A toolkit for Activating Women in Sound in a Box

This box brings sound and music technology, engineering and computer coding together in an exciting and engaging way. Students will get to build their own simple electrical instrument, learn live coding techniques (Sonic Pi), have access to online interactive women in sound history space, and play a role in beta testing an interactive space for making sound. This toolkit can be used to inspire the next generation of female sonic artists and aid transition from school to university.

This Box is linked with the Women In Sound, Women On Sound organisation and has been created by Dr Linda O’Keeffe of Lancaster University and Dr Rebecca Collins of 'Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh.

The contents of the box are designed to support both teachers and students to develop research projects and engage in the practical application of the skills and techniques covered in the video tutorials.

The physical box

Inside the box there are tools for soldering, instrument building and live coding. This is further complimented by CDs with the work of female composers and sound artists, written publications by women authors on sonic arts and music technology as well as practice-based techniques such as Deep Listening.

The contents of the box include:

  • 6 professional soldering iron stations and face masks

  • 15 Noise maker kits and 9 volt batteries

  • USB stick with Install for SonicPi coding environment for PC and MAC

  • Information sheet on soldering

  • books and CD's

Online box

The online tutorials feature women makers and composers presenting tutorial videos on instrument building - learning how to construct the noise maker in the box, the history of women in music technology, sound engineering, and an introduction to Sonic Pi, the live coding application contained within the physical box.

The online space also features interactive research spaces to explore the contribution of women authors to the fields of sound, music technology, audio arts, acoustics, music history, audio cultures, plus much more.

We strongly encourage teachers to develop research projects for students that connect the video tutorials to our interactive reading list space. For example, our history tutorial looks at women who worked with early technology to create new types of music. Consider developing a research project that asks students, in advance of building their instrument, to explore our reading list to discover other instances of women working in new ways with technology and to select media examples, either from our list or online. They can then link this to their instrument building activity.

Also, the live coding environment SonicPi connects to a video tutorial. Students can explore again through the list, the evolution of coding and sound design. We will also provide links on the tutorial pages to a selection of artists and composers in those different areas for students to engage with.

Link to the toolkit Research in a Box project: http://wiswos.com/assets/php/research.php

You can read more about the toolkit and how it has been developed in this news piece.


To book this toolkit please email researchinabox@lancaster.ac.uk