Nature Maestro Apps Empower Environmental Education through Sound

in Education (E)

[] Sebastopol, California - In celebration of Earth Week 2015, Earth in Concert announces the launch of four Nature Maestro(R) iPad apps: Rainforest Day, Rainforest Night, Glacier Bay, and Expedition. Nature Maestro introduces students to Earth's biomes and animals through immersive audio and visual explorations. Students and adults use their creativity and imagination to build, compose, and share audio-rich soundscapes using authentic animal sounds recorded on location by Dennis Hysom in North and Central America. Animal and biome illustrations are hand-drawn originals by Christine Walker. "Not everyone is able to travel to a rainforest or sit there alone for hours at a stretch day and night," Hysom says. "Nature Maestro gives people a sense of immersion through a mobile app.

"Standing quietly in a rainforest and listening intently, away from any human-made noise, is transformative. There's a sense of connection to the natural world that is difficult to find in everyday life. It comes from being still and listening. It's like a meditation. Even a loud sound, like a howler monkey or scarlet macaw, can be joyful, thrilling." A sound recordist and composer with many music and nature albums and a major motion picture background ambience to his credit, Hysom had the idea for an app as a way to share his experiences of recording in nature.

Nature Maestro Rainforest Day and Nature Maestro Rainforest Night feature Costa Rican rainforest biomes. Nature Maestro Glacier Bay features Alaska's North Pacific coastal biome. Nature Maestro Expedition combines these biomes with an Earth in Concert section, including a world map for composing with all the animal sounds. The apps are enriched for educators and contain standards-aligned, project-based learning activities for classrooms and home schooling. Dr. John McCosker of the California Academy of Sciences provided review and validation of the animal facts included in the app.

* Compose soundscapes up to two minutes by arranging animal and weather sounds
* Record external voices to tell stories and imitate the animals
* Flip, rotate, and scale animals and nature elements to create scenes
* Add nature ambience, rhythms and melodies
* Preview and share soundscapes
* Play audiovisual matching games
* Listen and read-along verbatim to nature fun facts and glossary
* Experience stereo and panning effects when wearing earphones
* Map geo location and distance to the biome
* Use Field Notes to inspire project-based learning
* For children 6 to 11, parents and educators
* No in-app purchases or third-party advertising
* Nature Maestro Expedition is COPPA compliant

"In the long run, when it comes to protecting our Earth's great places, people with an affinity for nature will be more likely to make wise choices for our planet's health and for living in harmony with the natural world. In the short run, listening to nature develops patience, perseverance, and compassion," Hysom says. "When recording in the rainforest, you have to sit for a long time, waiting unobtrusively. A bird passes close by and you hear its wings flap and see its coloration. The feeling of being engulfed in a habitat, surrounded by wildlife, is profound.

"I'm grateful for the experiences I had composing a music and nature album series that took me to great places in North and Central America - from the Costa Rican rainforests to the Dakota's tall grass prairies, from the Caribbean to the Louisiana Bayou to Alaska's Glacier Bay," Hysom says. "With Nature Maestro, we wanted the apps to be distinguished not only by sound quality and visual beauty, but also by their ability to deliver rich, engaging experiences. We've created a versatile platform upon which to build more apps about more biomes throughout the world and present the content for immersive learning aided by mobile devices. In producing Nature Maestro, we are fortunate to be working with Island Innovation LLC for application design, development, and testing. Nature Maestro is built with Apple's SDK Xcode and uses Open AL, and the Amazing Audio Engine to ensure high sound quality."

Device Requirements:
* iPad iOS 7.1 or higher

Nature Maestro Rainforest Day $2.99
Nature Maestro Rainforest Night $2.99
Nature Maestro Glacier Bay $2.99
Nature Maestro Expedition $9.99

In celebration of Earth Week 2015, Nature Maestro Rainforest Day will be free for download on Wednesday, April 22. In alliance with Moms with Apps, Nature Maestro Expedition will be free on Friday, April 24. Nature Maestro apps are designed for learning and open-ended play and contain no in-app purchases or third-party advertising.

Earth in Concert is a general partnership between Dennis Hysom and Christine Walker. Through music, art, books, apps, and other products and services, Earth in Concert encourages creativity, an awareness of nature, and caring for our planet and one another. Dennis Hysom is a musician, composer, songwriter, sound designer, and audio and web producer. He has composed eight instrumental albums combining music with nature sounds. The major motion picture "Apocalypto" featured nature ambiences that he recorded on location. He also designs and produces audio for interactive media, broadcast, video, education, sound libraries, and audio tours for major museum exhibitions around the world. Christine Walker is an artist, author, visioning facilitator, and educator. Her paintings are in private and corporate collections internationally. Hysom and Walker are also the creators of eight award-winning children's song albums. Island Innovation LLC, based on Maui, facilitates client innovation through strategy and software. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2015 Earth in Concert. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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