A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
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.
- 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
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.