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Music & Lights Workbench for those new to programming

Educational - to spark early interest in youngsters in computing, with easy constructions of cool music and light commands.

The Music and Lights Workbench (MLWB) has been designed to introduce anyone new to or not familiar with the subject of computer programming.

The approach taken is to provide a set of simple to use and logically applied commands (functions) that link the computer to the outside world through the playing of musical notes and/or the lighting of LEDs (lights).

The MLWB commands are largely independent of each other and may be used for playing just music, illuminating just lights, or a combination of both.

The MLWB does not require the use of any other programming functions, techniques or logic, just the simple statement of its commands. Whilst conditional constructs like if/then, do/while, for-loops, etc. can be used for more advanced use, under suitable teaching, they are not necessary to achieve immediate results from the MLWB.

Anyone trying to get to grips with a new subject, here basic computer programming, benefits from some direction by someone versed in the subject. The MLWB is no different and its use and application is best achieved through guidance and mentoring from someone taking the lead of tutor to the student.

The MLWB was designed for the author’s grandchildren, to provide them with some opportunity to understand how a computer program can be easily created to produce effects in the real world. It was hoped that through thinking about the logical steps needed to play simple music and/or turn lights (LEDs) on and off that this would peak and stimulate their desire to explore the potential of programming more deeply.”

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