iPad App Magic Belles Helps Kids Have Fun, Make Music


Magic Belles on the iPadMagic Belles on the iPad

Magic Belles bring tone matrix music to the iPad.
Image: Luma Creative

In our house, we have entered the phase of development where my 3-year-old daughter is as likely to sing as speak. She frequently treats her life with us as a musical, where she plays the narrator and describes what we are doing in song. Living as we do in the shadow of a renowned music school, odds are good that many opportunities will arise to develop her natural love of the arts by learning to play instruments and capture her compositions. In the meantime, it is wonderful to have access to technology that lowers the barriers to music making.

My daughter has grown a year wiser since we last play-tested a Magic Belles offering. While regularly journeying back to the website proved to be difficult — Dad was stingy with computer time, and the toddler had to master a mouse or trackpad — the jump to a tablet instantly elevated Magic Belles: Magic Music to her favorite game.

The iPad application — available in the iTunes App Store for $1.99 — features the familiar six magical fairies, each with a favorite interest and a distinct musical jingle. There are seven activities included in Magic Music: painting with rainbows, finding hidden butterflies, connecting the dots, composing music with picnic food and bells, growing flowers and orchestrating a concert featuring a custom composition of all of the Belles’ jingles.

All of the music in this world is derived from a tone matrix, step sequencers to create electronic music. This means that every combination sounds pleasant. Each activity also has a number of kid-level Easter eggs, like mice stealing cookies and owls flying to a distant tree, that encourage exploration of the environment. My daughter’s favorite game involves simple one-touch painting from buckets filled with rainbow paint.

Luma Creative, a branding firm run by Maxine Stinton and Luciana Mazzocco, designed the iPad version of their musical world with the help of Do-Tank Studios. Although the game was created to introduce girls ages 3 to 6 to music, the appeal of Magic Music extends beyond that limited demographic. My daughter spent the past few days insisting that everyone she encounters learn about the Belles. Most followed that opening into a lengthy session of music-making with her.

Magic Music is an engaging application that should keep the young children interested in playing with music while providing some pleasant background sounds for adults.

Disclosure: Luma Creative head Maxine Stinton is married to GeekDad Core Contributor Nathan Barry.

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