This music education app review is for: Little Star, Baby’s First Music Game
Kid/Student Ratings: *****5/5
Teacher/Parent Ratings: ****4/5
Educational Value: Excellent +
Recommended: 1 – 3 years
Skills Developed: Each tap of the screen brings a visual and musical reaction.
App Tested on iPad (available for both iPhone and iPad)
Good Stuff about this music ed app: At first, the mother who first tested this app for me said it didn’t really do much… UNTIL she noticed her 2 year old constantly going back to open it.
One great thing about this app is that it is simple and not all gobbed up with confusing things to click. The developers got this one right on for the age group.
The particular family I tested this app with has now had the app on their iPad for about 4 months and the parents say it is THE most opened app on the iPad at their home. Guess that tells us how the kiddos like it.
All the babes have to do is tap on the stars and the song “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” plays with each tap. Occasionally the rocket goes floating by. This always brings a toothless grin, even after the 400th time.
Our Wish List: We wish that there were more apps like this for our babies. It’s simple and so sweet.
My Love: Believe-it-or-not, the babies I tested this with started singing this song without any prompting from their parents. REALLY. They did. With enough repetition loads of things are possible for our wee ones.
Summary: All-in-all we feel parents can feel good about adding this app to their iOS device. The babes will find it, for sure. And, they’ll keep on coming back!
Purchase Twinkle Star on iTunes now for iPad for: $0.99
Purchase Twinkle Star on iTunes now for iPhone/Pod for: $0.99
Have you already downloaded and used this app? Leave us a comment and let us know what you thought! Thanks – Rebecca
Price: $0.99 (also available free in lite version)
Age Recommended: 3 and up
Skills Developed: Memory of sequence of instruments played by the monkey
App Tested on iPad
Good Stuff about this music ed app: This cute monkey lives on an island where a cargo crate full of instruments was dropped. The monkey plays each instrument and the idea is that you attempt to play back the instruments in the correct order he played them in. FUN!!
As you play, the sequences get a little bit longer, and more instruments are added. The kids I tested this with just giggled and giggled the whole time they were playing this app.
Memory skills are critical in music education, and this app fits the bill for sure! A perfect game for the waiting room of any music school.
Our Wish List: The instruments all take up one beat in the sequences but the guitar that the monkey plays uses up more than one beat, so sometimes you can’t hear the other instrument when it plays. When two guitars are played in a row, they overlap which is quite confusing to the younger students. I hope the developers see this and fix it. It’s such a great game otherwise.
My Love: I love that there are so many levels, and that it is not too complicated to pass them one at a time. The monkey plays in different places (beach, circus, etc.) after so many levels are passed. Lots of levels for these kids – they love that!
Summary: All-in-all we feel that Monkey Tunes is a fun, motivating game that stimulates memory skills while using music instrument sounds and visuals. It’s a pretty darn okay app. The kids love it! :)
Purchase Monkey Tunes in iTunes for iPad for: $0.99
Purchase Monkey Tunes in iTunes for iPhone/Pod for: $0.99
Have you already downloaded and used this app? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think! Thanks -Rebecca
Skills Developed: Interactive book introducing orchestra instruments and their sounds
App Tested on iPad
Good Stuff about this music ed app: As a music teacher of some young ones, I find these interactive books really great for group class. The music presented in this app is high quality and the kid narrator is quite excellent. What a great example for our youngsters! These characters are the same ones in the really great app review I did a few weeks ago on Mozart Interactive. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really should. The graphics are the best I have ever seen for an app so far!
As you flip through the book you see different music characters introduced one at a time, but they all live in the same house and play in a different key – soooo, you can tell the other chapters are going to be fun to see how it all works out.
Our Wish List: ”The House on Melody Street” includes chapter 1 only with notice that the other chapters are coming soon. I wonder what “soon” means…
My Love: The musical score for this app is really very high quality. The developing team behind this app really knows their music. All characters are played by real instruments and that makes my heart sing!
Summary: All-in-all we think this app about the House on Melody Street is pretty neat. I love music and reading to my children, and if you do too then you’ll for sure enjoy it also.
Purchase Melody Street on iTunes for iPad for: $0.99
Purchase Melody Street on iTunes for iPhone/Pod for: $0.99
Have you already downloaded and used this app? Leave us a comment to let us know what you thought. Thanks! -Rebecca
Skills Developed: Ear Training, Recognizing Specific Pitches
App Tested on iPad
Good Stuff about this music ed app: The giggling begins right as you open this app, it’s really funny! The blob chorus treats you to a quick rendition of their “Blob” song and then when you go to use the resource (play the game) they separate. The idea is that you listen very carefully to the pitches the Blobs sing and then the King Blob sings one of those same pitches. You have to tap on the correct Blob to win points.
Skills Developed: Listening Repetition and Interaction
App Tested on iPad
Good Stuff about this app: Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca has never been so much fun! This tune has been running around our home for the past week now. The kids are playing it on all instruments since we have heard it so much. The visual technology of this app really gives it an edge. I felt like I was watching a new pixar movie! It really is very engaging.
The cutest 10 year old is the host of the event. He gives an outstanding performance on the piano while other animated “human-like” instruments wish to join
Skills Developed: Music Enthusiasm and Appreciation, Memory, Written Music familiarity.
App Tested on iPad/iPhone
Good Stuff about this app: If you have small children you will enjoy this music ed. app. It’s a great past time for young kids. Memory, Rhythm, Movement, Instruments, and Notes are among some of the components included.
Note that it is for the very young.
There are different pages within this app that you navigate through with the single touch of a cute, hovering mouse. He takes you to the different parts within the app where you can explore music while listening to a happy lady sing folk songs to you. It’s very cheery!
