Piano Learning Aid; Resurrecting Industrial Hemp to Revive our Sustainability Problem

Karakas, Mert, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Powell, Harry, EN-Elec/Computer Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Ferguson, Sean, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The United States recycling rates have been decreasing drastically over the years. It seems that plastic products will not disappear in the near future and scientists are estimating that global warming will be an irreversible consequence of our negligence. On top of that, one of the main pathways of getting rid of our plastic waste, sending it to China, is no longer an option due to the National Sword policy. Some experts suggest that there are three main solutions to the recycling problem: innovating a cost-effective recycling system, producing more eco-friendly plastic, or advocating and exploring new products that might substitute for plastic in specific applications and markets. This STS research focuses on a proposed intervention in the sustainability equation around waste and resource use is industrial hemp. The technical research is a design for a piano learning aid that gives users a more interactive learning experience when practicing the piano. The product guides users on the next notes to play with LEDs corresponding to each key on the piano and receives input from the user by listening to the individual frequencies coming from the piano. This aspect is very important since it advocates for self-learning.

The technical thesis focuses on an electronic piano design that is aimed to teach a beginner how to play the piano, in real-time. When beginner piano students are just learning to play, they require much more feedback on a practice session than an experienced player. They are not yet able to match a named pitch to the sound they hear coming from their instrument, they may be unsure of what the name of the note they are looking at is, and they may have trouble locating notes on the piano. While a piano teacher can offer plenty of help addressing these problems in a lesson, when the student comes home to practice, they lose that guidance. This project will help address these problems and provide needed reinforcement to students attempting to practice with a detachable, real-time light display that guides which keys to play next.

The STS thesis researches the potential local markets and viable pathways for industrial hemp in Virginia. Industrial hemp is particularly interesting product since it has been a product that was cultivated throughout history. It is important to consider who supports and how they support local interventions in this emerging sustainability debate around hemp. Although hemp is surrounded by controversy and misconceptions, this paper is attempting to disclose how hemp can be very useful in some applications in a couple of different cases. This will be accomplished by utilizing 2 frameworks that David J. Hess conceptualizes: the first is analyzing and predicting localist movements to explore the world of development strategies around industrial hemp, the second is utilizing technology- and product-oriented movements (TPMs) to look at specific instances where products like CBD as a product type relates to the conversations that relate to hemp and health.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
industrial hemp, tpm, Search Results Web results Technology- and Product-Oriented Movements, piano teacher, real-time piano feedback, sustainability

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
Technical Advisor: Harry Powell
STS Advisor: Sean Ferguson
Technical Team Members: Eddie Russell, Ian Greene, Nathaniel Geerdes

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