When I was a kid… OK when I was in College too… OK even now, I’d get a kick out of walking to any toy aisle and setting off every tickle-me-elmo in sight and then sitting there and listening to the weird combination of sounds. It’s like listening to one-a them Steve Reich pieces. These days I’m excited about circuit bending, the manipulation of circuitry in cheap sound-making toys like Tickle-me-Elmo to make them sound all crazy. Learning circuit bending isn’t just cracking open a toy and sticking some wires in it. Well actually it is, but wouldn’t you rather have an experienced older bro guiding you? Vaudeville Park’s circuit bending classes are exactly that. Its 30 bucks for a single class and a little extra for parts but you get the tutoring of experienced composer Ian Colletti and Phil Moffa, a composer and teacher at SUNY purchase. Ian and Phil are great teachers with great energy and work in tandem to describe minute details or interesting factoids about whatever the subject is. Maybe Circuit bending isn’t your style. They’ve also got cheap classes for making light theremins, synthesizer sound crafting and contact mics. There are plenty of classes going on for the rest of the summer so if you miss the circuit bending class, you’ve got great options. Check out the website here.