During a recent presentation to grade school kids about making unusual electronic sounds with a circuit bent toy keyboard and a Nintendo DS (with homebrew software), chip music artist Matthew 'Pixelh8' Applegate saw that while many of the students participated in making music with the DS, none of them dared try out the keyboard.

"There was a cultural issue - embarrassment - about not being able to perform as a 'proper' musician, especially not in front of others. Paradoxically, they were quite happy to make sounds and draw attention to themselves by playing on the Nintendo DS through a very loud PA system, because the Nintendo DS had no set cultural rules in terms of musical performance.

These students at the age of eight were making a cultural distinction that keyboards are for formal traditional music and only trained performers should play in front of others whereas the Nintendo DS was for fun with none of these set musical performance rules. At the age of eight, they were making a cultural distinction that keyboards are for formal traditional music and only trained performers should play."

With that observation, Applegate came up with the idea of creating a touchscreen drum application for the DS, and getting children to play Samba music together, as it allowed their music to be "individually simplistic and collectively complex".

He's already put together a successful performance with the software and a group of DS-owning kids, but he's hoping to get more people involved by bringing the idea to different schools, neighborhoods, and clubs where the children perhaps aren't as fortunate and likely won't have Nintendo DSes. To make that happen, he's looking for gamers to donate their old, half-battered systems.

"I already have two I use to perform live with, but ideally I would have around thirty," says Applegate. "That way I could show up with a box and we could just make music. They could be original DSs, DS lite or DSis, they could be new or used, they don't need cases or power supplies, they could look terrible but as long as they work, I need them. We need them."

You can learn more about the project and contact Applegate to donate your DS at Magnetic Gamer.

[Via @TCTD]