Invisible Xylophone at a Glance

New for 2018:  Create a wand that plays music when you wave it -- an Invisible Xylophone!  Then decorate the wand to express your own personality.

  • Create an Invisible Xylophone that beeps a tune as you wave a wand
  • Connect sensors that detect the wand’s motion
  • Add a light that changes color
  • Attach a speaker that beeps notes
  • Arrange graphical computer code letting the wand control the speaker
  • Decorate the wand to express your own personality

You'll attach to the end of a wand an accelerometer and a gyroscope that send signals to a microcontroller, which in turn is wired to a speaker.  Then you'll write code in the Scratch programming language so that the speaker beeps when the wand is swiped down, generating a pitch controlled by the wand's angle.

This program is generally appropriate for grades 6-9, though the hosting libraries and schools may have additional guidelines and registration requirements.

The videos of the butterflies/flowers xylophone and the Spider Man xylophone show the original prototype design.  The latest design is portable, as is demonstrated in the following video showing Bill Silver playing Beethoven around Damariscotta.