LECI Research seminar on May 6th: "Programming music with Sonic Pi promotes positive attitudes for beginners" by Christopher Petrie

The LECI research community will organize its next seminar on May 6th at 9–10.30 a.m. Doctoral researcher Christopher Petrie will give a talk entitled. “Programming music with Sonic Pi promotes positive attitudes for beginners”.

Dear colleagues,

Learning, Culture and Interventions (LECI) research community is happy to invite you to its next research seminar. This seminar is devoted to celebrating and learning from our doctoral researcher Christopher Petrie who will be sharing insights from his recently published article:

Petrie, C. (2022). Programming music with Sonic Pi promotes positive attitudes for beginners. Computers and Education, 179, [104409]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2021.104409

For doctoral students to note, this seminar is part of the SEDUCE doctoral courses (SED-916) and you will gain study credits by attending.    

When: Friday 06.05.2022 at 9:00-10:30   

Where: https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/61977360573?pwd=Znk0WU0xdldLTlhkZGpFczVaQjZTUT09

(Meeting ID: 619 7736 0573

Passcode: 009036)


Programming music with Sonic Pi promotes positive attitudes for beginners 


Programming is often misaligned with beginner students' interests and viewed as difficult. However, most students and teachers are not aware that it is possible to utilise domain-specific programming languages that combine programming with other domains like music making. Sonic Pi is one free domain-specific programming platform that enables beginners to code music, which has been designed for and used in schools since its first release in 2012. However, there is a lack of academic research on the Sonic Pi platform about the extent it may affect beginner student attitudes towards programming in a school context. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent Sonic Pi may help to promote positive attitudes towards programming. A mixed-methods case study was developed and trialled in school time with a middle school class, which measured student attitudes with the three subscales of enjoyment, importance, and anxiety. Overall, the results confirmed an alternative hypothesis that all students’ subscales for programming attitude increased significantly. While these findings are not generalisable due to its limited scope, they are very positive to inform the design and use of platforms like Sonic Pi in comparison to similar music coding platforms like EarSketch and TunePad.


Christopher Petrie is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Helsinki University studying user experiences of domain-specific programming platforms that combine music and programming. He was formally an experienced computer science educator in New Zealand and the Head of Research at HundrED.org. Christopher is now working as the Director of Digital Learning at New Nordic Schools. 

Kind wishes, Kristiina and Anu