These days there’s an app for everything. Learning music is no exception! There are a huge number of educational music apps for kids, and wading through them to find the best choice takes time. So in this post, we’ll explore some of the best top-rated and award-winning educational music apps for kids.
We’ve focused on smartphones and tablets here, but several of these apps have versions for PCs and consoles. You’ll find free and paid options for both iOS and Android devices. Let’s go!
Can apps really help my kids learn music?
Yes, they can! A high-quality app or two can help your child learn how to play an instrument and get to grips with music theory. They can even create, record, and share their music. Screen time can be educational – and the apps we’ve collected here are so much fun that the kids won’t even notice they’re learning.
So, whether you’re looking for a fun and educational way to entertain your toddler or something to help your child learn to create electronic music, there is bound to be an app to suit your needs.
Apps for very young children
There are loads of ways for kids aged five and under to have fun exploring sound with a smartphone or tablet. Apple dominates here, but there are a couple of great options for Android users.
Sago Mini Sound Box (Play, iOS – $3.99)
Super-cute and fun, your toddler can explore sounds and scales with lots of lovely animal characters. There’s no need to be connected to the Internet to play and there are no in-app purchases.
Sago Mini Music Box (Play, iOS – $3.99)
Similar to Sound Box but aimed at slightly older kids. Music Box is “a sweet and soothing musical adventure” where children can explore musical concepts with cute characters. Again, there’s no need for an Internet connection and no in-app purchases to worry about.
Baby’s Musical Hands (iOS – $0.99)
A simple musical toy where baby can tap different colored boxes to make various sounds and create fun visuals. It’s quite an old app, but it seems to be going strong.
Baby Mozart – Children Music (Play, iOS – free)
Combines a huge number of features to entertain young children as well as help them sleep. White noise, nursery rhymes, classical music and lullabies all feature, and there are educational flashcards too!
Sesame Street Makes Music (iOS – $2.99)
Everyone’s favorite muppets accompany your child as they use different instruments and sounds to create their own songs. They can also rock out to pre-loaded preschool hits.
Musical Me! (iOS – free)
Teaches kids the basics of music through five activities featuring 14 well-known songs.
Mazaam (Android, iOS – free)
This beautifully-designed app introduces kids to the fundamentals of music through lots of games and fun characters, overseen by Mazaam the musical conductor.
Music-making apps for young kids
Apple once again dominates here, with a huge number of music-making apps for young kids. While Android users might struggle to find apps specifically for young kids, some of the options in the “older kids” section might be appropriate with supervision.
Bandimal (iOS – $3.99)
A beautifully-designed music composer for young kids. Cute animal characters help them create musical creations with great audio quality and no ads!
Loopimal (iOS – $3.99)
From the same developer as Bandimal, Loopimal focuses on building loops and sequences with the help of charming animal characters.
Melody Jams (iOS – $2.99)
Kids can create the band of their dreams with fun characters and a selection of exciting instruments. There are no in-app purchases and the app is completely ad-free.
Toca Band (iOS – $3.99)
Similar to Melody Jams, Toca Band lets your child create a band with lots of fun characters and interesting instruments. The app is ad-free and contains no in-app purchases.
SoundForest (iOS – free)
Kids can explore four musical environments with cute animal characters to create an infinite variety of tunes.
Music-making apps for older kids
As children get more advanced in their musical skills, they can really begin to unleash their creative talents. These apps are not specifically aimed at kids, but they are simple enough to get youngsters to make music quickly without too much of a learning curve.
Lily (iOS – $1.99)
Build beautiful melodies and patterns using lily pads with different musical properties, then record and share them. Extra lilies are available as in-app purchases.
Keezy (iOS – free)
A simple and intuitive soundboard app. Kids (and adults!) record sounds into the eight colored tiles then create and record their loops and jams.
Incredibox (Android, iOS – $4.99)
A “merry crew of beatboxers” is on hand to help your child create atmospheric audiovisual experiences. There’s also a thriving online community so they can share their creations.
Music Maker JAM: Beatmaker (Android, iOS – free)
An easy-to-use app that lets kids create tunes using built-in loops in a variety of styles. Features a paid-for Pro version.
GarageBand (iOS – free)
A full-featured yet easy-to-use digital audio workstation. GarageBand has a huge variety of tools that will have your child making impressive music in no time. The app is powerful enough that it will remain a favorite throughout your child’s musical journey.
BandLab (Android, iOS – free)
Make beats, songs, and videos with a huge selection of powerful tools. Features unlimited cloud storage and social networking features to share and collaborate, so parental supervision is advised.
Apps for music theory and practice
These fun, engaging apps are a great way to help your child learn music theory, and to help them stay on track when learning an instrument.
Mussila (Android, iOS – free)
A full “music school” containing hours of lessons and games developed by musical experts. Features in-app purchases and subscription options are available with access to more tools.
Perfect Ear (Android, iOS – free)
Easy-to-use and intuitive ear training app suitable for older kids. Great for developing aural skills and rhythm. Features in-app purchases.
Clefs: Music Reading Trainer (Android – free)
An intuitive yet extensive guide to clef and key signatures. Perfect for developing sight reading skills.
Yousician (Android, iOS – free)
A companion for learning guitar, piano, bass, ukulele, and vocals. Older kids can learn to play popular songs with interactive lessons and a personalized learning path. There’s also a paid premium version with more features.
Kids love music, and they love to play on smartphones and tablets. When we combine the two, we create a powerful learning opportunity! There are options for all ages and levels, from simple sound-making to fully-fledged song creation.
So, the next time your child wants to play on a smartphone or tablet, why not introduce them to one of these incredible educational music apps?
Written by: Liz Sullivan