What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pandora is an Internet radio app that lets users create stations based on favorite artists, songs, or composers. Users must be at least 13 and need to sign up for a Pandora account to use the app. Registration is free but requires your name, zip code, birth year, gender, and a password you create. You can't add profile info through the app -- you'll need to log on to a computer to do that -- but you can make your profile private by unchecking a box during registration (if you don't, the profile will be visible to everyone).
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- multiple forms of expression
- evaluating media messages
- social media
Engagement, Approach, Support
Free, cloud-based music service can be a great way to connect and find out about new music. A lot of fun for music fans.
Kids read to learn about select song components as well as the musicians themselves. They also have quite a bit of control over their experience -- their input helps Pandora create customized stations.
The app is extremely easy to use. All you need to do is register and enter musicians' names to create different music channels -- then sit back and listen.
What's it about?
Like the online version of Pandora, the app lets users create customized stations by entering the name of an artist, band, or song; Pandora will then play that musician’s songs and ones from similar artists. As kids listen, they can indicate whether they like a song, and Pandora will program the station accordingly. There are some limits: You can’t play specific songs, and you can only skip a few each hour. However, kids can easily discover new music they like through the app’s music-matching capabilities.
Is it any good?
The PANDORA app offers a similar experience to its website counterpart. All you need to do is enter an artist's name to create a station that'll play songs from that musician and similar artists and bands. (Station content is based on info from the Music Genome Project, which tracks and compares harmony, rhythm, and other song details.) You won't have the same level of control your iPod provides: Pandora doesn't let you play specific songs, and you can only skip a few tunes an hour. But that's part of Pandora's charm. The app can help introduce you to new music in genres that you like and will fine-tune your stations if you click on the thumbs up or down icons that appear with each song to indicate your preferences.
However, users need to be aware that when you register for the app, your profile will be public, unless you uncheck a box to make it private. Altering other parts of your Pandora profile requires you to log on to the website. (If you want to hide your listening activity or block other users from commenting on your profile, you'll need to manually change those settings online.) If you don't, strangers can easily access your profile -- and, even if your profile is private, users can still find the stations you've made if they search for you using your email address.
Families can talk about...
Create playlists of music your kids may not know based on artists you like -- and have them do the same for you!
Encourage kids to read the notes Pandora provides about song characteristics. As they begin to recognize more characteristics, challenge kids to identify them in songs on their own.