Catalyst development programme 2021

week notes


We were contacted by our digital partner Piota who we are very excited to be working with about setting up an initial call with them, we thought that was a good idea to get the ball rolling and then we thought that sending out some hard copies of both our Songo book titles (the version for nurseries/ practitioners and the version for families) to them and any relevant people in your team was a good idea. We shared these with them electronically also but we think that the look and feel of the actual books will be informative of understanding the user experience we aim for. (Bearing in mind that our work has evolved since those publications and the scope and objectives of the app will be slightly different, so we are not aiming to reproduce the books on an app.)


We wanted to put some of our ideas down on an agenda for the first meeting. Mostly questions on how things work, what kind of features we would like etc. 


Name of the app? For us to decide


Design ideas:

Need to think mobile first as a platform


First page/ access point provides four or five options?          

Feel of the app 

  • Fun

  • Easy to use

  • Empowerment/ confidence in using it

  • Friendliness

  • Not like it is an educational experience


Behaviours we hope the app will activate/ stimulate: 

  • Playfulness 

  • Repetition (embedding learning)

  • Progression (developing learning)

  • Exploration

  • Creativity


First meeting went well, answered our questions and any queries we had, said they would deliver a v1 of the app tomorrow, I need to send out some assets for them to use for v1 of the app.  Turns out we have a common link on our Network list so that’s good!


Piota has got the v1 app ready for us, they’ve named it Musiko Musika app for now, we can change the name in the future. They put some illustrative content on the app now. We can feel free to edit it, add new articles etc on the CMS, gave us instructions on how to do so. 




Internally we have been working on a sort of “beyond Songo app” document, a document of features we would like to have now and in the future....


 Content & information delivery 

  • Users can access our videos, there is a clear and simple structure to how the content is organised, they are organised in a useful and practical way

  • Communications between nursery/ family (“Zahid really loves singing Good Morning, why don’t you try singing it at home?”

Personalisation by users

  • Users can make their own playlist

 Personalisation by nurseries

  • Nurseries can make a playlist or personalise another function 

 The app promoting parent/ child interaction, fun and learning experiences

  • Engagement prompts/ activity suggestions in the videos (“are you all standing up?”), either by singer or a voice over (we can design the content to promote interaction and parent/ carer engagement)

  • Magic Bag of Songs (needs a better name)

 Alerts etc

  • What alerts would be useful?




Prep Songo App Feedback Pre-launch Version 0.1


    • Colour scheme to improve

    • Songo logo to replace MM logo?

    • Icons… can we have an icon that looks like Songo? We can design one if needed

    • I like the tag line “We colour life with music” at the bottom

    • Update Songo image, 

    • The text “Sing along with Songo:”  looks a bit plain. Maybe we could have an integrated logo and “Sing along with Songo:” that we design using a better font/ and font colour

    • Is it useful to have the song titles (I know they are on the video, but maybe not all videos will have the title as thumbnail, or maybe all videos used should have the title as the thumbnail?)

    • Layout is generally fine. We need to think about how the list is organised… alphabetically? Themes?

    • We need to think about whether we want to include the lyrics (or having them on the video is enough)

    • An image/ thumbnail for each song. Think about whether these are a still from the video or a more standardised icon/ image (title and small image?)



After the meeting with Piota came away thinking about different colour palette, one more to do with Songo rather that Musiko Musika Logo, will send over the Songo’s World of Music colour palette we use so Piota can change the design, along with a jpeg of Songo for the home page. Also thinking about how we can create our own icon for the Songo’s Selection page, Rachel will investigate and create one to pass on to Piota



Got a draft version of the of the Songo Icon as an SVG file and on the orange background to see what it will look like. It will need to have even thicker lines and a more simplified outline but will send these to Piota and ask him whether this looks like something they could implement on to the Songo’s selection button. If they says yes or maybe then Rachel can do more work on the image to make it more suitable. 


Great news, Piota back to us they added the title line to app Homepage now and rebuilt the app in Songo's World of Music orange and blue colours we are much happier with that colour scheme. Told us to think about the ‘My Playlist’ section as that’s not something that can be done right now, rename it? Or delete it? Happy with the SVG file Rachel created and will get started on seeing how to embed it on the ‘Songo’s Selection’ page. 




Discussing with Rachel about whether it would make sense to include a “Songo’s World of Music” button to access those classes. Since the content is there and already available it would perhaps make sense to include it within the app. As we are progressing we will be able to see which content is most used and it could be handy to see whether the format is one that children and parents want to access.


Also, today will be sending out emails to get them ready for the first test phase of the app. Need to come up with a little message to send out to the parents to let them know about the project and the testing so that the nursery staff can pass it on to them. Keep it simple and clear.


Piota, asked to post something about the project on their social media platforms that was sent out today, we reposted on our social media platforms accordingly. 


Thought about what we could change the ‘My Playlist section to…”Songo’s Songbooks’ would be good so that we can use the videos that look like songbooks and include a pdf version for parents to read at home of they want that option as well. 




