Creating Music

Common Sense Media says

Play composer with this kid-friendly music site.

Age

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The message that anyone can compose music is at the center of the site. Kids are encouraged to try out new sounds and styles by jumping right into composing pieces. Games offer gentle reminders when a player gets a wrong answer.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Creating Music has a store that sells software related to the lessons featured on the website.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Creating Music is an educational website that lets kids make music and learn about concepts like pitch and tempo. There's no content that's inappropriate for kids, and the only product advertised is educational software that expands on the site's lessons.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • sequences

Arts

  • improvising and music analysis
  • music
  • rhythm

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • strategy

Creativity

  • imagination
  • innovation

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids won't be impressed by the old-school interface; it's just not visually appealing to the modern eye. However, the games are engaging enough to please very young musical beginners.

Learning Approach

With a solid musical basis, these games are reasonably fun and there's some depth of learning going on when kids play around. The musical concepts can transfer to a school band or simply a general understanding of how music works.

Support

Games are pretty much self-explanatory, but there's a bit of spoken instruction for each. Supports are limited; you can contact the creator by email, but there's no FAQ or specific help section.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • sequences

Arts

  • improvising and music analysis
  • music
  • rhythm

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • strategy

Creativity

  • imagination
  • innovation

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Kids can learn about different skills involved in listening to and making music on this educational site. Creating Music introduces the concepts of pitch, rhythm, tempo, and instrumentation through games and activities. Kids can also hear how these concepts apply in many different types of music, from classic compositions to rap to traditional music from Italy and Albania. Creating Music may lack the sophistication of more modern sites, but it's sure to spark creativity in curious kids.

This Learning Rating review was written by Susan Yudt

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

The brainchild of electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick, CREATING MUSIC was designed to fill a void in children's music education and give kids the chance to compose arrangements, rather than just practice other people's work. Through music comparison, instrument and scale samples, and a musical \"sketch pad,\" kids can learn about composition and how notes come together to make music. Many of these lessons are continued in the company's line of software, which is sold on the site.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Creating Music's activities are generally short and sweet and can give an impromptu music lesson whenever the mood strikes. Fun challenges like recognizing harmonies and playing along with classical composers give this site instant kid-appeal, while lessons that work in classical, world, and even rap music to teach and train young ears show this site has the chops for education and fun.

Creating Music launched in the 1990s and lacks the sophisticated look and feel of more modern sites. Some screens look like something your grandpa put together in 1994 and never updated, while others look fine. That is to say, the site design isn't great, and may not impress today's media-savvy kiddos. However, the activities do stand the test of time. Kids might want to try Subotnick's more recent endeavor, the iPad app, Morton Subotnick's Pitch Painter.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how interactive sites differ. This site is interactive, and so are virtual worlds like Club Penguin. How does this music making site differ in its interactive features? Read "Online Worlds for Young Kids Tips" to find out more about virtual worlds.

  • When you make your own music, do you have a better sense of the work and thought that went into the music that you listen to? Is it easy to make music that sounds appealing?

  • Families can talk about setting limits on computer time. It's fun to play with sounds and notes online, but is it the same as playing an actual instrument? Read some tips for a balanced technology diet in our article "Setting Computer Limits Tips."

Website details

Genre:Educational
Topics:Music and sing-along
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Creating Music was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 September 22, 2012
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

creating music

Families can talk about setting limits on computer time. It's fun to play with sounds and notes online, but is it the same as playing an actual instrument? Read some tips for a balanced technology diet in our article "Setting Computer Limits Tips."
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much consumerism
Kid, 8 years old October 13, 2009
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

AWESOME

It is just right for kids my age!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

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