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ERIC Number: EJ1102267
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-2379-9021
Digital Music Toys for Young Children: Parents' Review of the "Munchkin Mozart Magic™ Cube"
Costa-Giomi, Eugenia; Hunt, Edward
Texas Music Education Research, p3-10 2014
The purpose of this study is to gather information about caregivers' views of the value of a digital music toy, its musical features, as well as their comments about children's responses to the toy. Instead of asking parents to provide their opinions about a broad category of interactive music toys, the authors selected one of the many toys currently available in the market and searched for adults' voluntary and unguided comments about it online. Of the 700 interactive musical toys listed on, they selected the "Munchkin Mozart Magic™ Cube" because of its popularity, its original interactive music features, and the marketing message that identifies it as providing a solid music foundation for children. The toy is a six-inch cube with a button depicting an instrument on each side: violin, harp, French horn, flute, piano, and the orchestra. Each button plays the performance of each instrument. The orchestra button plays a melody of the five instruments. The repertoire of the toy consists of eight excerpts by Mozart. The authors analyzed the 50 "Munchkin Mozart Magic™ Cube" reviews posted on during a period of three months. The average online rating of the Cube was high (4.5 stars out of 5) with less than 10% of the reviewers rating it below three stars. Most reviewers (90%) commented on the musical characteristics of the toy. They referred to the instruments it presented (21%), the loudness of the music (11%), the quality of sound (47%), and the music selections, style of music, and songs (10%). Most reviewers chose not to describe children's interactions with the toy in detail but stated in broader terms whether their children liked it or liked playing with it. Although most reviewers (83%) commented on children's nonmusical behaviors with the Cube such as liking the toy, playing with its lights, kicking it, dropping it, and sitting on it, fewer elaborated on children's musical behaviors (25%). Those who included references to children's musical behaviors referred to listening (20%) and dancing (5%). Only 15% of the reviews provided any comments related to what children could learn by playing with the Cube. When reviewers commented on the educational outcomes of playing with the toy, they said that children learned or would learn to recognize the instruments (7%) and songs (4%), or acquire nonmusical skills or knowledge such as pressing buttons, colors, and cause and effect (6%). Only one review referred to the creative appeal of the toy as portrayed in the marketing messages. None of the reviews commented on the compositional capabilities of the Cube as described in the company video, and only five included comments about the combinations of instruments afforded by the toy. [Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Texas Music Educators Association (San Antonio, TX, Feb 2014).]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A