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Article:    Children's Software for Music Learning 

 
 
We've selected our favorite computer games that will help support children's music lessons. These games are appropriate for, and will benefit, children who are not involved in formal music training as well. Music-making is a powerful activity that contributes to the development of important skills children will use in all curricular subjects, besides being an exciting activity in and of itself! 

 

Here are our top picks for developing music-making skills:

 

Music Learning

Top Pick. Music Ace Deluxe offers 36 carefully sequenced, engaging lessons that teach children rhythm, pitch, note-reading, music theory, and keyboarding skills. An animated tutor guides children through lessons and games, carefully and systematically teaching them new skills. Also included is the series' Music Doodle Pad that allows kids to compose and play back their own tunes. This product is excellent for beginning music students, and is especially helpful as a complement to early music classes. See our full review of this product, as well as screenshots and notes from the program.

Comparison. This title offers music lessons along with skill-building and skill-strengthening games. The lessons are step-by-step rather than part of a larger adventure.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Music Ace Deluxe at Amazon.com]

 

Music Appreciation and Skill-Building

Three very clever software programs from Music International Games are available. Each title offers children the chance to get to know a classical musician and his music, and includes skill-building games that develop children's "ear" for music. Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker: The Music Game (see our full review), Alice in Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and Mozart's Magic Flute: The Music Game offer creative and unique opportunities for children. Most notable are their "musical puzzles". For example, in Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, children listen to classical music, such as The Arab Dance and The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and then try to identify the instruments that are playing. This is beautifully done—a real treat.

Comparison. The musical games in these programs are part of a story line, unlike the sequenced lessons in Music Ace Deluxe (above).

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker The Music Game, Alice In Vivaldi's Four Seasons - Music Games Intl, or Mozart's Magic Flute The Music Game

 

Music Skills Development

coverMorton Subotnick's Hearing Music is a "playground of sounds", a software designed to help children identify different parts of music, and hear the nuances in a melody, amongst other things. Children participate in four multi-level games that involve matching, ordering, reading, and comparing musical phrases and pieces. We found the program very good at what it sets out to do. Read our full review of the program for more information. 

Comparison. This program offers four multi-level games. They are not set to an adventure or story line (as with the Music International Games), nor are they part of a sequential lesson plan (as found in Music Ace Deluxe).

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Hearing Music-The Game that Teaches You how to Listen!]

 

Playing & Learning Music

Prodikeys is a unique package that combines a fully functional computer keyboard with a piano keyboard. The software that comes with this product allows users to create, learn, and play music quickly and easily. There are four modes featured: Impress, Easy Play, Learn, and Perform. Impress mode is fantastic for quickly producing great-sounding songs. Kids are likely to spend the most time in this mode, where they can create mixes that sound fantastic! In Impress Mode's "Fun Tunes", for example, the music keys are pre-programmed with music loops. Learn mode features five steps to learning a selection of songs: Listen to the tune, learn and practice the notes, learn the notes with rhythm, learn the chords, and play the tune. See our full review of this product.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Creative Labs Prodikeys Keyboard]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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