Pluto Plays Music HD

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
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Underwater-themed music app teaches notes and musicianship.

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

Ease of Play

Younger kids can play the mini-game by dragging their finger up and down the screen to guide Pluto to the correct notes. Older kids can progress to playing the songs on realistic virtual instruments by tapping the correct key, string, or drum.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The settings menu includes a link to rate the game in the App Store.

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What 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.

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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.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: May 17, 2011
  • Category: Educational Games
  • Size: 20.40 MB
  • Publisher: YouWeb
  • Version: 2.4
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music and creativity

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