to create a larger structure that elicits an emotional response for listeners. See how any teacher can incorporate musical composition into the curriculum and explore the relationships to coding skills.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Professional developers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Free account at
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Computer science and computational thinking
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Music, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
  • Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
For Educators:
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

This session is presented based on research studies linking coding to music composition, and from years of personal experience in teaching music and technology. Specifically, I aim to draw comparisons of using short musical ideas to lines of code and how they interact to create a larger structure. The session objective is for participants, regardless of musical or coding background, leave with ideas that can be immediately utilized in their teaching. I will focus on demonstrating examples of best practices and provide attendees with many digital resources for follow up.


I. Brief Overview of Research - 10 min

II. Music and Coding Skills Review - 15 min
A. Analytical
B. Organizational
C. Emotional

III. Lesson Demonstrations- 15 min
A. Beginning lesson (no experience)
B. Coding-based lesson (Some coding but no music experience)
C. Music-based lesson (Some music but no coding experience)

IV. Whole Group Mini Lesson- 15 min
A. Use note cards with musical ideas
B. Order them into a composition on screen
C. Reflect

V. Resources and Follow up- 5 min

Supporting research

More [+]


John Mlynczak, Noteflight, LLC

John Mlynczak offers an extensive range of experiences in music education and is a frequent national clinician. Mr. Mlynczak is President of the Technology Institute of Music Educators and Managing Director of Noteflight, a Hal Leonard company. John is also a Graduate Instructor at VanderCook College and a Google Level-2 Certified Educator. Mr. Mlynczak is a passionate advocate for music education and technology, serving on the NAMM State Advocacy Coalition, the NAfME Advocacy Leadership Force, and is Advocacy Chairman for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association. Mr. Mlynczak holds degrees in music education, music performance, and educational leadership.

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