ITP Spring Show 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2-6pm & Monday, May 11, 5-9 pm

Paul Rothman

Trump Le Monde

A hardware/software platform to teach kids (and adults) to play the trumpet.

Pencils, Polymers, and Pixels: Working with Prototypes,Toy Design Workshop

Trump Le Monde is a hardware/software platform design to teach children and adults to play the trumpet. The program was created in processing and features music notation as well as pictorial representations of valve fingerings scrolling across a screen prompting the user the play along with a song. The controller unit is 1/3 scale of an acoustic trumpet and features realistic spring loaded valves as well as a breath sensor in the mouthpiece. Audio is generated when the correct valves are played in conjuction with a breath input. The goal of Trump Le Monde is to teach trumpet fingerings as well as basic sight-reading of sheet music. the program is ideal for getting students interested in music as well making existing practice regiments more fun. Trump Le Monde can read any MIDI file containing a trumpet part and can output MIDI data to any MIDI sound module.

For research, I looked into existing EVI (electronic valve instruments) controllers and the techniques and technologies they used to recreate the trumpet experience. I research I did informed my design in many ways. The software portion of the project was influenced by the Guitar Hero/Rock Band interfaces which I had played with prior to starting this project.

My target audience is 8 years old to 108 years old. While the system was develop with children in mind, I really feel it appeals to all ages and can be used by all ages as well.

User Scenario
The user will have a brief on screen introduction to the system interface before choosing a song they would like to play. The program can read midi files so I will have a folder of files ready for the user to choose from. The user can then play along with the song and leave with a feeling of accomplishment.

The trumpet is made of acrylic and electronics will take cues from the screen in front of them.

I learned a good deal about coding as well as user testing. Many iterations of the project elements were created and at the recommendation of Michael Jefferson, I will include prototypes in the show exhibition.