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Learning with loops

By December 4, 20154 Comments

I loved catching up with the brilliant Steve Bunce at the Apple RTC Winter Conference last week at the Belfry. In his simply fab presentation about coding, he spent some time looking at a variety of ways in which you can use music to teach children about loops.

In this short post I will examine two free tools not mentioned on the day that I use with children when using music to teach loops. First up is the rather brilliant incredibox website. To showcase how you use the site I made a short video below to highlight the features.

Apart from being super simple to use, the quality of the samples is great too and you can be so creative with the few different options that are there. Teaching about loops and asking children to develop their songs, break loops, so forth and so on using incredibox is really powerful and lots of fun too.

Check out the site at

The other free tool I wanted to show you is ‘Figure‘ by the Propellerheads who make lots of different professional music creation apps.



Figure is an app where you can create original music around loops that you generate yourself across three instruments:

  • Drums
  • Bass
  • Lead synth

There are a mass of different variables available to tweak each of those three instruments and lots of different types of instruments for each type too.

Here’s an example of a piece I wrote using Figure:

And here’s a short video clip of me using figure, with the above composition running showcasing some of its features.

As Steve rightly pointed out in his presentation, children love music and they don’t often make the link between the lyrics of songs or the music itself in Computing. Using tools such as the two mentioned here can be a fun, interactive and simple way to learn about Computing at both a Primary and Secondary level.

To recap, both incredibox and Figure are both free. To use the incredibox website you will need to use a non-iOS device. Figure works on iOS on iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.

Another app which gives similar loop based functionality is the fun ‘Toca Band‘ app, available on iOS for £2.99


If you feel after reading this that your school would benefit from working with me, please contact me here.


Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson, @ICTEvangelist. Click here to learn more.


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