Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
The average iPhone user doesn’t typically get too excited over apps specifically designed for small children. Unless you’re a parent, grandparent, or preschool teacher, apps like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Preschool Storybook Piano are probably not on your radar. But for those who care, you should know that aside from being a mouthful to say, this is a cheerful app with some interesting features that create teachable moments whilst entertaining.
There are four modes of “play” with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Preschool Storybook Piano – Play and Sing Along, Learn the Song, Karaoke Mode, and Free Style Mode. Essentially, each mode plays through the song in a different way. Play and Sing Along, for instance, plays the song and the keys on the piano light up in correspondence with the notes. Free Style Mode lets kids freely explore the piano keys. Learn the Song and Karaoke mode are bit more obvious, and allows kids to learn the notes to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the piano or to sing along karaoke style.
As a children’s app, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Preschool Storybook Piano is both charming and colorful. Hidden within the app are eight different sound effects you can choose for the piano to make. Guitar, harp, flute, and bell are a few, but the animal sound effects are the best. Turn C into a barking dog or one of the E sharps into a hooting owl. F sharp sounds a whole lot like an elephant, which was unexpected given the nature of the other animals. Regardless, making animal sounds on a piano translates into big loud fun when you’re four years old.
The only curious thing about Twinkle, Twinkle (and consequently my only complaint) is the karaoke mode. It allows you to select English, Spanish, or French. Sadly, no where else in the app do you get that option. For instance, you can’t start Free Style Mode and select a language. It’s all English by default. I think it’s wonderful to include other languages, but it would have been so much more beneficial to include the other languages within the Learn the Song mode. As it is, I don’t know why the multiple languages are included at all. Kids wanting to learn Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in another language besides their own will have to guess at the pronunciation while karaoking.
While the lack of a language option in other modes bothers me, it truly is my only real complaint. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Storybook Piano takes a classic children’s song and combines it with some delightful storybook pictures and an interactive kid-style piano. It provides the option to learn a little music and explore and express musical creativity, all on a level young children can relate to.