Been playing with a Songsmith a little today. It’s a music generation software, but with additional twist: you’re doing the vocals and Songsmith stands in as your backing band. It’s actually following your singing by choosing the right chords to match your voice in real time! Using it really gets as easy as pressing the record button and starting singing. There’s plenty of musical styles to choose from and even more can be downloaded. You can also fiddle with instruments, used in your song - e.g. replace acoustic guitar with a distorted electric one.
What can I say… it sounds great. It should provide countless of hours of fun with your young one, providing that she/he likes to sing of course… but which kid doesn’t. And if you really suck at singing, it may make you look… well, not so bad :) If it was also available for a mobile device, you could turn your life into a musical...
Guys from Microsoft Research made this a great app for a v1. More style, arrangement and instrument tweaking should make it into the next version to make it more interesting for non-beginners. And a MIDI support would be great.
Oh, did I mention it's a WPF application?