Hyperscore in Detroit

Chantine Akiyama, MIT Media Lab

Today we’ve got a recap of a recent trip Tod and the team took to Detroit two weeks ago.

Akito from the Media Lab, who is an expert at our Hyperscore software, conducted a couple of Hyperscore workshops while he was there, one at the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences (DAAS), and another at Crescendo Detroit. We also checked in on our Hyperscore exhibit at the Michigan Science Center, where anyone can come and use the software.

DAAS is a K-8 educational community located in the heart of downtown Detroit, founded in 1997 by Rev. Jim Holley, Ph.D, who held a desire and vision to create an innovative educational center that met the needs of the children of Detroit and its surrounding communities.

At DAAS, Akito got to give seven students ages 10-14 a Hyperscore tutorial where he showed them how to create rhythms and melodies using the software’s visual interface. Soon enough, the kids were were off and on their way to making beautiful masterpieces of their own.

Hyperscore at DAAS

After compositions were underway, students were led through a discussion about the pieces they had started to create – each student giving and receiving constructive criticism and compliments for their work. After encouraging the students to keep an ear out for inspiring composers to emulate and learn from, Akito was off to the next workshop.

But first, a lunch break was enjoyed Kuzzo’s for some “so good but so bad for you” chicken and waffles.


Crescendo Detroit evolved from Progression Inc., and provides in-school music programming with a primary focus on using jazz and hip hop as a way of teaching important curriculum. Some of its core values are social change and accessibility.

At Crescendo Detroit, two groups of students ages ~6-10 learned to compose music for the first time using Hyperscore. After a bit of explaining the connection between the visual interface and the music that would be produced, these students also got a chance to express their creativity in Hyperscore compositions that reflect their Detroit.

After the workshops, the team visited our Hyperscore exhibit at the Detroit Science Center, where Akito found it pretty cool to see some of our work on display!

Hyperscore at MiSci

All the Hyperscore compositions-in-progress were collected for Tod to listen to, and he is already enjoying what the students have begun to create. Our newest collaborators at DAAS and Crescendo will also continue to explore their musical skills to shape and refine their Hyperscore pieces so that they’re ready to be included in the final symphony to be debuted on November 20th. We can’t wait to see the final Hyperscore pieces take form!

Tod and our team would also love to have all of you submit Hyperscore compositions of your own and collaborate in the creation of Symphony in D, so we highly encourage you to check out www.hyperscore.com! As a citizen of the D, you can even get a free copy Hyperscore by submitting three or more sounds of Detroit through the Symphony in D mobile app. All Hyperscore compositions can be sent directly our way via email to detroit@media.mit.edu.



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