What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pluto Plays Music HD is an underwater-themed music game that teaches young children about the notes of the treble clef and lets them practice and play short popular and classical tunes on a virtual piano, xylophone, guitar, and drum set (with more instruments promised). Through practicing, kids earn pearls that are used to unlock new songs and instruments, or can pay real cash ($.99 or $1.99) to unlock them right away.
Is it any good?
PLUTO PLAYS MUSIC HD is a creative way for kids to reinforce core musical concepts like notes and scales, ear-training, and overall musicianship while being given plenty of positive feedback. The app consists of two parts. Kids first "learn" the song by guiding a penguin through a musical staff, touching correct notes while avoiding obstacles. Then they perform the melody on a virtual instrument by pressing the correct keys or strings. The concept is particularly effective when using the virtual piano and xylophone -- since the experience is closest to the "real thing" -- and less so on the guitar or drums. The app isn't a replacement for picking up a real instrument, but is useful for reinforcing what kids have already learned elsewhere.