There are lots of ways to make music with the Circuit Playground Express and Microsoft MakeCode. This musical glove lets you control the notes you play, just by moving your hand!

It's inspired by the MI.MU glove invented by Imogen Heap, which uses gestures to remotely control a synthesizer, leaving the musician free to move around the stage. The still-experimental gloves have been used in concert by Heap and other artists, including Ariana Grande. 

I loved Heap's creation so much, I included a DIY version of the MI.MU glove for my book Musical Inventions a few years ago using sensors, remote control, and synthesizer modules from littleBits.

More recently, children’s author Helen Leigh worked with Heap to make a kit for kids called the MINI:MU. The MINI.MU uses the BBC micro:bit, and comes with a felt glove for you to sew, adding pockets to hold the board, a speaker, and a battery pack.

This version uses the Circuit Playground Express instead of the micro:bit, which eliminates the need to add a speaker, since there's already one onboard. You don't even need to do any sewing -- just attach the CPX directly to an existing glove and you're good to go!

Parts List -- Electronics

All you need is the Circuit Playground Express, along with the USB cable to program it, and the battery holder to power it when it's not plugged into the computer. All three are included in the Base Kit, or get the parts you need separately. The wires on the battery holder are pretty short, so you may want to add one or more 20-inch-long JST extension cables. That will allow you to carry the battery holder in your pocket (or clip it to an armband, waistband, or shirt sleeve cuff) instead of attaching it directly to the glove .

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Front shot of JST-PH Battery Extension Cable.
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Materials List -- Household and Crafts Supplies

Other supplies you will need include:

  • 1 glove, preferably fingerless, with a tight weave (I used a cotton-spandex "crafter’s comfort glove")
  • 4 peel-and-stick Velcro dots
  • (optional) armband or strap to hold the battery pack

This guide was first published on Apr 01, 2019. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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