Life at Warp Speed

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Classical Music Made Fun! Fave Pick! April 18, 2012

Filed under: Homeschooling,Music — lifeatwarpspeed @ 9:03 pm
Tags: , , , , , Beethoven’s Wig: Sing Along Symphonies: Beethoven’s Wig: Music.

Beethoven once said,¬†“If my music had words it’d be a lot more popular.”

I developed a love for classical music as a child while learning play the piano. It wasn’t until I was in junior high that I realized that most of the other kids at school had practically no exposure to classical music. And let’s not get started on the state of music education in America these days.

I really wanted to pass along my love for classical music to my son so we listened to some classical music CDs and watched Little Einsteins and HBO’s Classical Baby (both are fantastic programs). I also wanted to expose him to as much classical music because of the Mozart effect theory of helping increase spatial intelligence in a child’s developing brain and of course the strong correlation between classical music and mathematics since both tap into the area of the brain that control spatial temporal reasoning.

This CD really captured his attention (and mine) the way Beethoven’s Wig does.¬†They do a fantastic, amusing and engaging job of creating catchy sing-a-long lyrics to the most beloved classical pieces. They weave in the theme of the music and facts about the composer and the piece. I learned quite a lot from the lyrics myself. Even if you don’t care that much for classical music, this CD may change your mind.

This is such a fun way to “introduce” classical music to children in such a fun way that children can easily identify the piece and composer. The second half of the CD are the same pieces performed by an orchestra, so you can expose your child to the fun and straight versions. The main singer on the track does remind slightly of Weird Al Yakovic’s voice in a good way. It lends itself well to a slightly comedic flavor to the singing.

These are the feature selections:

1. Beethoven’s Wig (5th Symphony, Beethoven)
2. Franz Liszt the Famous Pianist (Hungarian Rhapsody #2, Liszt)
3. Please Don’t Play Your Violin at Night (Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Mozart)
4. Can You Can Can? (Can Can, Offenbach)
5. Just For Elise (Fur Elise, Beethoven)
6. Haydn’s Great Surprise (Surprise Symphony, Haydn)
7. Kings and Queens of England (Trumpet Tune, Purcell)
8. Drip, Drip, Drip (Pizzicato from Sylvia, Delibes)
9. Harmony (The Merry Peasant, Schumann)
10. Hey Guitar Teacher (Bouree, Bach)
11. Tchaikovsky’s Cannonball (1812 Overture, Tchaikovsky)

Highly recommended for all ages and for homeschooling families as part of the music education. I am planning to get the rest of the series of CDs for car rides and listening around the house.



Paper Monsters App – Free for limited time.

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 8:19 pm
Tags: , ,

App Store – Paper Monsters.

Paper Monsters is a pretty entertaining 2D platform style game. designed for the iPad and iPhone. This is available for free download for a limited time (normally $0.99). The graphics in this game are absolutely stellar and unique. Your goal is to explore these four worlds with four levels each. Solve each paper and cardboard themed levels by jumping, bouncing, porting, swimming, and flying your way through various obstacles and jumping on any “monsters” that you come across. The play is similar in style to Sonic or Mario type games. Collect as many gold and silver buttons as you can as you run along your course to the end goal.

You will have to use two hands to play this game since the left side of the screen controls the “joystick” forward and backward motion. The right side of the screen controls any tricks like jumping. For this reason, this game is more appropriate for children that can handle dual hand play on the iPad.

Recommended for ages 5 and up. Worth the paid app price.



Feed That Dragon HD for iPad on the iTunes App Store

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:33 am
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Feed That Dragon HD for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

Feed that Dragon is a pretty fun physics style game app (similar to Angry Birds and Bunny Shooter). This app is now free for a limited time. Normally, it is $0.99. There is a free lite version to try.

You have to help McDuff with his charged (dreaded) duty to feed the dragon by launching food into the dragon’s mouth. Levels become increasingly difficult to play as you have to figure out the “puzzle” of how exactly to get the food from the catapult to the hungry dragon. You will have to be creative in rearranging the different obstacles/tools on the screen to be able to feed your dragon. This is pretty fun to play with a lot of levels of play.

Recommended for ages 4 and up. Younger players may be frustrated at higher levels of play since the “puzzle” gets harder to solve.



Learning Chinese HD App – free for limited time!

Filed under: Apps,Kids,Learning Chinese — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:17 am
Tags: , , ,

I am finally back online after an exhausting end to this year’s tax season. I was just going to relax tonight, but I saw this free download pop up for iperfect’s Learning Chinese HD app which is normally $0.99. There is a free lite version.

My son just loves playing with this app. He is inordinately amused by the idea of Chinese phonics. Most Chinese learning apps are focused more on learning to write or vocabulary. This app focuses only on the pinyin standard for Chinese phonetics. I really love how this app turns the dry practice of b, p, m, f, d, t, n, l, etc. into a more enjoyable interactive learning app with cute animated “movies”. I love that it also covers which would be the various combinations of sounds and uses examples of the phonetic sound with actual characters. This app is not designed for English speakers, but it is simple enough to figure out even if you can’t read the descriptions.

Highly recommended for ages 2 to 7. Worth the $0.99, if you miss this deal.



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