Friday, July 24, 2009

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Review: "Groovy Music City" Music Software

Sibelius has recently added a new game to their line of Groovy computer gaming software called Groovy Music City. This software peaked my interest because my son has always shown an affinity towards various musical instruments and I thought that this game would allow him to explore music-making in a different way.

This series of software was designed to aid music teachers by bringing music education into the age of computer gamers. Students can learn about rhythms, bass lines, chords, and more by building a city using road signs, robots, planets, and of course buildings. Each object represents a different aspect of music and each variation in color gives off a different sound.

Below you will find a screenshot of my 5-1/2 yr old son's character walking through a city that he built. As he passes by each element, it lights up and the corresponding sound comes alive, thus creating a musical composition.

What I thought about the Groovy Music software:

1) Even though the software is recommended for ages 9+, I think that anyone who is computer literate can enjoy this game, whether they are 4 or 90 years old. For this reason, I think this game is a very good investment because your child is not likely to outgrow it anytime soon. The older one gets, the more complex a composition one can create.

2) My son's favorite part of the game is placing the buildings which represent the rhythms. This directly relates to the kind of music he likes. He very apparently is draw towards music that has particular kinds of rhythm.

3) I think this software does a good job in helping children make sense of music. For example, the speed limit signs labeled with various speeds in MPHs are what controls the tempo of the music.

4) It is really great that there is a secure site where all Groovy Music users can share their compositions with each other. This a wonderful way for children to be inspired by the work of other children.

5) We did have one major issue with the software. After we registered the software the first time, the next time we attempted to use it, we got a message instructing us to register it again. When we attempted to do so, the software stalled at the point of trying to access the Groovy Music website to approve our registration. After many attempts, we turned to customer service for help. They suggested we download a patch. We did this twice without any resolution to our problem. We were very disappointed that customer service had no other suggestions to offer. Then we accidentally discovered on our own that disconnecting my son's laptop from the Internet allowed us to access the game.

Other than the complications we had accessing the game, I do think that the Groovy Music software is a worthwhile way for children to spend their time on the computer. It is such a versatile program that it is sure to please almost everyone no matter their taste in music.

If you are interested in learning more about the Groovy software line, visit . You can purchase this software for your PC or MAC on the Sibelius website,, and most places where specialty software is sold.

Thank you to Sibelius for providing us with a review product free of charge.