A primer on musical instruments is well-organized in terms of taxonomy, but the jumpy, incongruous screen navigation often makes it tough to follow.
This admirable effort aims to educate kids about the names, sounds and different families of instruments. There are five major categories: electronic, keyboard, percussion, string and wind. The home screen allows readers to tap on a category, which in turn takes them to instruments in that classification. Each category has a home page; swiping upward or downward scrolls to individual instruments (one per screen) that can be tapped to produce audio clips. Instrument names can also be tapped for identification and pronunciation. Swiping right or left changes categories, but it doesn’t necessarily take readers to the home page of that family unless that’s where they left off, which could cause confusion for those who aren’t aware that they’ve switched categories. A sideways swipe from the charango (a stringed instrument) may take readers to the French horn, for instance. The audio is good, both musically and in terms of name pronunciation, and the inclusion of unusual instruments (alphorn, balafon and balalaika, to name a few) adds both educational and aesthetic value.
If kids can learn how to properly navigate it, this simple app is likely to ignite a few musical fires. (iPad informational app. 4-10)