My First Classical Music App HD

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
My First Classical Music App HD App Poster Image
Modern, engaging intro to the fineries of classical music.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can gain exposure to classical music in an inviting and interactive way. They can learn musical styles, composers, and instruments, and discover that classical compositions have specific names, moods, and can be heard in a variety of eras and settings. The app also has snippets of classical compositions that kids can listen to, complete with guided listening questions and suggestions. While the app is text-heavy and doesn't showcase any female or minority composers, the voiceover feature is great for introducing emerging readers to some of the most famous Western classical music composers of all time.

Ease of Play

Kids can flip through the pages by tapping arrow keys or by navigating to specific sections or pages from a well organized Table of Contents. Kids can read text or have text read to them by an in-app voiceover narrator. Kids can also tap the musical bluebird to hear snippets of featured classical music pieces.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The app's Table of Contents has two links advertising related products. "Music Tracks" links to iTunes where parents can download the app's soundtrack, a compilation of 28 full-length classical musical tracks. The "Other Apps" link advertises other apps and audio books by the same developer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My First Classical Music App HD is an interactive introduction to classical music aimed for kids 5 years and older. It is based on the book by the same name and features more than 40 well-known classical music pieces. Parents can find a link to purchase the soundtrack from iTunes.

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What's it about?

The app is based on the book by the same name and is presented as such -- kids flip through pages or navigate to specific pages or sections from a well-organized Table of Contents. Kids can read along with the text or tap it to have it read out loud by a narrator. Every instrument of the orchestra is demonstrated and nearly every page has a high-quality audio sample with guided questions and "Listen for" tips.

Is it any good?

Developed by well-known classical music label Naxos, MY FIRST CLASSICAL MUSIC APP takes a modern, interesting, and relevant approach to teaching about classical music that kids and grown-ups will truly enjoy. Each page is packed with lively illustrations, information, guided listening questions, and fun facts (like how Mozart was afraid of the trumpet when he was a little boy) -- with over 40 high-quality classical music samples to explore.

Kids learn about eight classical composers (spanning the 18th to 21st centuries) and 18 instruments featured in a the symphonic orchestra. The app also underscores how classical music is found in many places outside of concert halls -- like in movies and TV, and at weddings and dances -- and is actually part of everyday life. This is a much more engaging introduction to a musical genre that's typically presented as a stuffy laundry-list of names and dates. Still, the app (and its soundtrack) would benefit from showcasing women and and non-European composers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Listen to music around you. Where do you hear music and what styles you hear in different locations? Does music help set a mood?

  • Talk about how music evolves over time. Early classical music adhered to specific, sometimes strict rules. Later, music broke from these constraints yielding new musical styles. Can you hear these differences?

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