Some children’s apps are a breeze to review, since it’s easy to write about all the wonderful things they offer. That’s exactly how I feel about The Day the Music Stopped. The developer of this app, Juno, already received accolades for its Juno Baby Musical ABC’s. Now it added this delightful app for toddlers and preschoolers. These apps demonstrate what really can be accomplished for iPhones and iPads with state-of-the-art technology.
When your children enter the 3D world of The Day the Music Stopped, they will meet Juno and Rai Rai and have time to interact with different items in Juno’s room. Then, it’s off to musical Harmonia Springs with the other cute puppet characters--Bunny, Buzz and Indie. When Murphy describes his new invention the "shush machine," Bunny presses the red button on top and all the music in the town comes to a halt. (If a button says, “Do Not Touch!” you know your preschooler will touch it!)
Now it’s up to your children to bring the music back with entertaining and musically educational activities. The founder of Juno, Belinda Takahashi, a PhD of music, composed the music in the app, which is played by a real live orchestra. Each of the activities teaches a different aspect about music. At the lily pond, the frogs, like a barbershop quartet, teach harmony, and the birds on the fence, which looks just like a musical staff, help the children create their own song either on their own or with a song provided. (Soon to come will be a game that teaches rhythm.)
One of the things that makes this app so delightful, besides the colorful animation, is that it is a story, as well. Many apps are just separate activities that have a theme, like the alphabet or animals, but do not go beyond these activities. With the Juno apps, your children meet new characters, become part of their story, and bring back music to Harmonia Springs. Of course, the other very special aspect of this app is the music. How many times do your children listen to the actual instruments of an orchestra being played instead of coming from a music synthesizer? Then, they can actually learn how to make their own music.
In most cases, the children’s apps created for the mobile units and tablets have not at all been on par with computer CDs and DVDs. Here is an app that clearly shows what can be accomplished with the technology available and should be used as a role model for many of the apps now in the marketplace.