Apps made for kids that are a lot of fun to play, and at the same time actually impart some sort of education, can be a great tool for parents – especially when it comes to music. Old MacDonald Piano from Kiboomu Publishing, an interactive app for young children centered on the piano, is their second release along the same lines. Their first one was very similar in theme, but was much better developed – it seems as if they haven’t given this release the same amount of attention. However, it’s still very interactive and engaging. it has the same choice of four modes, and gives kids a different song to learn and play.
In this game, children get to play along to the well-known nursery song, on a ‘piano’ with seventeen keys. You have the option to be guided by keys that light up, or in free style. Another mode is karaoke, which lets you sing while playing. You can choose between the sounds of a number of different musical instruments, including flute, strings, or piano, or sounds made by animals, and colorful pictures in the top half of the split screen let you follow along.
The music apps developed by Kiboomu of very evidently designed specifically for children, and are intended to keep them interested with the use of visual and interactive components. It should be fairly simple to make the transition from the game to an actual piano, which obviously should be the ultimate goal.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of glitches, and in a few places there’s a bit of a lag. The lyrics in karaoke don’t always match correctly; in some places where the word ‘that’ is sung, the word ‘his’ is displayed. Also, the game sometimes spontaneously ends. The earlier release, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’, didn’t have any of these issues, and it’s a pity that this wasn’t released as an add-on instead of a separate game.
If you have children, and you’d like to encourage an interest in music, it’s definitely worth checking out Old MacDonald Farm or, even better, it’s predecessor – Twinkle, Twinkle.