In another debatably educational application of my rhythm stage setup, Nora really likes playing with my bass pedals. She especially likes them when I have them set in a particular way:

  • When you tap them they make a noise

  • When you tap them with a consistent beat they make them more complex noise.

  • If your beat isn't consistent enough they go back to the simpler noise until your tempo is clear again.

Here's a demo:

This has me wondering whether some sort of toy like this could be good at teaching kids a sense of consistent rhythm? The initial noise is enough to make the toy fun, but then if you can be consistent enough you get something more fun. You could probably start with Somewhat relaxed threshold for "consistent enough", and then tighten it over time as they got better?

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I have experimented with programs that make sounds when you press keys or click things. My kids were not very interested in this - so it didn't amount to much in the end. I like the idea of detecting consistent rhythm and I wonder how you do it. Peak value of Fourier transform something? IIR? There are many nice things one can do with such a set-up. I'm not sure playing more complex sounds is the best approach pedagogy wise. Unless it is a complexity the relates to the duration on some sense. Otherwise it risks giving too large reward for small improvements leading to frustration later.