A Jazzy Day is a combination story and game app that teaches elementary students about jazz music and instruments. The story is about two kittens who go on a field trip with their dad. After a quick breakfast of blueberry pancakes, the three are off to Big Band Hall, where they meet several musicians. The Musical instruments discussed in this app include the bass, drums, piano, guitar, vibraphone, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, flute and clarinet. At the end of the visit, all the musicians gather together. If the user has selected the “Read to Me” option, they will be treated to a lively, animated concert.
The app also includes a game of music identification, with the user hearing a few notes of music and then identifying the instrument that played it. Other game questions include looking for a specific instrument. Interface options on the opening screen include “Learn,” which displays and verbally labels all the instruments contained in the app, “Play Game,” “Read it Myself,” “Read to Me,” and “Browse Chapters.” The story app contains a great deal of interactivity, especially with the “Read to Me” option.
What Diane Liked
The music is excellent and greatly enhances the learning experience. According to the developer, live musicians and original music were used to make the app, and the quality shows. The characters and their voices are also pleasing. The story is told in verse, and there is a surprising amount of interactivity on all pages. Multiple access paths make this app easy to use, whether as a classroom lesson or just as a read-along story. The concert at the end is quite impressive, especially the first time through. The animation and music kept my daughter and I captivated for several minutes. The game clearly supports the educational mission of this app and gives students a fun way to learn the sounds instruments make. This is a must-have app for homeschoolers and provides a wonderful introduction to jazz music.
There is an ambitious amount of interactivity in this app. While this is great, sometimes there is conflict between the interactive elements. For example, in the “Learn” option, the user is encouraged to make the instruments bigger and move them around. However, doing so sometimes activates the page turn command, which takes the user to a page in the story. The only way we could figure out how to return to our spot was to select Home and enter the “Learn” option again. My daughter also had trouble with unwanted page turns while playing the vibraphone.
Perhaps instead of swiping the pages, a smaller and more controlled “page tap” in the lower corner would help ensure that children could better enjoy the interactive features. Some of the interactivity did not work in the “Read it Myself” option, most notably missing was the big band jam session. It would be nice if the animation was supported by both options, but, in the meantime, make sure to use the “Read to Me” option. Both my daughter and I would love an “Again” button on the concert page. We figured out to swipe pages back and forth, but I don’t think we will be the only users wanting to see that page over and over.
A Jazzy Day uses a superb blend of high quality animation, original music, great story-telling, interactivity, and game playing to inspire and educate students about jazz music and instruments. Bravo!
To learn more about this app, you can check the complete features of A Jazzy Day – Music Education Book for Kids or Download it below.
Developer provided promo codes to facilitate the review.