My son's former music teach had a sign on in her classroom that said "Musical Kids Excel". I used to think it was just a way to promote the music department and keep the funds for music from being cut but as I've seen my own child excel in music I wholeheartedly believe in the connection between music and learning.
Once music basics are learned it one of the most creative and fun learning activities is composing your own music. In the past, aspiring composers typically had to master an instrument, play it and then listen to the sounds before they wrote down the notes for a composition. Now software is available for even very young kids to write original compositions. Comparing it to painting, think of the software as the brushes, music as the paint and the composition as the canvas.
"Students are able to do things now that were all but impossible before except for the truly gifted and talented, which is to compose their own music," said Sandi MacLeod, coordinator for the Vermont MIDI Project, a 12-year-old music composition project involving more than 7,000 students grades two to 12 from 40 schools in the state that use Sibelius and its kids software, Groovy." (from Software for kindergarten Beethovens By Stefanie Olsen)
Groovy comes from Sibelius a leader in notation and composition software for professional musicians. There are three versions of Groovy for different ages, each allows for compositions to be viewed as standard music notation.
Groovy Shapes - Ages 5+
Teaches the basics of sound, rhythm, pitch and composition using pictures and animation. Children can compose by dragging and dropping shapes that represent rhythms, melodies and chords. Compositions can be viewed as standard music notation.
"I am an elementary music teacher and our school bought the entire series of Groovy Music for our computer lab. My students have done so well with it and enjoyed it so much, I bought it for my 5 year old niece. It's very user friendly and kids find it very entertaining. The Create portion of the software is awesome for beginning "composers." I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to encourage the exploration of music in a 5-7 yr old they know."
Groovy Jungle - Ages 7+
Teaches the basics of sound, rhythm, pitch and composition using pictures and animation. Children can compose by dragging and dropping shapes that represent rhythms, melodies and chords, or by playing from a MIDI keyboard. Compositions can be viewed as standard music notation. Introduces children to notes and notation, ostinato, major and minor, and simple musical terms.
"The moving animals, the sound effects ~ it's so much fun to be creative with this software."
Groovy Music City - Ages 9 - 11
Futuristic city themed Create mode. Library of sounds includes patterns, as well as individual sounds. Introduces notation and musical terminology. Record from a MIDI keyboard, display compositions as a score and work with text.