While Songcraft could function in any K-5 music classroom, I am particularly empathetic to the needs to “on-cart” music educators (teachers without a designated music classroom forced to move around the school with whatever materials they can carry).

This empathy map was designed to help investors understand the pain experienced by this market.

empathy map


As an extension of the empathy exercise, I have created three model personas that will assist in reaching and better understanding potential users. All of these users have resolved to lower their expectations and do their best, but adopting a program like this would drastically improve their students’ learning.

personas examples


While I have spent the last year better understanding the market for my product, I was the original end user. I designed and created Songcraft for my own students who returned from the pandemic with a year’s learning lost and into a classroom in which we couldn’t sing or play most instruments.

sketches prototypes

My first thought was that if I could utilize the influx of devices due to the pandemic by providing students with a playable instrument and sheet music, that would work. I instructed all of my students in how to code their own octaves of playable notes using their keyboard in Scratch.

Having to juggle a screen recording extension to handle assessment proved to much, so I went home over a Winter break determined to craft a solution.

scratch prototype


The first prototype of Songcraft had two modes: Class and Game. I developed all of the graphics, animations, sounds/tracks, and coded the entire project utilizing the RPG Maker MV engine.

Songcraft version 1

After students playtested it for 9 weeks, I started fresh and recreated it with more personalization for the students. I added a customizable home environment, mini games, and a more expansive store for them to spend the in-app currency they accrued through gameplay.

prototype 2

Testing with students

To date, more than 600 hundred students have playtested and been involved in the co-design of Songcraft.

We have identified a dozen teachers around the country interested in playtesting. We are currently developing a research project centered on piloting the tool.

songcraft in use in classrooms