31 Top Kids' Software Titles

31 Top Kids' Software Titles

MUSIC: A Joyful Noise


Music should be part of all kids' lives - even if you know right away they won't grow up to be the next Yo-Yo Ma, Jimi Hendrix, or Kiri Te Kanawa. And yes, that might mean that you have to listen dutifully to their performances. In the meantime, you can help ensure that there will be fewer missed notes at the next family concert with this collection of children's music apps.


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Music Ace Deluxe


Lots of music software for kids trades heavily on the fun factor. Music Ace Deluxe is no different, but underneath the whimsical little conductor avatar is some fairly serious instruction on reading music, musical notation, and the fundamentals of how to make music. Music Ace Deluxe was simple enough for a 5-year-old and easily scalable for our older testers, including us adults. Kids could load it themselves and enjoyed using it.


COMPANY: Harmonic Vision
CONTACT: www.harmonicvision.com
PRICE: $79.95
AGE RANGE: 5 and up
Excellent variety of engaging activities. Challenging for a wide range of music skills.
On the pricey side for what you get.



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Piano Wizard Easy Mode and Premier


The phenomenal Piano Wizard bridges the gap between music, notes, and colors with an interface that will seem familiar to kids. The near-full-size physical keyboard is mirrored by an onscreen keyboard, and as the musical cues move across the screen, kids try to "hit" them in time to one of the many bundled songs. How good is it? Our testers could play the songs they had learned on Piano Wizard on a real piano later that same day - without having to be nagged to do so. Cool.


COMPANY: Allegro Rainbow
CONTACT: www.pianowizard.com
PRICE: $99.95 (Easy Mode with eKeys), $199.95 (Premier with Keystation)
AGE RANGE: 5 and up
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.2.8 or later
A clever, successful way to teach music. Universal binary.
Finding a place to stash the keyboards.



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Your child chooses an avatar and then jumps into the music to compose a song.


Groovy Music Shapes, Groovy Music Jungle


There's nothing down-market about this offering at all except for the price. Using kid-friendly icons and avatars to cover sound, pitch, composition, and more, Groovy Music Shapes and Groovy Music Jungle extend a music curriculum beyond what many kids are likely to get in school. The software is easy to use, and although suggested age range for Groovy Music Jungle tops out at 9, our 10-year-old testers were thoroughly entertained.


COMPANY: Sibelius
CONTACT: www.sibelius.com
PRICE: $69
AGE RANGE: 5 to 7 (Shapes), 7 to 9 (Jungle)
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.2 or later
High-quality music curriculum for the price. The kids liked it too.
Families with multiple kids have to keep track of multiple software titles.



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Teach 'em about loops, then listen to 'em create grooves.


GarageBand 3


For kids who are music savvy and musical, GarageBand is both a blessing and a curse. It allows them to record every single note of all the music they make and, well, that's the curse part, too. Kids younger than 10 can use GarageBand with some parental involvement. After an initial demo from us, our 8- and 10-year-old testers intuited exactly how to rock the party. Could they record, produce, and mix a song suitable for airplay? Probably not. But they wanted to try.


CONTACT: www.apple.com
PRICE: $79 as part of iLife '06
AGE RANGE: 10 and up
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.3.9 or later
Familiar interface. Comfortably intuitive, despite the many controls. Universal binary.
Kids require adult help, especially at first.



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MUSIC: Also try…


Send 4- to 10-year-olds on an animated trip through music history with Children's Music Journey ($69.95, www.adventus.com). Also from Adventus, Piano Suite Premier ($89.95) provides an interactive tutor to guide young pianists through the learning process and offer instant feedback on their playing. MiDisaurus ($19.95, www.town4kids.com/us_ecom) promises to turn your school-age children into music prodigies - we're not so sure about that, but younger kids will have fun hanging with the musically inclined animated dinosaur. For an intro to music composition for kids 5 and up, check out Morton Subotnik's Making Music ($35, www.creatingmusic.com).






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You are absoluterly right it helps you to develop the interest in the children so that they can learn while they think that they are playing, and also very helpful to judge the abiluities of the studenst so that you can know where you should workout on the speciefic child. Regards,David Patterson http://www.wholesalepages.co.uk


Mike R.

What a great article. As a parent, I'm sometimes hard-pressed to find good Mac software for my 5 and 8 year olds. These are very good reviews of what's out there.



It is good that someone writes articles which really matters something.

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