Device Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Developmental Appropriateness: There are two modes to this app - one is a free play where you can make up and play your own songs. You can choose a background, the icons that are your "players" (i.e. stars or cows to represent your notes), and what sound you want them to make, ranging from a more traditional do-re-mi to animal sounds or to saying numbers or even colors. There's a record function so you can treasure your fantastic melodic (or not so melodic) creations. This mode is great - it encourages creativity and music composition. Kids will surely be amused by the different sounds it can make.
Balance: In the free play mode, there are interactive elements in the background that are not related to the music. I don't think it was necessary but I don't mind it since it's free play and it's all meant to be fun. For the learning mode, I would take out the non-music related sounds that the notes can make. They make learning the pitches hard. I assume they are there to add an entertainment element - having those sounds in the free play mode seems like a good idea and enough for the app as a whole. Rating; 3.5/5
Sustainability: I think kids will come back to the free play mode again and again. As for the learning mode, there are currently only five songs - looks like they will be adding more. It be great if there were more levels for each song. Right now, seems like there are two levels playing the whole song, the last level being that the icons for the notes are turned around so that you are "playing by ear." As I mentioned, it would be nice if the next level would be playing the song straight through without prompting. And then even further levels that change the pace or maybe adds different instruments. Rating: 4/5
Parental Involvement: Interestingly, this app links to "Fingerprint" which is a platform that allows parents to be involved. I did not try this part out, but the app can send the parents messages as their kid completes a section or whole song. Parents can also send their kids voice messages to encourage their progress. I like that the developers thought about how to involve parents. However, I'm not sure this type of involvement fits all or even most parents. You tell me! Many parents turn off the wi-fi function on their devices when letting their child play with it. As for the app itself, the recording feature in the free play mode is nice as kids can play back their songs and share with others. It'd be nice if the learning mode had a recording feature as will at the completion of each song. Rating: 4/5
Total: 14.5 out of 20 - 3 stars