I found a video from the makers. I thought you might like to look and see if this app suits your family.
Our wish list: While this app is very cute, I don’t really see any teaching going on. It’s mostly exploration. The repeat the pitch page is probably the most education and works on memory with pitch and site recognition.
I searched and searched for something within this app that actually tells the kids how to play the songs to the beat. It just doesn’t. The birds fly by, you touch them and they each play a pitch to the song the app aims for you to play. But, unless you tap in the correct rhythm it doesn’t sound much like the song at all. There is no feedback, only just a bongo playing in the background. Maybe there needs to be some direction here?
For the non-teaching reasons, I kept this app at more of an exploration game for children between the ages of 0 and 4.
My Love: I love the outer-space page where memory, site, and pitch are explored. Do Re Mi are sung and the planets light up with super happy faces. Your job is to tap the correct ones in the order they were first presented. You either get an “oops” or a “you did it!” Feedback is super important when a skill is trying to be learned.
The little girls I tested it with spent the most time on this page.
Summary: All-in-all we think this app is pretty darn cute for the youngins. Small children will love to spend loads of time exploring each page within. Oh, and making the cow jump over the moon is pretty fun!
Purchase Musical Me! in iTunes for iPad for: $1.99
Purchase Musical Me! in iTunes for iPhone/Pod for: $1.99
Have you already purchased, downloaded and used this app? Leave us a comment and let us know what you thought. Thanks – Rebecca
This review is for Jazzy Day – Swinging With The Big Band. Melody Book.
Kid/Student Ratings: **** 5/5
Teacher/Parent Ratings: **** 5/5
Educational Value: Superior
Age Recommended: 2 – 10 years
Skills Developed: Jazz music characteristics and typical jazz instruments
App Tested on iPad
Good Stuff about this app: I am thrilled to be able to introduce this app to you all. Jazzy Day – Swinging With The Big Band is a fun and interactive story that will teach your child about jazz music and the instruments typically used to play jazz. The book features sounds from REAL acoustic instruments and really great jazz music.
Two kittens and their father take you on an outing to see the Big Band play. How cool is that!?
There are several different activities in this book, but my very favorite is
Skills Developed: music exploration, music appreciation, repetition skills, instrument identification, symphony orchestra introductions
App Tested on iPad/iPhone
Good Stuff about this app: How charming! This app is absolutely adorable. Maximus the mouse guides you into a wonderful world of orchestral music (performed by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra). In this app, there are several different areas to be explored including playing games with instruments such as a harp, xylophone, and piano. This app really is very appropriate for several different ages. I envision many parents using this as story time for their youngest ones (age 2-5). I also can see how much value this app would have in a school environment when exploring orchestral music. There are so many neat little tid-bits of information inside this app. I even learned that Pandora’s Box wasn’t really a box at all!
This app is designed for opening a world of orchestral music through mini-games within. There are board puzzles (with fabulous symphony orchestra music playing in the background), imitation game-play on different instruments, and more. One of the fun little games within is “Maxi’s Dream”, where Maximus is riding on a mallet (for percussion). He is dreaming of cheese and has to fly over the yellow cheese wedges. If he accidentally gets the green cheese, it says he has a tummy ache. The youngest ones really thought this was fun!
My wish list: Knowing that this game was made by real musicians, I expected all of the instrument sounds within this app to be real instruments. That is not the case in the game of “Mystery Box” where you must listen to the instrument being played and then pick the correct one. Honestly, the kids I tested this with couldn’t tell the difference between some of them since it only sounds like the octave is different (computer generated tones). Hmmm… is this a possible future upgrade? Because it would be a top of the list app if so.
My Love: The wonderful artwork in the app coincides with the picture books available by these same developers. The fact that they have dedicated their musical careers towards children and symphony music education makes me stand and applaud!
Summary: All-in-all we think this app is precious and really very good. Elementary Ed teachers would be in heaven if they could use this during their orchestra units. I think it’s the perfect bed time story for young ones as well. Speaking of stories, apparently Maximus has more books out all encouraging symphony orchestra skills and appreciation.
To purchase Maximus Music on iTunes for iPad/iPhone for: $0.99
Have you already downloaded and used Maximus Music? If so, leave us a comment and let us know what you thought. Thanks – Rebecca
Good stuff about this app: Oh Ho! It’s RockBand/Guitar Hero for Dr. Seuss Lovers! When I first opened this app I was immediately drawn in by the bright colors and fun shapes. The Dr. Seuss voices are so fun, but honestly my favorite thing are the bouncing
Skills Developed: Music Exploration and Composition
App tested on: iPad/iPhone (available on Android Market also)
Good Stuff About This App: This app is quite a fun novelty. You get to light up little colored squares or circles (each one is assigned a pitch) on a grid. Then push play, and … voila- Music happens! It’s like colorful palette of pitches. I said “good-bye” to my iPad one night when I allowed a 7 year old
Skills Developed: Note Placement and Pitch Recognition Treble and Bass Clef
Reviewed on: iPad (available for iPhone as well)
Good stuff about this app:
This app is a super alternative to those flash cards. It not only is great for visual music staff/notes exploration but can be used for pitch recognition as well. I love it because the kids enjoy watching DooDah as I quiz them on
Hi, I’m Rebecca. I am an active music teacher, a professional performing musician, and a mom of young musicians with apps. I love apps! The speed and ease of learning is incredible with today’s technology and I tend to use it to its fullest. I aim to only feature the best of the best here. Join Me!
You can also find Rebecca at http://LearnFluteOnline.com
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All rights reserved by Rebecca Fuller. All review content is copyrighted by Rebecca Fuller 2011.