From the pounding of pans to the bellow of Justin Bieber in the bath, many kids love to make a musical racket. Inevitably, there are applications for this too.
Many developers have found inventive ways for children to explore musical creation – or the world of music in general – on tablets and smartphones.
Below are ten of the best examples for Android and iOS. The prices are correct at the time of writing, and if you tap or click on the names of the platforms, you will be taken straight to their app store listings.
iOS (Â£ 2.49)
Freshly released in March, it’s the best app yet from children’s developer Toca Boca. He has children choreograph a trio of dancers, manipulating their legs, arms and head like a rag doll to plan moves. They can choose from eight characters, a selection of outfits, and five original songs ranging from pop to dubstep, before saving the final performance videos. It’s wonderfully fun.
Android / iOS (Â£ 2.99 – Â£ 3.59)
Aimed at ages five and up, Easy Music is an accessible introduction to music theory for kids, with animated characters teaching them to recognize notes, pitch, melody and rhythm. Once they have the basics, it’s time to start composing their own music, with a colorful rainbow piano to show off.
iOS (Â£ 2.49)
Loopimal is ridiculous in every way possible – those involving animals as musical instruments – but he’s also very smart in the way he reduces the idea of ââa sequencer tool to something that preschoolers use. can have fun. They drag and drop shapes onto a timeline for the assembled animals to make sounds and dance.
Android / iOS (Â£ 2.44 – Â£ 3.99)
Could your kid be the next superstar DJ? This app can give you an early indication – no promises, beware – as it lets kids mix dance, hip-hop and pop tracks with a user-friendly interface. There are plenty of audio loops to experiment with, as well as professional type tools like crossfaders. Perfect for a birthday party ensemble, maybe.
Knock and roll
Android / iOS (Â£ 1.42 – Â£ 1.49)
Toc and Roll is a beautifully designed app that aims to encourage kids to start writing their own songs – using its sample bank of various instruments, as well as recording their own vocals. It’s a GarageBand for elementary school kids, with cute characters but also a lot of depth for young songwriters.
Sesame Street makes music
iOS (Â£ 2.29)
Is Cookie Monster the new Chris Martin? Okay no, but he’s one of the furry stars of Sesame Street’s latest app. Here, kids can play virtual instruments with various Sesame characters (Elmo and Ernie are also present) to familiar nursery rhymes. The idea is that they play with the tempo and learn the musical rhythm as they go.
Kapu Bloom songs
Android / iOS (Â£ 1.49)
Kapu Bloom Tunes is one of the most creative apps here, mixing music and finger painting on the screen. Children trace their fingers on the garden stage to create melodies, while germinating a plant that will sing nursery rhymes. It is a relaxing and peaceful app which is a lot of fun.
Let’s go to the Opera!
Android / iOS (Â£ 2.25 – Â£ 2.29)
It is not a question of making music, but rather of learning its history: and the opera in particular. Children are introduced to music and its live environment, with character illustrations and drought-avoiding information. IOS parents might also want to try out the same developer’s Play Opera, which includes five songs to listen to.
iOS (free + in-app subscription)
MusiQuest is another great educational app, which teaches kids melodies, chord progressions and other skills by getting them to make their own music. It’s based on a weekly quest system, with plenty of sampled instruments to explore. Full access involves a monthly subscription.
Piano dust collector
iOS (Free + in-app purchases)
Finally, a longtime favorite for any parent whose child is learning to play the piano. You place your iPhone or iPad above the keyboard, then the kids work on its exercises, with the app listening (through the microphone) to assess their efforts. There’s a virtual piano if one is missing, and plenty of popular songs to learn, purchased through in-app purchases.
Did the selection above find the right tune or miss a beat? The comments section is open for your thoughts on the apps listed here, as well as recommendations for other music apps for kids that we missed.