New musical apps that are soothing and fun

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Miriama Young ’07 and the icon for her Hushabye app. (Photos Courtesy: Miriama Young ’07)

Two Princeton musicians recently have launched apps for children — one to calm them and another to teach them. Miriama Young ’07, a composer and musicologist in Sydney, Australia, has created an app to soothe babies and help them to fall asleep. Inspired by her own newborn that suffered from colic and cried constantly, the Hushabye app provides the kind of sounds that helped her child — white noise, heartbeat, and gentle singing. With Young’s app, the user can create her own mix of real heartbeat, water sounds, and her own lullaby.

 
A concert pianist and piano teacher in New York City, Donna Weng Friedman ’80 has come up with a fun way to introduce young children to classical music. She has designed interactive apps  — Music Bee Club apps — that feature original children’s stories inspired by masterpieces. The first of three apps, The Flight of the Bumble Bee, was released in April.
 

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Donna Friedman ’80 and her daughter, Michelle, who designed the characters for The Flight of the Bumble Bee. (Photo: Eric Tao)
Children listen to a story about a young bumblebee who tries to fly to the other side of the garden alone before he’s ready – set to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee.” Classmate Royce Flippin ’80 co-authored the story with Friedman.
 
In addition to listening to the story and music, the app (designed for ages 2 to 8) offers other options: Users can listen to the music and follow the interactive animation while they make up their own stories; paint their own pictures to the music; or play a maze game.
 
In the works are two more apps in the Music Bee Club series: the tale of a self-important swan set to “The Swan” movement from Camille Saint-Saens’ orchestral work “The Carnival of the Animals,” and a story about a lonely little moon set to Claude Debussy’s “Claire de Lune.” The recording artists are from the top orchestras in New York City.

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