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Action: Adding Power To Our Voice

Activity 2: Preparing the Final Song! (20 minutes + homework)

This eight-module experience will be the start of your EarSketch journey. You can now decide how you want to proceed.

A: Revise Existing Song or Create New Song?

Now you have a choice!

Option 1: Revise and finalize your existing song, or

Option 2: Create a new song!

  • With all the skills and knowledge you have acquired, you are well-positioned to create a new song. Programmers and creators don't normally 'get it right' on the first go—especially when you are a beginner coder! 
  • Just think of the advantages!
  • Consider the approaches!

Review the chart

B: Hard-Code or Code with Variables?

You might decide ahead of time which functions will be hard-coded (e.g., def intro(): and which ones will be coded with variables. E.g., def chorus(start, end):

C: What Else Will You Add?

As you continue, layer your sounds, add more tracks, set a new tempo, and be sure to comment frequently. 

Go For It!

Fly and take that leap! 

Push your boundaries in coding and speak from your heart.

Share your voice; remember, your voice is power!

If you need a review on any of the EarSketch topics, use the curriculum on the right of the code editor console to review selected topics.

Think about the call to action and how you can build on your EarSketch knowledge to use code to express your voice. Below you will find resources to help you continue to work on your submission. When you have completed your code, debug (see directions below) and then submit it to the competition.

There are other suggested coding functions suggested in Extension A if interested!  Samian, Dakota Bear, and Jayli Wolf are all so excited to see what you can produce.

Here are some tips from music producers on what makes a hit song along, with some other examples of EarSketch functions to advance your code.

Music Tips

  • Choose a form and structure for your song (for example, ABAB).
  • Be personal. Write from the heart. Tell a story.
  • Create repetition - Include an earworm or hook. Make your melody memorable.
  • Build variation in your song - including contrast and change between minor and major chords.
  • Match beats between verses. Keep your verses to the same number or a multiple number of beats.

Activity 3: Add Voice to Your Code (30 minutes or Homework)

Look at your class’s collaborative space and your individual thoughts. 

How can you integrate these learnings into your code and music? 

Remember how we learned about comments on Day 1? You learned that comments can help the programmer explain the message or purpose of their code. Now it is time to apply this learning.

Remember, you can write comments anywhere in your script, but you must first write the hashtag (#) sign. Comments help to structure your song and communicate your voice as a coder and programmer.

  1. Open your Your Voice is Power script. 
  2. Look at your code and listen to your music. 
  3. Write comments in your song. 

Add comments to:

  • Highlight sections of your song that use respect, relevance, reciprocity, and responsibility.
  • Include your voice (through words/lyrics) or the voice of your community.
  • Your target audience to identify awareness they need to understand in your song.
  • Include the print function to print the purpose of their song in the console.
  • Comment on your role as an ally, activist, person. 
  • Comment on your attributions. Make sure to give credit to the artists of the sound clips used in your song.

Activity 4: Debugging Your Song (20 minutes or Homework)

Congratulations, it is time to risk it all and share your song with EarSketch, Amazon Future Engineer, and TakingITGlobal! 

Hopefully, along with coding your song, you learned important lessons in social justice, music, computer science, activism, and equity.  

Your song will be the first step in sharing those learning experiences with others. 

Before officially submitting your song, you need to do one last review.

The first part of your review is a final debugging of your code, and next is reviewing the competition rubric.

Debugging, as you know, is the process of finding and fixing bugs (errors made by the programmer). You likely won't find any at this point!

But, perhaps debugging might also mean modifying parts of the song that you aren't totally happy with!

You need to debug your code before submitting to make sure it runs the way you intended!

Follow the instructions below to debug your code:

  1. Run your code
  2. Check the console - are there any errors?
    If there are no errors, move on to Part 2 (Check Your Song's Characteristics) in the song submission process.
    If you have an error in your code, continue to step 3 in the debugging process
  3. Read the console for clues (such as line number or type of error).
  4. Locate the error in your code: If the console provided a line number, take a look at that line and the previous line in your code. Check any arguments carefully. You can also comment out the lines of code one at a time to identify where a possible error could be. Print debugging can also be used to locate an error. Insert print statements throughout your code to obtain the value of variables and check your logic. See 43.2 The Debugging Process for more information.
  5. Squash the bug: Check for syntax errors, like unclosed parentheses, quotations, or brackets. Edit the code, and run it to verify its correctness.
  6. Ask for help: If you find you have spent too much time on a bug, then ask someone for help! A fresh pair of eyes can do wonders for spotting mistakes.