Accessible Instruments Workshop

Making, Moving & Music: A Collaborative Development Jam

During the Fall 2023, we ran workshops for people who are interested in making music with others, but don’t play an instrument. The purpose was to develop an interactive performance and installation using a wireless device created by Don Undeen. This initiative aimed to delve into maker culture by bridging the realms of musical embodiment and electronic hacking.

ICanMusic is a system that simplifies the process of performing music in groups using a wide range of electronic sensors. This allows the development of musical “instruments” using free and open-source tools that can control sound using any kind of body motion, interaction with physical objects, or even brain waves and environmental sensors. 

In this series of three workshops, we invited participants to collaborate in developing wireless electronic music controllers attuned to their own unique interests in motion and material pracitce. The workshops culminated with a performance “jam session” in Webster Library’s Visualization Studio.

No performance/musical experience or knowledge was required. The final performance was more a “movement jam session” than a carefully choreographed performance.  

iCan Music device created by Don Undeen using ESP32 Huzzah board, an Arduino with Wifi.

Yes! We’re willing to run more workshops!

What will participants do?

  • Coding with Arduino;
  • Working with electronic sensors to allow physical interactions to control a musical system; 
  • Working with the ICanMusic system (runs on free version of Max software);
  • Collaborating between artists and makers to develop performances and installations;
  • Performing in a musical environment with others.

What are we looking for?

4-6 performers

  • No performance experience required, just a willingness to move, collaborate, communicate, and compromise
  • Specifically seeking people with varied relationships to embodied experiences. For example: Disabled people, people experiencing disability, people using assistive devices, people working with motion and materials, and other people often left out of traditional conversations about movement and dance. If you just like to shimmy and shake, that’s great too!
  • You will be asked to move according to your comfort levels and interests, sometimes in a repetitive way as you develop the instrument in collaboration with your maker partner.

4-6 makers

  • Advanced programming expertise is not required, but some experience with coding (e.g. loops, variables, functions, etc) in any language will be useful. 
  • We will be experimenting with programming, sensors, wireless networks, digital fabrication, upcycling, etc. Any experience with these things will be a great contribution to the group, but not required.
  • Lots of initial templates, examples to copy/tweak, etc will be provided.
  • Willingness to collaborate, communicate and compromise required.
  • You will be asked to: problem solve with code, sensors, physical materials, and in collaboration with your Performer partner.

It takes a lot of energy to run these workshops so a stipend for Don is good karma!

Don Undeen

Don Undeen

M. Des. Student
Don Undeen is an M.Des.candidate, artist, performer, designer, and educator. His background is in building and running makerspaces, creating spaces for innovation, and helping artists develop technology solutions to achieve their creative vision. He has taught numerous workshops and university courses on creative coding, innovation strategy, making and maker culture, and creative collaboration. Full CV and portfolio at
Ann-Louise Davidson

Ann-Louise Davidson

Professor | Director of Innovation Lab

Ann-Louise Davidson Ph.D. is the Director of Concordia University’s Innovation Lab and is the Innovation Strategic Advisor for the Faculty of Arts and Science. She is also Associate Director of the Milieux Institute for Art, Culture and Technology, where she directs #MilieuxMake, the institute’s makerspace.