Following a computational approach to music creation can
serve as a transdisciplinary bridge between computer science,
music and education by providing rich opportunities
for teaching computing skills in interdisciplinary contexts.
Making use of such learning contexts is one of the cornerstones
of STEAM (STEM + Arts) education, a pedagogic
approach focusing on integrating the arts and humanities
into STEM fields. Despite numerous benefits reported in
the literature, the number of STEAM programs integrated
into formal learning contexts remains limited due to various
integration challenges. In addressing these challenges,
we developed and evaluated a gamified music computing
learning application called muco, using the MVC software
architecture along with React as the front-end, and Node
and MariaDB as back-end technologies. The goal of the
application is to make programming concepts more accessible
and comprehensible to a broader public, and to simultaneously
spark interest in music and music making.
Making use of game mechanics, muco is conceptualised
to teach computational thinking, and more specifically, introductory
programming, in non-formal learning contexts.
The usability of the application and impact of interdisciplinary
learning is evaluated by means of both formative
and summative testing. Results show that the application
provides an engaging learning environment which encourages
the exploration of both the computing and music domain.