Sonic Pi: Are you the next DJ?

After reading about the latest and amazing challenge about all the great things taking place with Raspberry Pi and outer space, I realized as an educator it is time for me to learn and to also open up some new challenges to students.

The latest challenge on the Astro Pi website that really grabbed my interest was making music using Sonic Pi.


I just started messing around with this awesome tool. The reason that I have chosen to make this our next challenge is for several reasons.

1. Sonic Pi can be coded on a Raspberry Pi. BUT…. If you don’t have a Raspberry Pi, then you can also use the software using a flash drive or install the software on our Mac or PC. Everyone can participate and do so for FREE!

2. Who does not love music?

3. Seriously, this challenge should bring in the minds of all students – boys, girls, and all students from any background. We all love music!

4. There are plenty of resources to help you learn and get started.

5. I need students like you to teach me a few things.



How do I start?

We are going to be using the same structure as the Astro Pi challenge but with a few modifications.

My room is a makerspace called Coffeechug Cafe. Your challenge is to write some music for Coffeechug Cafe that can be played when people stop in and grab a cup of coffee in the morning. Additionally, all tracks will be shared online so anyone can play and listen to your jams!

**The following criteria comes from Astro Pi website posted above.**

Your tune will need to meet the following requirements:

  • It must be an original piece of work created using Sonic Pi v2.8.0 or higher
  • It must have a title and short description
  • It must have a minimum length of 120 seconds (maximum length is 360 seconds)
  • The code must be no more than 200 lines long (excluding comments)
  • The code must be only one file
  • The code must only use the built in synths and samples available in Sonic Pi v2.8.0 and above (please don’t import your own samples because it creates licensing problems)
  • It must be original; don’t use melodies from other songs
  • By submitting an entry you agree for it to be released under the CC BY-SA licence and potentially hosted on this website and SoundCloud.

Your entry will be judged on:

  • Whether it meets all the requirements above
  • How it sounds, and the creativity and originality of the music
    We are looking for original and unique examples of music created with Sonic Pi in the first instance
  • Use of samples, synths and loops
  • Code readability and quality
    We will take a look at the computing concepts and skills used to create the music. Here we are looking for efficiency and a higher level of coding knowledge applied, depending on the age group of submissions. For example, why use a long sequence of play and sleep when you can use a loop?
  • More importantly, besides these factors we are just doing this to share and document how awesome students can be. There is no “winner”  as anyone who creates a song is a winner. We are doing this for ourselves and that is what matters most!(Coffeechug addition)

Getting Started 

1. Download and gain access to Sonic Pi.  If you have a Raspberry Pi, then you are already good to go. If no Pi for you, then download the appropriate option. I love the flash drive option so I can work wherever I go.

2. Begin making your music. If you need help start with the tutorials included in the software. There are also these options as well.

This is where I started

Carrie Ann help

More help

3. Join our G+ Community so we can network and share ideas back and forth


  1. Send your code to
  2. I will then load up to Soundcloud and make available for everyone to listen. We will also share your code so others can learn.


What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (1)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)