Music4Kids – Learn, create and compose music through play by Olivier Romanetti – Review and Giveaway
All kids love to create their own simple tunes and hear them over and over again, and if you can give them something to record their tunes in a written form (musical notation) with a playback capability, you can be sure that they will be inspired to create even more music. To me, Music4Kids is not just another music making game app for kids, what I see is an exceptional app for introducing the basics of music composition and developing young music lovers.
In this app, you and your kids can learn about musical notation, pitch and rhythm which are enough to start you on your music composing exploration. What I especially like is that Music4Kids touches on various musical styles which form the mood of the music that we compose. These are presented in 5 different planets (Birdy, Hamster, Octopus, Fox and Ghost), e.g. the Fox Planet features tunes based on the pentatonic scale, which is popular with rock and blues guitarists and commonly used in oriental music. Even though this was not explored in the music making section, I’m hoping that kids will become curious and want to learn more about the different scales and keys in their music lessons.
There are 4 sections in this app that are accessible to children – written lessons on music notation, Make a Tune, Challenges and My Tunes. Kids are introduced to notes, clef, pitch, sharp/flat, duration and rests in music but these won’t mean anything to beginners until they start experimenting with these, first by making their own tunes in Make a Tune section then reproducing the music in the Challenges section. It would be ideal if there are some simple lessons to reinforce these new concepts in the beginning.
Make a Tune is where kids get to explore music making by first choosing a note value and tapping on the staff to create a series of notes. As they add each note, they see the name of the note and its corresponding sound. As they review the tune (by having the app play the music), they can move the notes to change the pitch, add a sharp/flat, change the rhythm, remove any unwanted notes or add rests, wherever they want and as many times as they wish. They can then proceed to save the tune in My Tunes section. My Tunes section itself comes with 7 sample tunes and together with the saved tunes, kids can modify or extend to create more compositions.
Watch this video to see how to compose a tune in the app.
I like that the notes are interactive in this app in that kids can hear how each note sounds like by simply tapping on it. With lots of play on the app, they will begin to recognize the notes both by sight and sound. All these will make their music learning so much easier and fun. Free play is encouraged in the Make a Tune section and I recommend that kids have lots of time playing here to familiarise themselves with how the different notes sound before heading to the Challenge section.
In the Challenges section, kids are challenged to write out the tune played by the app. They have to get the exact pitch and rhythm plus correctly placed rests to complete each challenge before they can move on the next. This may be difficult for beginners at first but with your help (it helps if the child sings the tune as he puts notes on the staff), they will gain more confidence and begin to enjoy solving the music puzzles. Adults may find these puzzles interesting and great as brain exercises as well.
Each challenge can be played repeatedly for better grading (Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies) and there is a total of 140 unique challenges to play (28 challenges in each of the 5 planets). With so many ear training practices, your child’s listening skills, concentration and memory recall can only get better. On the other hand, ear training is a must for every music student and with lots of practice, being able to play by ear is no longer an impossible dream.
Some extras included in this app that I would like to highlight are the 11 language options (English US/UK, French, Spanish, German, Portugese, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese), playback on 4 music instruments (music box, piano, funny piano and vrillophone) and choice of slow/fast tempo.
Overall, this is a great app to give to young music students to complement their formal music lessons. It is also a good app to use to introduce and create interest in music composition for beginners. So If you wish to nurture your children’s interest in music learning and composition, you should seriously check out Music4Kids.
Music4Kids Lite - Learn, create and compose music through play
by Olivier Romanetti
Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone5c, iPhone5s, iPhone 3GS, iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G, iPadThirdGen4G, iPad 3G, iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadMini4G, iPadThirdGen, iPad 2 WiFI, iPadMini, iPad WiFi, iPad 2 3G, iPhone5, iPhone4S, iPod Touch (4. Gen.), iPod Touch (3. Gen.)
Size: 31.77 MB
Music4Kids - Learn, create and compose music through play
by Olivier Romanetti
Category: Education, Games, Educational, Music
Requirements: Compatible with iPad 2 3G, iPhone5c, iPod Touch (3. Gen.), iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5s, iPad 2 WiFI, iPhone 4, iPod Touch (4. Gen.), iPadFourthGen, iPad WiFi, iPhone5, iPadThirdGen, iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini4G, iPhone 3GS, iPadMini, iPodTouchFifthGen, iPhone4S, iPad 3G
Size: 31.8 MB
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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.