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3 note ratingReview of the Lenny's Music Toons

 

 

  L
 

enny's Music Toons is a delightful, funny, clever and amazing piece of software. It utilizes wonderful graphics and games that help young students improve their note recognition, memory, compositional and arranging skills. Unfortunately, it should also bear a caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) sticker on the package, based on our experience dealing with Technical Support for this software.

 

 

The opening screen of Lenny's Music Toons is a depiction of Professor Lenny in his living room. Virtually everything on this screen is "live". Click on any object shown and you get a funny animation with nice sound effects, which younger children love. This screen is the entry point to the other parts of the program which focus more directly on musical skills.

To help sharpen note recognition skills, students can choose from three different planets where a video game has them destroy airplanes, flying saucers, or hob goblins. To destroy the objects they have to find the note that the object tells them to find on the monitor keyboard. The student learns note recognition while collecting points to go on to the next level. Kids and adults love it and there is a lot of humor at all levels in the game. The sound effects going along with the game add to the interest. Another section of the software also includes a memory buster matching game, starting out with easy objects to match up and proceeding to much more difficult patterns to remember.

There is also a wonderful section of the software called the puzzle. A song is played in it's entirety and then the phrases are jumbled up and the student has to recall musically where in the piece of music the particular phrase belongs. If too many are missed, a very silly gorilla makes funny noises; if the piece of music is correctly re-assembled, a little cat is saved by Professor Lenny and the screen comes alive with lots of action and music.

Students are given a chance to produce and orchestrate their own videos and theatrical productions. For the videos, phrases of music are presented for the student to organize as they wish. The student can choose the speed, volume, phrase structure of the music and then pick the stars, co-stars and props of the video. It is wonderful to see the students listen carefully to the assorted phrases and then sort them according to their concepts of musical form and structure. The students can also invent their own theatrical production, again choosing the style of music, the rhythm, the stars, co stars, and really get involved in the learning of musical form, styles and structure.

One major negative aspect of this program is that there is no provision for saving one's position in the program to file. All games have to start again from the beginning, which can be frustrating to users.

The strongest negative impression we have of this software stems from our experience in trying to a get a defective diskette replaced that we purchased. In spite of spending over an hour on the phone with Tech Support, including two cycles of phone round-robin, we could not get a replacement disk sent to us. The initial remedy we were given was that we purchase a new package at full price at our expense! Finally, after considerable dispute of the ridiculous nature of that position and at the insistence of the company reps we talked to, we followed their specific instructions and sent the entire package back to the company along with our purchase receipt. After three months, we have yet to receive the replacement or the refund. We finally performed this review on a version of the software we purchased as included in a CD-ROM discount pack. If you choose to purchase Lenny's Music Toons, we suggest you go to your local discount store and buy it in a $10 10-pack of CD-ROM's just as we finally did. Since the program is long since out of production and no longer supported, but still available at a very low price, our problems securing tech support should not divert anyone from this program, if they are willing to solve any problems that might occur themselves.

Lenny's Music Toons, version 1.0. Compatible with MPC /Windows 3.1, 386 or better IBM-compatible PC with 4 Mb RAM, Super VGA display, MPC compatible sound board, Windows 3.1 or greater. Paramount Interactive. Available from www.oldsoftware.com/ibm.html  at $6, plus S/H. 

Postscript: Two weeks after the appearance of this review on The Piano Education Page we finally received our replacement copy of Lenny's Music Toons.

 
 
 
 
Page created: 3/3/96
Last updated: 01/30/15
 
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