Local Student Designs, Builds ‘Pipe-A-Phone’

Jon McGrath of Loxahatchee, a senior at the King’s Academy, recently put his passion for mathematics, music and engineering to work in designing and creating what he calls a “Pipe-A-Phone” instrument out of PVC pipe. He then wrote an original composition and additional instrumentation for performance.

“This project put my imagination to the test right alongside my mathematical and musical skills, and now I get to play the instrument and share it with others,” McGrath said.

The project took McGrath and his father, FPL lineman Don McGrath, a year-and-a-half and more than 140 hours from concept to completion. “The most challenging part of the project was assembling a musical instrument that was organized and mathematically accurate without any basis for design,” he explained, “but it was rewarding to have finished the instrument after bringing it from concept to completion.”

The instrument, made of PVC pipe and Starboard, is similar to a piano keyboard with 32 total notes/pipes and covering two-and-a-half octaves of the musical spectrum.

A video of Jon’s original composition “Tubed Groove” performed in concert at the King’s Academy along with fellow TKA students Emily Vander May, Lawrence Parmar, Ryan Kassem, Chip Collier and Stanley Dessalines is available on the school’s YouTube channel.

The King’s Academy is a private Christian school serving approximately 1,200 students from preschool through 12th grade. Learn more at www.tka.net.

ABOVE: “Pipe-A-Phone” designed and built by TKA senior Jon McGrath.