A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
First graders can learn to read Ocarina notation, which consists of simple visual diagrams. There are just four "holes" for fingers to cover in various combinations. Producing an even flow of breath against the iPhone's mic to sustain the notes is the hardest part. If kids can't finger and blow at the same time you can set the app to touch mode, which does not require breath to produce sound.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this amazing app turns the iPhone into a modern-day version of the flute-like ocarina. Just purse your lips and blow into the mic. Kids as young as 6 can learn the fingering but younger ones will be frustrated and limited.
Is It Any Good?
Ocarina is one of those iPhone apps that sounds crazy. But it works and it's magic. When fingers touch different spots indicated on the screen, the iPhone emits sweet flutelike tones. Sheet music for a wide variety of familiar songs is available. Unfortunately, you can't record your performance, only save a link to the developer's website. Brag e-mails direct family and friends to listen at the site.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.