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Catalyst development programme 2021

week notes



January 2021


February 2021



Digital Development Planning meeting:


  • “Sing Songo” branded app launch on or around 8th March

  • To include new songs, Songo’s World of Music and Magic Bag!

  • Change the name of Magic Bag! To Magic Box!

  • Expanded number of testers (encourage testers from across the network + a couple of teachers from Chile)

  • New songs for March 8th

       How Many Trees? (shorter, Yemisi live or edit video)

       First Thing in the Morning (animation) 

       Sparkling Sea (video with fish) 

       Eight Little Monkeys (animation)

       In reserve is “I’m Going To…”

  • Different layout for “World of Music” need to get Thumbnails for the list and upload those.

  • What songs should go into what section?

  • Create new thumbnails for the Magic Box! Videos, with question marks, musical notes, etc.

  • Should probably create 3 of these, 3 videos on there is enough for now.



The Songo + banner a little too constrained, so Rachel made the lettering a little bit larger and moved it slightly further away so Songo is the same size but it makes better use of the space overall. I have attached the png and a mock-up for you to see. The only issue is that since we do not know the dimensions of the area that this icon can occupy it may be that the result will be that the overall size is smaller. But I still think this will be an improvement on Songo having the letters too close to him.


The strapline at the bottom of the home page is currently “We colour life with music”. This doesn’t serve any purpose in this context (especially as it is white letters so very not colourful). My suggestion is that this should be changed to "Sing Songo by Musiko Musika” - when the app is open it’s good to remind people what it’s called and it connects it with Musiko Musika…



Got a response back from James about the changes we wanted:


We will hold off on implementing them for a short while? - with your own app in app stores any design changes to front page of app need to be submitted to Apple and Android for approval in a new version release. If we do that now we'd need to cancel the existing app submission and replace with new one which would reset the 7-day review clock and given the rejections back and forth so far is only going to increase the complexity of getting it approved.


After an app is approved for first time subsequent submissions are reviewed on a less stringent 1 day turnaround basis so the suggestion is:

  • Get existing submission approved (hopefully, by Monday) and in use in app stores

  • Submit new version a decent interval later (1-2 weeks) 



Have been uploading the YouTube content for the Magic Bag!/Box! Section, meaning I have to upload them put a new thumbnail on the video that disguises the actual song, Rachel has done these in 4 colours so we can alternate the songs, monthly? Couple of weeks? Not sure on this just yet. Once the app is running need to check if the Magic Bag!/Box! Section is working properly as it isn’t showing up in the test flight mode, Piota will fix that once we are up and running! Once it is fixed we can then add the images in there instead of having the YouTube boxes like the ‘Songo’s Selection’ bit that way the user just clicks the different image that then leads them to the song on  YouTube. 


Unfortunately, we didn’t get the Comic Relief funding but we will still persevere and continue to look for more funding opportunities to carry on working with Piota and keep improving the app!

Piota are looking at doing a webinar  for the charities world on topic of apps for NFPs. the content would be primarily introductory-level advice (what can an app do for charities; technology choices; data security; design questions; set up and ongoing costs; a guided tour through a couple of apps etc) they are thinking of aiming it at people who are wondering:


  • whether an app could add anything to what they have already – e.g. Could it enhance engagement, streamline comms, stimulate donations, improve feedback?

  • and if so, a primer about the things to think about in next steps of testing/ getting/ designing an app


Provisional date for first one is Wed 24 Mar and would love to feature Songo app 


 We said we would be able to contribute a segment about our work with Piota (and background to that). We’d suggest up to 10 minutes depending on the overall length of your webinar, and then we could contribute in the Q&A where relevant. And yes definitely we’d welcome including a browse through the Songo app as part of the webinar. 

Our initial thoughts are that we could include:


  • Why we wanted to develop an app/ digital content and why we think it’s needed in the context of our work

  • How the app development is working for us as a process

  • Where it might take us in the future


We will try to keep the above quite generalised and not include too much that would only be relevant to music/ education charities as some aspects of why we are doing this and how it is developing are very much to do with how music content sits within digital and online media. 



We are planning our own Network Sharing Event that we are due to hold on the 29th March .The main audience will be the nurseries and organisations that are in our network for the project, but we will be extending an invitation to some other organisations (including a representative from Arts Council England’s Digital Network who would like to attend). We have asked Piota to contribute as well and they said they would be happy to, will go over the outline of the seminar in the next couple of days with Rachel.



