Tongo Music - for kids and families

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Tongo Music - for kids and families App Poster Image
Whimsical music wonderland inspires; interaction limited.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to recognize and appreciate some of the most well-known pieces of classical music, as well as learn about a variety of musical instruments and a bit about how music is structured. Parents who read the included learning guide can supplement kids' learning with information about the featured composers and instruments, and they can give names and meaning to the conceptual topics such as musical notes or treble and bass clef. Kids also can express their own creative musical sides as they explore the digital instruments.

Ease of Play

Kids easily tap and drag their way through a musical wonderland. It might take some practice to learn where kids can interact with the app and where they can't.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tongo Music - for kids and families introduces kids to instruments, music structure, and classical music. In all, kids can hear 15 short samples of musical masterpieces from Mozart to Tchaikovsky, played with 12 different musical instruments. And kids can try their own hands at creating music with a digital keyboard, a collection of percussion instruments, and more. The app focuses on music and sound; there's no text or explanations to accompany kids' explorations. But there's a guide on the developer's website that explains all the concepts in the app including the instruments and the titles and composers of the songs. Because there's a lot of music in the app, it may take a long time to open the first time after downloading. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

With TONGO MUSIC - FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES, kids enter a colorful landscape full of sound effects and classical music. Drag left or right to travel through the scene and tap on anything that moves to enter an activity. Most activities are listening experiences where kids listen to a brief clip from a classical masterpiece while watching an animated scene. Some activities have interactive elements, such as a keyboard, percussion instruments, or voices in a chorus to play, or a basic musical concept to explore, such as musical notes. A parents' guide provides explanation for all the featured musical concepts.

Is it any good?

Kids can easily lose themselves in this attractive playground full of brightly colored graphics and beautiful music. The animated scenes add a special element of fun to carefully chosen classical masterpieces from famous and well-loved composers. Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Tchaikovsky, and more are represented as kids are introduced to the whimsy and fun of classical music. In some activities, kids also can interact with music. There's a keyboard, a collection of percussion instruments, and a group of singing birds to turn on and off. Kids also can trace to draw treble and bass clef signs and water plants to grow into notes on the musical staff. These offer a basic, superficial introduction to the practical aspects of making music. The biggest downside to this otherwise delightful musical adventure is that opportunities for interaction are limited. Some kids will be perfectly happy to listen and watch, but others might find it frustrating that there are precious few ways to interact with the app. Tongo Music - for kids and families shines for the beautiful way it presents classical music, while more interactive elements would add to the fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the music featured in Tongo Music - for kids and families. Look up the title and composer for the songs your kids like and find the full version to enjoy together.

  • Read the parents' guide to enhance kids' understanding of what they're seeing and hearing. Name the instruments and the notes, talk about the composers and the music, and learn about musical structure such as note names.

  • Create a music-friendly environment for your kids. Expose them to a variety of music from classical to rock and roll. Let them experiment with real musical instruments. Sing together as a family.

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