Maximus Musicus is a thoughtful, interesting and very content-rich application aimed at teaching classical music appreciation as well as musical instruments to children. Based on the well-known Icelandic children’s books and concert series about a mouse who wanders into a concert hall and becomes enthralled with the music that is being performed, this app teaches the basics of instrumental sound recognition, learning the basics of how to play xylophone, harp, piano, and percussion, musical themed jigsaw puzzles are also offered here, as well as a lovely arcade style game also included that kids will enjoy. Designed for iPhone, the app looks good on iPad as well with little pixilation. Be sure to scroll down in game mode to find all seven sections.
I really enjoy all that this app has to offer, especially the Mystery Box which allows the player to hear a sample of music and the sounds of three instruments, as the player must now decide what instrument is playing in the box. I appreciate that each sample of music played in the box is the same, highlighting the differences and similarities of each instrument. The sections of each instrument are also very well done, giving the player a choice of free play or learning short pieces of music by copying the sounds seen and heard, “simon” style, this game being harder that it looks, even for adults. I also like how when one explores the jigsaw puzzles or playing “Maxi's Dream” - an action based game about catching cheese - they are listening to and enriched by beautiful classical music, something that may not happen for children on a daily basis.
I am stuck by the beauty that all these illustrations have to offer, there soft watercolors bringing life and great quality to this app. All the music is expertly played as well as recorded, and a joy both to listen to as well as to introduce classical music to my son in this way. Commonly, after his bedtime story, my son chooses the game “Maxi's Dream.” Too tired to play, he nods off listening to this game, its theme being a very peaceful piece of music.
This app has made me interested in the Maximus Mouse picture books as well, and I hope to be able to read these books to my son who I am sure would love them. I wish these developers will continue to make more applications with such quality and educational content. If interested, also check out Maxi’s Holiday Piano as well by the same developers, Fancy Pants Global.