Sesame Street Makes Music

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Sesame Street Makes Music App Poster Image
Intro to six instruments and styles is sweet but limited.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about music structure, style, and instruments. They'll hear familiar songs played in new ways and get introduced to six musical genres. By experimenting with turning band members on and off, kids can learn about how each member contributes to the overall sound of a song. Kids can also learn the names of six instruments and explore the unique sounds they make. Sesame Street Makes Music's inherent content is limited, but parents can use it as a springboard for lots of musical discussion and exploration.

Ease of Play

Spoken directions guide kids to jump right in. Tapping around the screen to make sounds turn on and off is easy and intuitive.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Small icon on home page invites users to view other apps from same developer, but parent gate protects access.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sesame Street Makes Music presents kids with a simple exploration into a handful of different musical instruments and genres. Sesame Street favorites Cookie Monster, Elmo, Abby, and Ernie make up the band that plays familiar songs in differing styles; kids can play along on select instruments. An extensive parent's guide gives some suggestions for how parents can play with their kids to enhance the experience. A detailed privacy policy outlines how the app handles your information.

User Reviews

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Parent Written byShawna H. June 6, 2017

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What's it about?

Kids start SESAME STREET MAKES MUSIC by choosing to play with the band or go solo. The band consists of Sesame Street characters playing familiar songs with a genre twist: "Old MacDonald" goes jug band, and "The Farmer in the Dell" gets the hip-hop treatment. There's also Caribbean, jazz, rock-'n'-roll, and Indian music. To turn sound on and off, tap the three band members in turn. Each style also has an instrument for kids to play, such as the sitar or a turntable, and the "play on your own" option lets kids play each instrument, one at a time, without the band.

Is it any good?

Kids get a sweet -- and very basic -- introduction to a small handful of musical genres and instruments. There's a nice mix of styles, and because the band plays familiar songs, it's easy for kids to make comparisons between how they usually hear the song and how it's being played in the app. This could help kids identify the uniqueness of each genre, though some song makeovers are more successful representations of their genres than others. It's great that kids can turn the band members' sounds on and off to explore what each instrument adds to the whole sound, and they'll certainly have fun making a racket as they play their own instrument. It's disappointingly simple, though, with only six styles and six instruments that have limited ways to play them (for example, there are only four keys on the "piano"). The price seems a bit hefty for such simplicity, but the app is cute and could be lots of fun for young kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about each of the musical genres and instruments. Expand on each theme and play more hip-hop, jazz, or Caribbean music.

  • Explore the different layers of a song. Experiment with turning each band member's sounds on and off and talk about rhythm, beat, bass, melody, and more. Practice playing those parts with instruments or voice.

  • Whip up some homemade instruments and have a family jam session.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Arts: improvising and music analysis, music
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: December 17, 2015
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Music and Sing-Along
  • Size: 73.30 MB
  • Publisher: Sesame Street
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music

Themes & Topics

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