TONGO MUSICSpring 2017 Mobile Apps
In this charming, wordless game, players lead the main character (our conductor Tongo) around the screens to visit with animals and explore the sights. Each animal or object connects to a musical experience -- usually a piece of classical music played by Tongo, sometimes with other animals; sometimes the experience is a chance to make new music, like a percussion room, flowers that turn into a musical staff, or a small piano keyboard. Kids can learn that high notes mean the treble clef (and vice-versa) and low notes mean the bass clef by listening to the music played as the clefs appear. Then they can learn to draw the clef symbols in a starry dot-to-dot in the sky. There are so many activities that it will take preschoolers many tries to uncover them all, and they will doubtless visit their favorites over and over. The singing quartet of birds, reminiscent of Papageno and Papagena from Mozart's "The Magic Flute," is a particularly amusing favorite for both adults and kids.
Parents can enhance the beautifully designed and paced experience by visiting the developer's website for a guide to the activities. The handbook identifies all the music played in the app (Saint-Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals" is featured, alongside works by Mozart, Bach, Schumann, and many other familiar composers) and offers information for teaching about and discussing the instruments, the staff, note values, and even vocal ranges. Parents will delight in this app as much as their children.