Mussila

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Mussila App Poster Image
Fun, game-based music instruction best with background.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to recognize different instruments and the sounds they make. They can also learn to identify rhythms, recognize note patterns, and even pick out tunes on a keyboard. Research indicates the app can help kids learn music about 20 percent faster than without it.

Ease of Play

While the game lacks a tutorial, the activities are mostly self-explanatory. When kids get an answer wrong, they try again, either with a new challenge or by repeating the same one.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mussila is a fun way to introduce kids to basic music theory, from familiarity with various instruments and recognizing rhythms to being able to pick out a song on a keyboard. There's no tutorial, but most kids will easily figure things out. Expect some frustration early on for kids who have little music education background; this app is all about immersion and kids are expected to learn through experience. While this isn't the sort of experience where kids could get stuck on a puzzle with no way to proceed, it is possible that kids will stay stuck in one spot until they master what's being taught. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKristin S. March 24, 2018

The best musical app for children.

My son loves playing Mussila. He learns music without even knowing and that is the magic of this app. This is the game you can let your children play and you do... Continue reading
Adult Written byPris T August 18, 2018

Not understanding

What activity is needed when the kids are all standing around....then a keyboard pops up at the bottom but only makes a clicking sound...no music....click on an... Continue reading

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What's it about?

MUSSILA begins simply: A young girl waves at the user and then hides behind some brushes and starts playing an instrument. Two pictures of instruments appear on the bottom of the screen. Is she playing a banjo? A marimba? A flute? Choose well and you'll progress on that level. Answer incorrectly and she'll let you know. You'll need to choose correctly a handful of times before moving to the next level. At the end of five levels, you'll have the chance to jam with the Mussila band. Give each band member an instrument to play. You can even join in by tapping a band member and bringing up an on-screen piano keyboard to play along. The activities continue like this, but with other music education questions and increasing difficulty. A harder level may require kids to choose from three or four possible instruments, or identify two or more instruments that are played at the same time. Other activities include identifying the line of music that matches a percussion beat, identifying the line of music that's being played, and repeating a line of music on the on-screen keyboard (sort of like a musical memory game). There's also an area for dressing up band members in costumes that you can unlock with stars you earn for completing levels. 

Is it any good?

With this cool music app, you start out trying to identify whether you're listening to a harp or a guitar and then suddenly you find yourself playing "Greensleeves" on a piano. Mussila sneaks up on you with a progressive musical education. It's fun and kind of silly and weirdly addictive. Kids will do best if they have a very basic understanding of different musical instruments and notes (i.e., a whole note vs. a rest); otherwise, they'll need a bit more patience getting started. It would be helpful to have an in-game glossary of instruments and notes so that kids could not only pair the picture of a marimba with marimba music, but also be able to name the instrument. That's really the biggest complaint, however. Though this clever app won't replace music lessons, it's an engaging way to support them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Do you think Mussila is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What can you learn? 

  • Talk about music education and the importance of practicing and even making mistakes. Why is it important to practice? What else do you want to learn?

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