Lily - Playful Music Creation

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Lily - Playful Music Creation App Poster Image
Compose pretty, rhythmic tunes, then save and share.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Music, rhythm, improvising, and digital music creation. Experiment with melody, harmony, note length, and composition.

Ease of Play

Easy to use, with a basic knowledge of music. Otherwise, kids could become confused by the process or underwhelmed with what they produce. Basic tutorial would help.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

In-app purchases for themed Lilies found on the app under More Lilies. No parent gate. App's base cost is $1.99.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lily - Playful Music Creation is a digital music composition app. While the user's composition plays, Lily "shows" the notes and rhythms visually on-screen through colorful, light-up leaves on futuristic lily pads. There's very little instruction here, so kids using this app may need a bit of background knowledge about music to successfully create meaningful compositions. There's a community where users can post their recorded creations and other users can watch and listen to them. Users must be 13 or older to register for an account and share their musical creations, but kids of any age can use the app and see what others have made. Do note that any user can go to the Community Creations area, which takes you to a site called Everyplay. There users can post, watch, and comment on others' creations. Though comments during the time of review are kind and on-topic, it's best for parents to monitor if kids younger than 13 are using the app. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the type of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To use LILY - PLAYFUL MUSIC CREATION, choose a lily flower, and then choose one to eight petals (length of melodies). Press the "+" icon. Select the music scale you want to use, and alter the length of the notes. If you want to record, tap the red record icon in the upper left corner. View, listen to, and comment on other users' creations on the Community Creations area in the app (or online), though you must be 13 or older to post. Buy the Winter Wonderland, Tropical Tango, or Zen Garden lily packages for $0.99 each to hear different instrument sounds, such as steel pan drums, Japanese flutes, and holiday bells. 

Is it any good?

The digital harmonies and rhythms on this app are interesting and pleasant, regardless of the creator's musical ability. That said, Lily - Playful Music Creation could be a lot more fun for musical newbies if it included a solid step-by-step, written and visual tutorial. It'll likely be easy to use for those teens and adults with a basic knowledge of music: length of different notes, number of beats in a measure, differences between scales, sharps and flats. Otherwise, teens could become confused by the process or underwhelmed with what they produce, though they might feel satisfied just experimenting. It's definitely an appealing app, and the added in-app purchase packs for themed music (steel drums, holiday sounds, Zen mood) make for even more sound and visual options. Overall, the most excellent thing about this app is that your teens can be makers -- rather than consumers -- of music.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how tempo and scale can affect the mood of a piece of music in Lily - Playful Music Creation and music in general. What sort of mood do you want to reflect in your creation?

  • Encourage your kid to use objects around the house to create rhythms. Make your own family jam band!

App details

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