Review by Melissa Hayes, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2016
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Musical Paint for Kids

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Create digital drawings, explore musical tones

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Creativity
  • Communication & Collaboration

Subjects
  • Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Pre-K-2
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8 images

Pros: Super-simple interface. Screencast videos of each piece help students enjoy each creation and see how it was made.

Cons: There's no control on brush size, and the limited color palette, while helpful at first, quickly becomes limiting.

Bottom Line: With appropriate teacher guidance, this can be an engaging if limited creative experience for pre-K-grade 2 students that cleverly mixes drawing and music creation.

In a music or art classroom, teachers can provide Musical Paint for Kids as an option for free choice or as an art or music center in a choice-based classroom. In a music class, students can illustrate part of a song they created directly in the app, such as their own verse of "Down by the Bay." To finish their work, students can write their lyrics and name in the signature section. As part of a language arts lesson, students can practice writing a particular letter, create an illustration of that letter, and write a short sentence in the signature section. All these creations can be exported as a screencast video or image to be used in other apps or shared.

Teachers should note that since play can get noisy, it might be best to have students use headphones; otherwise, it can be noisy and/or distracting.

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Musical Paint for Kids is a creativity app that merges painting and music-making into one experience. It's separated into three appealing sections: "Outside," "Museum," and "Paint." In the "Outside" section, students see an underwater landscape that includes the museum. Tapping on the museum takes them to the "Museum" section, where a walrus and sea creature bands welcomes students. Here students can create a musical painting or view work in the gallery. Both the "Outside" and "Museum" sections can be explored by tapping the screen and revealing music, sounds, and characters that talk and move. "Paint" is the final section. This is where students can get creative. Five two-toned brushes are easily adjusted with a sliding bar. The musical tones adjust based on the color selected, speed, and the direction of the brush. When a piece is finished, students are given the choice to frame or throw away the piece. Framed pieces are signed and saved in the museum gallery.

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Musical Paint for Kids offers students an enchanting and straightforward way to explore digital drawing and music. It allows students to use their creativity and express a thought or idea quickly. This is particularly helpful when traditional drawing materials aren’t an option. When used independently, students are able to explore mark making, how drawings can be created, musical instruments, and musical tones. When used in a teacher-directed setting, it offers a variety of possibilities for creation and can be used in connection with studies in language arts, music, and art.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The musical tones make drawing more captivating. Younger kids will enjoy the under-the-sea characters and music that welcomes them into the museum. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids can learn how to create drawings digitally and explore a limited number of musical instruments and tones. Teachers may need to provide directions or prompts to focus student creators.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Characters in the app provide visual and audio guidance. An icon on every page allows for quick navigation in the app. A parent and educator section includes app instructions, lesson plans, tech support, and developer information.


Common Sense Reviewer
Melissa Hayes Classroom teacher

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