The aim of the seminar is to share our learning and experience from the project and discuss the power of digital in participatory arts projects and music education


The objectives are to

  • Share our learning and experience from the project so far 

  • Discuss how to fully exploit the potential of the Sing Songo app, successfully rolling it out and implementing across more settings etc 

  • Consider how this type of digital tools can be adapted to other participant groups/ educational/ cultural activities 

  • Engage network partners in evaluating the project and the outcomes/ outputs 


It is also an opportunity for us to promote this work, raise our profile and enlarge the network/ support for MM and Piota 


Agenda would be:


  • Welcome!! (2mins)

  • Part 1 Our story before this current catalyst project (5 mins)

  • Part 2 About this Catalyst project (8 mins)

  • Part 3 Working with a developer, Piota (10 mins) 

  • Part 4 Where can this go next? (10 mins)

  • Part 5 Q&A (10 mins)



The app is live and running on the app stores! I will send out the link to our whole network and send out invites to our Sing Songo Seminar at the same time. Very excited about this!! 


  • Need to set up event registration page for people to have the option to sign up via that for out Seminar.

  • Email Chilean Network to come to the seminar, should be able to make it with the time difference we have now. 

Could include a couple of the teachers we have previously worked with in Chile to come along as well.  



We have an outline of what we could provide for Piota’s webinar:


  • MM’s Early Years projects produce a lot of very high quality and effective learning resources for use in nurseries, for families at home, training videos for nursery teachers

As an organisation our challenges were how to make these more accessible and how to increase our reach and impact as a relatively small organisation

(slide = video/ books/ CDs/ audio + challenge)


  • Timing and Covid 

We have been developing our digital strategy for more than 10 years 

Convinced that a well-designed digital tool would offer really good solutions to these issues

Big shift for us came with the pandemic, which gave us more time to focus on digital and funders also increased their support for digital

Secured funding to develop an E-learning tool for families with young children supporting early years learning and development

Selected Piota as our digital partner and the release of our own branded Sing Songo app


(slide = MM Digital Strategy – Explore Project (R&D) – Catalyst Project – Sing Songo app)


  • Our experience of app development

Laura to lead on key points and key features/ functions of Sing Songo app

(Slide = Sing Songo app images)


  • Future developments

Promotion and further developments of Sing Songo features, functions and content

Using the app framework for content delivery for other programme areas such as our ECCO orchestra and World Music Academy projects

              (Slide = Sing Songo/ ECCO / WMA logos)


Need to send it to James and see if that is alright.



Good last 1:1 session with Molly who informed us that she is leaving CAST in April so she introduced us to our new connector Reem who was very helpful with explain how to do our Roadmap. Went through our KPI’s, check we were on top of things.


James came to the meeting and said how there is a stronger relationship than would be usual between a developer and a charity partner. The programme has allowed them to spend more time, learn, develop together with us – we feel the same and can’t wait to continue working with them!



Asked Piota to contribute to our online seminar as well…would like them to talk about their experience of the process, what was it like from their perspective – probably around 5-7 mins. And a pre-recorded video would probably work best. That’s how we will be doing our bit for them, means less hassle for the person hosting it as they can simply play and share the slide/videos without having to grant us permission etc. 



Got to start making a start on my playback slides for the Wrap up session on the 25th March, make sure to keep it tight and no more than 6 slides as we only have 5 mins. Also remember to send it in by the 23rd!! 


Got some updates to discuss with Piota:


  • The Songo homepage logo -  we have an updated version with better spacing between Songo and the words, could that be replaced please.

  • The strapline at the bottom of the page “We colour life with music” could we please change it to “Sing Songo by Musiko Musika”

  • I’ve  got an updated SVG file to replace the democratic donkey on “Songo’s Selection”, this one has Songo with the 3 patches like the App logo image. 

  • We would like to change the “Magic Bag!” name to “Magic Box!”

  • The homepage screenshot on the App Store is showing the 6 tiles rather than 9.

  • The App Store says languages include Cambodian, Italian etc….


Have scheduled a meeting for next Tuesday.



Over the weekend we will work on some tweaks on the app. We want to switch around the songs for the new testing, add a couple  additional live action ones that haven’t been used yet. 

  • That means we need, new thumbnails, new tiles 

  • Upload them on to YouTube, as unlisted. 

  • If we put any of  them in the ‘Magic Bag!!’ section - upload twice. 

  • Check order of songs on ‘Choose a Song’ section

  • Make a song change in ‘Songo’s Selection’ 

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