Cove: The Musical Journal

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
Cove: The Musical Journal App Poster Image
Compose music to reflect your mood; moderate learning curve.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Promotes self-expression, as kids and adults can create music inspired by their current emotions, then store and write about it in a journal.

Ease of Play

It takes a bit of trial and error and persistence to figure out how to swipe through the sound options and manipulate the music and sounds to personal preferences. 


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cove: The Musical Journal is a free app that aims to promote wellness through creative self-expression using music, as kids and adults design personalized songs inspired by their present emotions. Users can save selections and store them in a journal along with their comments. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

COVE - A MUSICAL JOURNAL is designed to help anyone improve their sense of well-being and their ability to cope with positive and negative life experiences by creating musical selections that match their mood. First, create a new entry into the journal, and then tag the selection with up to 27 emotions. Find a background beat, and use one of the three different layers of music: the base layer, melody, and percussion. Scroll through each layer to choose from seven or eight options to modify the music with various sounds. Within each layer, tap the screen to add different tones that will modify the music. Don't like the way it sounds? Then tap the item again to remove it. Once the song is complete, it's possible to also add a title, location, and image; tag the music with additional feelings; and use the journal to capture specific thoughts about the music. The songs, when complete, generally have a spa-like, meditation feel with high and low frequencies.

Is it any good?

While the app states that it's not a replacement for counseling services or visits with a medical professional, it's a solid, free option that offers anyone an outlet for creative musical expression. Cove: The Musical Journal does take a bit of trial and error, especially for younger users, to figure out how to compose and manipulate the music. While certainly there's no right or wrong way to express yourself, a little more guidance or information on how choosing different themes and options could enhance the music in a technical way could help the user experience. While this blend of musical creativity, emotional expression, and journaling won't appeal to all kids, it's a unique way for kids to process complex emotions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Cove: The Musical Journal can help identify different emotions and how they contribute to an overall mood. How does it feel to be happy, sad, upset, distracted, overwhelmed, anxious, grateful, scared, or loved? Is there music that reflects your personal mood?

  • Talk about different ways to express emotions. Is creating music a strategy that's helpful when coping with challenges and experiences?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music and creativity

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