As parents, we want our children to be as well-rounded in their education and interests as possible. Yes, STEM learning is important. Sports keep us healthy and teach us about teamwork and perseverance. But let’s not forget about the wide and wonderful world of the arts! Literature, painting, and, of course music. And since kids learn
a lot through TV, we’ve put together shows about music for kids to sing, dance, clap, and learn along to.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a dearth of programming out there for shows explicitly about music.
Fortunately, that’s kind of OK! Writing for PBS Kids, Dr. Robert A. Cutietta, Dean of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, said that some of the best ways to encourage musicality in a child is to... just sort of start listening to music together! Have it on throughout the day, sing and dance along — make it fun. These tips may seem simple, but when you’re talking about something as universal and innate as music, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
a lot of very music-oriented TV shows and series out there beyond your standard old-timey Broadway musical movies and Disney classics. (Though, by all means, throw them in the mix as well!) Here’s just a small list to get you started! Sesame Street
The gold-standard of educational children’s programming,
Sesame Street not only encourages music appreciation through songs every episode but frequently features episodes about musical instruments, rhythm, and other components of musical education. Watch it on PBS Kids, or stream it on HBO Max or PBS Kids online. The Wiggles: Ready, Steady, Wiggle
Australian children’s group The Wiggles have been entertaining kids since the early ‘90s, which means we’re now working on a second generation learning about music and movement thanks to these Aussie legends!
Stream it on Netflix. Little Baby Bum
Colorful characters and simple songs are perfect to entertain and instill a love of music in even the littlest viewer.
Stream it on YouTube or Netflix. The Muppet Show
What better way to get your kiddo singing and dancing than by showing them the pinnacle of musical comedy? Bonus: the Muppets frequently took on classic songs from Broadway and the American songbook that, really, every kid should know!
Stream it on Disney+. Sofia the First
Sofia is a local shoemaker’s daughter whose mother married the king, making her a princess overnight... and boy does she
sing like a Disney princess (many of whom visit her throughout the series)! Featuring the voice talents of Wayne Brady, Sarah Ramirez, and Ariel Winter, there’s lots of excellent music to feed your little performers soul. Stream it on Netflix. Doc McStuffins
With Doc McStuffins, your kiddo can learn important lessons about friendship, responsibility, and taking care of their body... through
song! Warning: these songs are full-blown earworms. You will be humming them as you go about your day. Watch on Disney Now or stream it on Hulu. Motown Magic
In this imaginative show, 8-year-old Ben uses his magic paintbrush to bring vibrant street art to life. Every episode features a different Motown hit with music from The Jackson 5, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and more.
Stream it on Netflix. Little Einsteins
This cute cartoon not only exposes kids to music and rhythm, but introduces them to famous symphonies, concertos, and chamber music by composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Dvorāk.
Stream it on Disney+ The Backyardigans
Uniqua, Tyrone, Pablo, Austin and Tasha are whimsical animal friends who have imaginary adventures in their backyard. Each episode highlights a new genre of singing and dancing!
Stream it on SlingTV. Gullah Gullah Island
This ‘90s gem was inspired by creator Ron Daise’s Gullah-Geechee heritage and his experiences growing up on St. Helena Island in South Carolina. Colorful characters, like Binya-Binya Polliwog, join the Alston family in learning about heritage and culture through fun songs and music.
Stream it on Amazon Prime. The Beat Bugs
Can one say a musical education is complete without at least a basic knowledge of The Beatles songbook? Enter the Beat Bugs, child-like critters who live in an overgrown backyard filled with fun, adventure, and a different song from The Beatles every episode!
Stream it on Netflix. TrollsTopia
Different music genres — country, pop, classical, techno, funk, and rock — come together in the kingdom of TrollsTopia, ruled over by the kindly (and musical!) Queen Poppy.
Stream it on Hulu or Peacock. Julie’s Greenroom
The Greenies are a group of (puppet) kids who are learning about about the performing arts at the Wellspring Center, from acting and playwriting to dancing and (of course) singing and music.
Also? It stars Julie. Freaking. Andrews. The woman is a living legend!
Stream it on Netflix. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
In addition to featuring almost hypnotically catchy music every episode, usually about emotional well-being and interpersonal relationships,
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood also includes lessons about music, rhythm, and musical instruments to inspire your little musician. Watch it on PBS Kids or stream it on PBS Kids online. True Tunes
Sing along with all your favorite characters from
True and the Rainbow Kingdom! Popular children’s songs are adapted to bled into True’s magical world. Every episode is brief more — more like a music video than a show — but don’t worry. Once you go through all the songs in True Tunes you can pick up with Dance and Sing with True Songs! Stream it on Netflix. Storybots Super Songs
The Storybots present educational songs about a wide range of topics, from colors and shapes to the solar system.
Stream it on Netflix. Mother Goose Club
Your kids will be able to sing along to their favorite nursery rhymes with their favorite nursery rhyme characters. Colorful costumes and lots and lots of cheery smiles accompany this musical series.
Stream it on Netflix. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
Like many of the shows featured,
MLP:FIM is not exclusively about music, but is full of songs to encourage your future musical theater star. And, not gonna lie? They’re bops. Every one of them. They’ll get stuck in your head but you won’t even be mad about it. Stream it on Netflix. CoComelon
Traditional nursery rhymes and original songs sun along to brightly colored, simple cartoons will keep your child entertained for hours (and there is
hours of content on this channel). Bonus: the lyrics that stream along the page are great for encouraging learning readers! Stream it on YouTube and Netflix. Loo Loo Kids
In the vein of
CoCoMelon and Little Baby Bum, Loo Loo Kids melds recurring characters with a mix of traditional and original songs. Stream it on YouTube and Netflix. Chu Chu TV
Simple music videos bring familiar and new songs your toddler can clap along with.
Stream it on . YouTube Super Monsters Monster Party
Sun down: monsters out! All your favorite not-so-spooky characters come together to sing and dance and Pitchfork Pines Preschool.
Stream it on Netflix. Word Party Songs
“The Babies” from
Word Party come together for a playful series of sing-along songs, perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Stream it on Netflix. Treetop Family
Woodland creatures come together for sweet, simple children's songs that convey important lessons about family and caring. This series is part of the “Super Simple” series of cartoons.
Stream it on YouTube. Baby Einstein
Simple puppets, live-action footage, and cartoons accompany classical music and simple lessons on colors and shapes to encourage a love of music in babies and toddlers.
Stream it on Amazon Prime. All shows listed are appropriate for general audiences.