Thinking more about the design layouts of the song tiles, need to decide on what songs will go on the app so that we can come up with the right song tiles to replace the temporary screenshots, check if we can use PNG file for that and then go ahead and create those. Rachel has now sorted out the Clara Songbook in PDF version so that is ready to upload on the new ‘Songo’s Songbooks’ section. Piota sent us the link to the icons they use for the ap so that we could choose what icon use.




Along the design aspect we have been discussing how to best lay things out on the app, more clear ways to lay everything out. At next meeting we can show them our ideas to see if they think anything can be done. Make version for ‘Sing and Learn’, and ‘Choose a Song’. We have updated the image on the ‘Sing and Learn’ section so that it incorporates Songo and Sing and Learn logo. Need to test out the different versions to see which one looks best on the app. Also need to create the content on ‘Sing and Learn’ section with the bits of writing to alongside the songs rather than the lyrics like on ‘Choose a Song’




Piota have shared with us their definition of done document for us to have a look through and see if that’s what we consider to be done as well. Need to go through that and add any notes for the next meeting, ideally do this today. We can share our theory of change document with them at the next meeting, discuss together.


Prepare monitoring and evaluation plan for the app…

1 - Quantitative data from the app

2 - App user questions

3 - User group questionnaire/ research (that would be a small group for more detailed comments/ feedback)

4 - Nursery staff questionnaire

5 - Nursery tracking data


1 and 2 would be set up by Piota on the app, so we’ll just need to let them know what data to collect and suggest the wording for user questions. 3 & 4 could be primarily on SurveyMonkey (with the option to have a small user group and do a zoom feedback meeting if we wanted to set that up)




For the meeting today, discus:

  • Can the videos float over the page or be window in window? (keep it in the app)

  • Songo logo for MM to work on

  • Songo’s Selection icon – Piota to update

  • Ask Piota for short instructions on how to download the app so we can pass it on to the parents/nursery staff


Piota have now sent us instructions for us to pass on to parents/nursery staff, nice and simple – to the point. We have sent over M&E excel spreadsheet to them. The excel includes a few figures which are currently undefined: “XXX families have downloaded and are using the app” etc. James and I can define these on the call tomorrow. 




Follow up from call today:


  • Instructions on how to edit the opt in notifications and welcome message from Musiko Musika – I’ll take care of that

  • Piota to remove pages on app that we don’t need (i.e., ‘Test JD’ etc) and Feedback survey - finalise questions re metrics

  • Finalise/ tidy up app content

  • Catch up meeting next week before launch!




First meeting with my CAST connector Molly and OWL Ross, introduced me to Ochre platform seems like an intuitive tool to use, got to remember to keep up with my week notes! Already had some design assets on Ochre, helpful that Ross shared what they were again to help refresh my memory from the kick starter, with all this new information and various platforms it’s easy to forget. Molly is going to send over the KPI’s they use as standards and we will need to come up with some new ones that are more specific to us (3-10 but 5 is about right) Make sure to get that prepped for next 1:1 meeting. 




Launching the first test of the app with our chosen nurseries and Songo family members, sent out emails this morning with a pdf document with the instructions on it as well as link to web page on website with instructions that way parents have a choice, Piota shared some screen shots of the app so we could include them in the instructions, making them easy visual instructions to follow. 


Asked Piota what data they are able to capture on users of the app (collectively and as individuals).It would be good for us to know for further planning the monitoring and evaluation. 




Piota have got back to us on the data summary, good to know what they can capture on their side:

All per day/ month/ other periods:

1. Downloads of app (split iOS & Android)

2. Active unique users i.e., how many people opened app at least once

3. Breakdown of sections of app viewed

The above are all aggregated data i.e., no breakdown as to who looked at what

4. How many people registered themselves on app & who they are




At the first connector meeting with Molly, she mentioned a Tech For Good funding that was available, speaking with James from Piota it looked like the logical next step for us to take. James said he would back us up if we wanted to apply (on basis that having ascertained/ defined what app/website you need in this Feb-Apr period, we’d use the June 2021 funding to build and refine it further with Piota or another app company) that Piota happy to provide any support needed...




Talking it over with both directors of Musiko Musika we all thought it would be a good idea to apply for the Tech For Good funding application. Now over the next few days we will start working on the application and getting the assets ready for the video portion of the application. Thinking about how to make that work, would we use a voice over to illustrate slides and points in the video? How to make the video attractive and stand out and well concise it has to be 3 mins long, a short amount of time for a lot of information. 




Piota has sent us over a description of the items needed to enable us to build our own app and provide supplementary supporting info to Apple and Android on a spreadsheet, planning to jointly compile the answers on a call together on Monday. Will have a pre read of it and go over it with Rachel before the Monday meeting. Piota also got back to us on the video within the screen question: “For direct links to videos (mp4s and the like) we can do something like the UX shown in the video, it would need a decent few days’ work to develop - We can flesh it out when next speak? And if this becomes a Priority A project we'd scope it in more depth to get an exact idea how it would look, cost etc”




  • Fleshing out the last bits of the funding application - Rachel will do this

  • Voice over bits recorded in the morning – Mauricio can record me 

  • Need to edit it today and upload on unlisted link ready for tomorrow

  • Send link to Rachel to add to application.

