What parents need to know
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
- improvising and music analysis
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- digital creation
Engagement, Approach, Support
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.
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.
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'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?
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."