The Music Box
Create an application design to teach children how to read music.
Learning how to read music is something I struggled with as a child. I was never able to associate the sound of the note with its location on the staff. I wanted to create a design to teach children this skill through interactive games and lessons. This application was designed to be used for children, but the needs of their parents and music teachers also played an important part in the design and functionality.
Role: UX Researcher, Designer and Graphic Designer
Deliverables: Design Requirements, Sketches, Personas, User Flows, Wireframes, Design made with Adobe Photoshop, Prototype made with Axure
Timeline: 3 Weeks
It has been found through several studies that learning music is positive for a child's brain development. "Science has shown that when children learn to play music, their brains begin to hear and process sounds that they couldn’t otherwise hear. This helps them develop “neurophysiological distinction” between certain sounds that can aid in literacy, which can translate into improved academic results for kids." . A study actually showed "that students who played instruments in class had more improved neural processing than the children who attended the music appreciation group,"  emphasizing the fact that active participation playing music has the best effect on mental development. "The University of Montreal researched brain imaging techniques to study brain activity during musical tasks. Researches concluded that sight-reading musical scores and playing music “activate regions in all four of the cortex’s lobes” and “parts of the cerebellum are also activated during those tasks.” "  Therefore, learning to play and read music can have positive mental effects.
Design Requirements & Process
Conducting research on the three target audiences made me analyze what features are necessary in this design. Initially I was focused on the lesson and game environment for the young user. However, researching educators brought to my attention the importance of including a feature specifically for them. I decided to add a virtual classroom environment where educators can select the lessons and games they want their students to complete. The teachers are given a classroom code to give to their students, so they can complete and submit assignments directly through the application.
What I learned and the next steps...
Although I wanted this design to attract my target demographic, it also had to appeal to the parents and to individuals in the education system. To create a scenario of this product I had to think about who would use it? When would they use it? And how? By conducting research on individuals in these demographics I created personas to match these arch types.
In the future I would like to conduct usability testing with all arch types of the user base to gain feedback.
I would also like to approach schools to implement application design in music lessons.