I always show it to our Year 2 children as one of my more 'light hearted' lessons in the last half of the summer term and they always thoroughly enjoy it!
It's very intuitive to use (you just drag pictures of instruments representing different sounds) so it allows the children to create quite interesting melodies easily. To challenge the more confident children, it also has several options available to enable them to modify their work to further improve it, including being able to:
- change the tempo by slowing/speeding up the play back;
- layer different melodies so that they play simultaneously (multi-tracking);
- change the volume of individual tracks to make them play quieter/louder;
- move/delete instruments around on the grid to try out alternative musical arrangements.
I usually begin by letting the children spend a short time just exploring these tools before then prompting them to create a pleasing piece of music to share with the rest of the class (e.g. one that includes a repeating pattern).
At the end, we finish with a discussion about how the software compares with composing using real instruments and this can prove quite fascinating: Which do you think is easier? What can you do with real instruments that you can't do on the computer? What can you do on the computer that you can't do with real instruments?