Mobile Computing

4 Awesome Arts Apps for Students of All Ages

Common Sense Media’s service Graphite, which offers independent ratings and reviews of learning apps and websites, has compiled this list of the best arts apps for students. For complete reviews, and for each app’s "Learning Rating," visit the Graphite website.

Grades: 1 through 8
Price: Free
Concepts: Investigation, imagination, making new creations
MoMA Art Lab is a free app for any budding artist or art enthusiast. It includes drawing and collage tools, art inspiration, art activities, a camera for screen capture and a gallery. MoMA Art Lab lets students take a virtual trip to the Museum of Modern Art without going to New York City. Kids can learn basic art concepts like line, shape and color while they use the tools within the app and gather inspiration to create more offline. Read the full Graphite review.


Orchestra appYoung Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten
Grades: 2 through 12
Price: Free
Concepts:  Listening, combining knowledge, imagination
Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten is an absorbing introduction to the value of classical music and the joy of making music. Kids can learn about different instruments by touching illustrations and hearing the sounds one by one. Videos add another layer of engagement, as kids can see how the instruments are played and can watch interviews with the musicians behind the instruments. Read the full Graphite review.


PaperBy53Paper by FiftyThree
Grades: 3 through 12
Price: Free, with in-app purchases $0.99 to $3.99
Concepts:  Making new creations, imagination, productivity
Paper by FiftyThree is a simple yet versatile digital sketchbook that has many uses both in and out of the art classroom. Designed to look and feel just like a real notebook, it features a clean aesthetic without any buttons or login screens. Kids can dive right in and make a quick sketch, note or a more substantial work of art. Kids can also share their work via social networks or well browse their peers’ work to jumpstart creativity. Read the full Graphite review.


Music appiTooch Music
Grades: 6 through 9
Price: $5.99
Concepts: Analyzing evidence, applying information, thinking critically
iTooch Music is a comprehensive, interactive application to enhance or supplement middle school music curriculum. In each section of the app, kids can explore lesson text, answer practice quiz questions and learn about music theory. When in test mode, students receive a grade and earn points toward increasingly colorful martial-arts-inspired belts, adding to the balance of fun and serious content in the app. Read the full Graphite review.

About the Author

Common Sense Education helps educators find the best edtech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Go to Common Sense Education for free resources including full reviews of digital tools, ready-made lesson plans, videos, webinars, and more.