The LEDs aren't flashing other than when I close the circuit.
Is that what you want? If so, flashLED() is a pretty dumb name for the turnThePinOnRepeatedly() function.
This is the closest thing I have found to what I need to do but like you said.... it doesn't do what I want.
Still nothing about what it actually does or what you expect it to do...
I really understand if you don't want to bother with this
So, when I quit replying because you don't answer my questions, you'll be fine with that. Good.
i can't figure out how to get a digital closed to ground to send serial info
What does "digital closed to ground" mean?
I suspect that you need to shitcan 90% of that code. Turn an LED on when a switch is pressed. Turn it off when the switch is released. If that doesn't work, your switch or your LED is wired incorrectly.
Then, you can expand that working sketch to turn the LED on when the switch BECOMES pressed once, and off when it becomes pressed again.
That way, you'll learn about how to do things at state changes.
Next, you can make the Arduino send serial data when the switch becomes pressed and when it becomes released. Learn about serial communication that way.
Then, you can add all the MIDI crap in.
Right now, it seems like you are trying to build a house without a clue as to how, doing the foundation and the walls and the wiring and the plumbing all at the same time, and not understanding why the toilet flushes when you open the garage door.