There's no doubt about it: a majority of kids absolutely adore music. It can help soothe them to sleep at night, dance away their bad moods, and express their inner pop star or dancing queen. But, what's a parent to do when they can't carry a tune, or have no idea how to add more musical magic to their kids' daily routine? Luckily, there are some awesome apps to teach your kids about music, available for iOS and Android and for kids of all ages and ability-levels.
Your toddlers and preschoolers will love Peg + Cat Big Gig, which puts them in the role of director, choreographer or ukulele player in a fun performance featuring music from the show. If your kids like dance parties (and who doesn't, really?), there's Go Noodle, which can help you chase away your toddler's tantrum or tween's "I'm bored"mood with fun and easy-to-follow songs and choreography.
If you are looking for an app to turn any device into a piano, there's Chordana Play, which teaches kids ages 4 and up to actually read music and play a tiny-sized keyboard. If your older kid is a DJ in training, they will definitely love Spotify Music, with free and subscription versions. No matter what their age or if they like to sing, dance, or simply listen to and appreciate music, there's an app to help them learn.
Magic Piano allows kids to follow along with a variety of music from their favorite pop songs to classical masterpieces, and is so fun they don't even realize their are learning about music while they play. The app is free on iTunes and GooglePlay, but you can purchase additional songs via in-app purchases, so you may want to disable this feature before sharing with your toddler.
Yes, I learned that the hard way.
Peg + Cat Big Gig
If you or your kids are fans of the PBS Kids show Peg + Cat, there's an adorable app that allows your budding musician, director, or choreographer to write music, create dance routines, direct productions, and learn about music and math in the process.
As one reviewer theUncraftyMama wrote on Amazon, "Cute app for fans of Peg + Cat. Has all the favorite characters for music and dance adventures. Kids can write their own music for different characters to play and make up dance routines for cat. Good stuff."
Go Noodle is a big hit for all of my kids, ages 15 months to 12 years. This fun and easy-to-use app features hundreds of videos to teach your kids choreography, silly songs, and mindfulness techniques like breathing and meditation. Better, it allows parents to convert even the crabbiest of mornings or rainiest of afternoons into an indoor dance party.
My music-loving tweens are obsessed with Spotify, and since we have a Premium for Family account ($14.99/month), it was easy to add their devices so my playlists wasn't suddenly filled with Katy Perry and Twenty One Pilots songs. They literally spend hours making playlists and listening to the daily lists Spotify creates for them. It's magical.
When my daughter became obsessed with learning to play the piano, Chordana Play was the answer (especially since I can barely play "Chopsticks" and we don't have room for the real thing). Rated for ages 4 and up, it's surprisingly easy to follow and learn to actually play the piano and read music, even for your youngest budding pianist. Even better, once they learn the 50 included songs, you can upload as many midi files as you want to expand their library of music to play.
PBS Kids Party
If you are looking for an easy-to-use app for younger kids, PBS Kids Party lets younger kids explore their voices, movement, and have musical fun, all while you take a much-needed break. It features a variety of games like Dance, which lets your preschooler make the characters on the screen move and follow basic choreography and and even a sound recorder, which is my son’s favorite part.
Sing! By Smule
Sing! by Smule is my oldest daughter's favorite music app. This recording studio app allows users to sing along to their favorite songs and record videos of their top performances. If you are concerned about explicit lyrics, you may have to monitor their song selections, but for older kids and teens you can let them explore, learn to sing, and record videos of themselves performing their favorite songs.