The Symphony Orchestra
This is a very engaging app with great sound quality and information on all the instruments in a Symphony Orchestra. The app reads more like an interactive book with videos, music and a quiz at the end to see whether you can recognize the instruments by their sound and image. The app is good for pupils between the ages of 11-13 (however younger children with a good reading level will also enjoy it) and for older learners who are interested in widening their knowledge of musical instruments and symphony orchestras. The app has received an EAS Certification of 4 Stars.
Pupils will enjoy going through the app and reading all about the sections that make up an orchestra (Wood-Wind, Brass, Percussion, Strings). Each section contains a description of the section and the instruments that make it up. You can also click on each instrument in order to understand its name, its origin, its note range and how it works in order to make sound. The representation of the notes that it plays is also depicted on a keyboard diagram so that learners can look at the notes, key and pitch.
Each instrument has three pieces of short classical music so that learners can listen to how the instrument sounds. The aim here is that learners will be able to pick out the instrument from pieces of music. In addition, there is another section with a video in which a musician is playing the instrument. This makes the understanding of the app much more interactive and engaging. Learners will more readily memorise the sounds and type of instruments as they associate the pictures, the sounds and the information. We would love to see a feature in the future which also relates composers and the famous pieces of music that are played with the information – that would add a wonderful extra layer of education to the app .
We really enjoyed using this app and it is definitely one of the better android apps that are around. The app is also very good music app and music teachers will benefit from downloading it for the classroom. It would even be interesting for learners in the classroom to make their own interactive blogs of music with writing and youtube videos of music. The app is perfect for inspiring a project and firing up the imaginations.
As a caution to teachers, the apps are linked to the internet (youtube videos) so, it would be good for teachers to check with their own school settings for internet navigation. Other than that, the app is a great music resource.
From the Developer
The Symphony Orchestra provides a fun and informative introduction to the modern symphony orchestra. It uses high resolution images, stunning sound, and brief videos to demonstrate the characteristics of twenty-one separate instruments found in the string, woodwind, brass and percussion sections of the orchestra. The sound samples and videos include works from a cross section of well known classical composers intended to whet the musical appetites of children exploring this app.
A quiz is included to gauge how the learning is progressing.
The internet is accessed only for concert videos and no information is collected.