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Toc and Roll

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
Toc and Roll App Poster Image
Fun music-maker has a few false notes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can explore the sounds of 10 different instruments and put them together to compose their own songs. They'll also learn to discern the sound different instruments make.

Ease of Play

There are step-by-step written and visual directions under the help tab. Tap to choose an instrument and drag the sound clips to the track. The basic, kid-friendly interface is relatively simple to navigate. 

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Toc and Roll is a music app that allows kids to explore the sounds of 10 different instruments. They'll hear the different sounds that the drum, bass, piano, percussion, trumpet, saxophone, violin, glockenspiel, and guitar can make. Tapping on one of the instruments brings up a collection of sound clips made by the instrument. Kids can then drag the sound clips to the virtual track to begin creating their own song. There's also an option to add personalized vocals to the songs. Users can grant the app access to the microphone to record their voice and add a personal touch to their musical creations in addition to adding effects. Then kids can name, save, and share songs. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

TOC AND ROLL is a platform where kids can create songs by choosing instruments and dragging sounds onto a virtual multitrack. The app offers 10 instruments for kids to choose from. Upon choosing an instrument, a list of different sound clips appears on the right side of the screen. Kids simply scroll to see the options and then drag the sound clips to the track to begin composing their song. They can compose songs with one instrument at a time or they can compose songs with multiple instruments. The voice option allows kids to record their own voice and add it to their musical creation. This requires that users grant the app access to the microphone and tap and hold the recording button. Kids have the option to name and save their songs and then share them. When sharing, the app prompts kids to tap on the screen five times. At the time of this review, the share option directed users to a page that was discontinued and sharing wasn't possible. Step-by-step directions on how to use the app are available under the help tab. 

Is it any good?

Although it's a bit glitchy, this app promotes an early interest in music as kids explore instruments' sounds and promotes creativity as kids piece sound clips together to come up with new custom songs. Toc and Roll's basic interface is kid-friendly and simple to navigate. There's plenty of guidance, but the directions may be too complex for little ones who aren't reading yet, and although the pictures provide added support, kids may still need help from grown-ups. Little kids may also need help from grown-ups to name their songs and find songs under the saved file.   

While it's a fun tool that little ones will enjoy, and the early introduction to composing music empowers kids to bring their ideas to life, there are some features that are a bit glitchy and don't work consistently. For example, the recording feature appears to be working on the screen, but voice isn't actually recorded. Also, the share option directs kids to an expired page, so there's no real way to share their creations. Overall, it's a fun way to explore, but if kids are excited about the ability to record and share, it might not be worth the price.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about telling sounds apart when playing Toc and Roll. Play an instrument and ask kids what sound they hear. Play a track with two or more instruments and ask what sounds they hear. An opportunity to tag what they are hearing may help kids learn the sounds of instruments and may help them distinguish between sounds. 

  • Ask little ones to describe their musical creations. What's the song like? What does it make you feel? A focus on describing what they hear and what it makes them feel may help kids develop and fine-tune descriptive language.  

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For kids who love music and creativity

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