Music-Making Software for Kids

By Lisa Weber
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It used to be that you needed a group of musical friends with a variety of instruments to make a band. Not anymore. With today's music software, all kids today need to make music is a computer and one of the many available programs designed to help teach and compose music. Some programs teach kids music as they go. Others supplement your child's lessons. And others require no musical ability -- just a desire to play around with notes.

FlexiMusic Kids Composer

FlexiMusic Kids Composer makes music composition easy enough for elementary school children. Using a computer and this software, kids can open a song and then add, delete or customize instruments of their choosing. The program includes more than 200 instruments, including drums, keyboards, horns and percussion. A paintbrush tool allows kids to add melodies, tunes and rhythms to their work. Finished products can be saved as a WAV file.

Music Ace

With Music Ace, kids learn how to read, hear and compose piano music. Intended for younger beginner piano players, the colorful and playful games can supplement piano lessons to help teach students how to read and understand music. The program features a Music Doodle Pad that lets kids apply what they learned during their lessons and compose their own pieces that can be saved then played back.

Sibelius

Sibelius offers a variety of music programs for kids. Groovy Shapes, for 5- to 7-year-olds, teaches basic music concepts using shapes to represent elements of music such as rhythms, melodies and chords. Groovy Jungle, for 7- to 9-year-olds, teaches notes and notation and simple musical terms. Kids can add music by recording from a keyboard or another MIDI instrument. Older elementary school children can try Groovy City, designed in a cool, futuristic city that teaches students more about notation and asks them to complete more complex listening tasks. The program also teaches the skills necessary for more sophisticated compositions.

ToonsTunes

ToonsTunes allows kids to hear, create, perform and share their own music compositions. They can listen to loops of instruments, then pick the tempo or genre of music they wish to create. The program features cartoon characters playing the drums, and kids can make games out of the songs and chat in rooms on the website. Creations can be shared through e-mail or social media.

Garage Band

With Garage Band, your child can run the mouse over all the instruments on the stage and they will light up. He can play the sound of the instruments so he knows how each of them sound, then change the sounds with different types of instruments. Used by amateur and professional musicians alike, young children can explore the sounds and make their own tunes. Finished products can be emailed or added to your iTunes library.

About the Author

Lisa Weber is a freelance writer/editor and former special education teacher. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and professional writing, and a master's degree in special education. Over the last 15 years, she has written for a variety of newspapers, magazines, and on-line publications.