Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Mozart's Magic Flute Classical Music App for Kids

We've just spent a very enjoyable couple of hours with the The Magic Flute - A Touch of Classic Experience app on our iPad. I bought it because my older son is interested in classical music and loves anything to do with ancient Egypt (which the opera and app take inspiration from.)

I have no knowledge of classical music, but really want to encourage my son so I appreciate any help I can get (we've previously enjoyed My First Classical Music.) When I saw the graphics for Mozart's Magic Flute I knew it would appeal to my almost 7 year old. What I had not expected was that my just turned 5 year old was just as enthralled.

The app tells the story of the Mozart's Magic Flute opera and includes the music from four of the main aria's. The music has been recorded specifically for this app. 

There are 12 scenes and each has a very professional voice over which we really enjoyed. There are interactive elements where kids have to perform small actions to move the story forward. The story is told very effectively - my kids were able to talk about it afterwards. I didn't think that they would like the romantic storyline, but it is told simply and the matched characters and names appealed to them. There's a hero, Egyptian animal-headed characters, bird people, good and evil and lots of adventure.

There's also a description of each of the main characters and their voice type (tenor, soprano, etc.)

The four main arias are accompanied by a game where you have to tap musical notes at just the right time. This works very well. The visual reward for hitting a note at the right time is very pretty.

There are two streams of notes and we found that two people could play collaboratively. My two boys played together some of the time and I helped out when they asked. Once you get the hang of it it does help to focus on the rhythm of the music - I can see the boys coming back to this.

Nothing bad happens if you don't do a very good job of this, you can still proceed with the story. If you do well you get a virtual trophy which the boys enjoyed.

The graphics for Mozart's Magic Flute are absolutely beautiful. The characters are detailed and colorful and simple animation is used to create a puppet-like effect which works very well. This is a real highlight.

You can get a good feel for the app from the trailer video (my boys jumped up as soon as they heard this playing and wanted to watch it even though they have just spent a couple of hours with the app):

We went through the first scene of the app just before bedtime yesterday but didn't have time for any more. The boys were keen to continue this morning and we went through the rest of it together with my older son taking the controls most of the time.

Then my younger son grabbed the tablet and went through the whole experience again - just asking for my help with the note-tapping game. He was fascinated and really interested in the characters.

My older son was listening. When I went to see what he was up to he was making one of the characters, Sarastro, from LEGO. That's a high honor!

The app works really well as a slightly interactive story with a mini game and amazing graphics. And it works well as a children's introduction to Mozart's Magic Flute opera. Highly recommended if you want to expose your kids to a bit of culture, you might be surprised how receptive they are (I was!)

We're definitely going to try out the other apps from A Touch of Classic Experience: The Adventures of Don Quixote, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Frankenstein (12+).

Buy: The Magic Flute - A Touch of Classic Experience for iOS

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