  • Checked with Molly about where week notes were uploaded to/sent to




  • Sent application form out today – yay!

  • Go through what other apps on Apple and Android have the word Songo in them.

  • Go through document Piota sent us about building our own app

  • Get Apple and Android licenses done. 

  • Got some of the Songo family registered to the app, which hopefully means they will leave some feedback now

  • Must remember to ring our Speech and Language specialist Helen Ayres at some point next week about the app.




Feel like we had a productive meeting with Piota again, mid-week we will end the first test phase of the app, we’ve managed to get 5 parents to give feedback and 3 practitioners as well. Just need to get Helen (speech and language specialist) to give her feedback and that’s a nice little selection there. 


Discussed the possibility about tacking on the aspect of the app development which could potentially be tackled within the timeframe of our Catalyst programme which is the features/ functionality to create an active experience on and off screen, promoting parent/ child interaction and opportunities for learning activities. James from Piota recalled that in an earlier conversation with CAST there seemed to have been an indication that the project budget could be increased if there was a clear case for doing so.  (We need to email Molly about this tomorrow – initiate conversation)


Went through branded apps document with Piota now we know what we need to fill out for the app information: strap line, logos, title, etc. 




Going through all the different images we will need to send to Piota along with the Branded Apps document information. We have now sorted out the App icon logo, took away some of Songo’s patches on his design, it made it look less fussy on a small logo, the splash screen and home screen are still to go. Need sort out which font and colour looks best for the Sing, Play and Learn with Songo bit, will do that over a zoom call with Rachel. 


We emailed Molly if increase in the project budget was something that we could discuss with her? And if so, what other information would be useful for us to provide (detailed proposal/ costings from Piota, evidence from user research)? She emailed back saying she’ll  speak to their finance team and see if she can find out more about the project extension budget and will be in touch as soon as she hears back.




Meeting with Molly from CAST went really well, always nice to talk things through and feel like you’re moving in the right direction, went through their KPIs along with our own. We as Musiko Musiko Musika and Piota need to provide some further information for the extension grant: where we’ve been able to get to so far, what the additional budget will enable us to achieve (within the timeframe of the Development programme and how this budget will be spent by Musiko Musika (if applicable - time/people) Piota will also have to provide: What the additional budget will pay for in development terms and how this budget will be spent by Piota (time/people). 




  • We sent over additional information Molly needed so that she could send that to the finance team.

  • Piota also sent over their additional information.

  • Have decided on what Songo image we want for icon, home screen and splash screen.

  • Just need to check what font and colour we want. 

  • New sections for the launch of the new app need to be decided, do we want them on the home screen and take it up to 9 tiles or keep the tiles to just 6? Leaning towards 9.

  • That means we have to readjust the home screen logo.

  • All this needs to be done my Monday so that the developers can get on with it on Tuesday.




  • Everything has now been sent over to Piota.

  • Just had to sort out with Piota and their developers something about the notification tray on an Android phone and how the small icon looks, wouldn’t be in colour but rather in grey and white - all sorted. 

  • Piota are at the stage now where they have to switch out of the existing app to the new app version, meaning that it will not be available to the public until approval by the app stores which generally takes 7 days to do. 

  • We will send out a notification first to let everyone know about this, and then let them know when the app is live again. 

  • Will send this out tomorrow to nurseries and families. 

  • And send out to Songo family members as well who have tested the app for us. 

  • Lots of things to consider, but exciting that we are moving forward!! 




We have  2 new sections on the App now, so we have to make sure we have the right content for those bits.’ Magic bag’ and ‘World of Music’ are the names for the new sections, this means the home page has gone up to 9 tiles, so we should add the ‘Welcome’ tile on to the home page as well. 


Think about what images to use for those tiles, thinking rainbow for ‘World of Music’ and magic wand for ‘Magic bag’. 


Will need to upload new content onto YouTube, re use some of the videos we already have bit haven’t uploaded yet. 





Unfortunately, we didn’t get the full amount of the extension of what we were hoping for, but they generously asked if we would accept the additional 10% fee, and Piota did and we are making do with that. Things are still moving forward and we are very eager and excited to be getting on with things and building on our partnership with Piota. 




Had a good team meeting, updated everyone on where we are at, what needs to be done etc.


We have been doing some online zoom sessions with some of the Nurseries on our Network list and have been informing the Nursery staff of how the progress of the App is moving along. Some Nurseries have already tested the app in its first phase and some haven’t so the ones that  haven’t are eager for the next round of testing. It’s been good to doing these online lessons as part of our Songo’s Wellbeing project and tying it into this Development programme. It’s all coming together! 


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