Musical Landscape

Music Composer for children

What if

you could make it fun for children to compose music

introduction

Read Time ~ 3 min
2 months
4 Person Project
Interaction Design

This project was part of the course, Interaction Design. In this course, we were assigned to design an interactive music player for the child's room. Our main requirement was to facilitate a playful experiences with a music player.

My Role

My main role was to contribute with the ideation and conceptualizing the Musical Landscape. However, I did not take part in the programming of the prototype.

The Concept

The project resulted in a GUI music composer. The music composer is represented as landscape from which children are able to drag parts of the landscape up or down. The higher the landscape, the higher pitch is played - and vice versa. In short, the landscape visually represents the pitch of the melody.

Additionally, the children can tap on the stickman in order play their composed music. Thus, the stickman will take on musical journey through the landscape.

Finally, children can drag animals and objects onto the landscape. When the stickman passes by an animal or object, it will make a sound that corresponds to the animal/object.

The process

We conducted an interview with a child and his mother in order to learn what 4-6 year old children are capable of.

On the basis of the initial interview, we brainstormed and afterwards did a series of low-fidelity prototyping in order to test our initial ideas. In one of the cases, we build a paper prototype of our initial concept.

In this paper prototype, the user could compose music by setting the tones in each clip. Each clip is vertically divided into 7 parts that represent each represent a tone in an octave. However, we quickly learned that the initial concept was conceptually difficult for a child to grasp.

Instead, we wanted to make the concept easy to relate to what children already knew or had experienced. This lead us to the Musical landscape concept.

We began to build a rough functional prototype of the concept. This was due to the fact that it was difficult to experience the concept of dragging the landscape up or down with paper prototypes.

We subsequently tested the prototype with a child in order to examine how he would experience it. The user test indicated that the child could understand the interaction and had a fun experience with composing music.

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