This music creation app uses a train motif to show kids how to compose music. By drawing train tracks across a scene populated with people and buildings, kids can experiment with creating melodies.
How Do Kids Play?
In each musical creation level, kids see buildings and people scattered throughout the scene and a train waiting to chug into the landscape. By using a finger to draw a path for the train to follow, the player becomes a composer. The line starts on the left and must connect to some of the buildings and people, which represent musical notes. The location of people on the page reflects the note’s pitch; so if the train passes over a person located high up in the scene, the melody will go up in pitch. The distance between people represents the length that a note is held.
After drawing the line going up and down as it snakes its way across the scene, kids then touch a green arrow to start the playback and trigger the train’s movement. By following the line created by the player, the train plays a melody, including accompanying chords as it passes over buildings.
In addition to simply listening to the melody, kids can also hear their melody played in different genres of music, such as classical, pop, jazz, rock, Latin, and funk. Kids also have the option of seeing their melody written in musical notation and highlighted as played.
What Makes It Good?
TuneTrain brilliantly makes composing music easy. If you can draw a line, you can create a melody. The app cleverly surrounds each melody with accompaniment that makes even the simplest melody sound rich and varied.
Kids ages 6 to 8, regardless of their interest in music. The train motif will appeal to kids who love all things that go "vroom;" but the app also has background motifs that appeal to wider interests. There's one with a candy theme, and another with a rainbow theme, while others sport graveyard, beach, desert, or cave themes. Younger kids can give this a go, but they may not fully appreciate the magic of this musical ride.
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