Friday, January 22, 2010

TOS Crew: Kinderbach

Music education is very dear to my heart, since I grew up with years of piano lessons.  It's something my parents started with me when I was 5 years old.  Naturally, I want to instill a love for music into my own children.  I've started trying to teach Jacob the piano this year, and when we had the chance to review Kinderbach online piano lessons, I was so ready.  

Kinderbach is a program that doesn't just sit your child in front of a piano with a book and expect him to learn rhythm, music theory, etc.  Kinderbach actually uses all of the learning styles together to make music interesting, learnable, and fun for your child.  Designed for ages 3-7, it's meant for those early preschool ages; I did feel, at first, that the lessons were a little "childish" for Jacob, but as we got into them more, he was really learning, and he was enjoying it too.  Using the computer, basic rhythm instruments (we used pens; hey, they worked), and a keyboard, Jacob has been able to comprehend more than I could have taught him myself right now.  I actually enjoyed staying with him through the lessons and doing the rhythm beats, song singing, and activities together.  The nice thing is that if you don't have any musical background, it's ok.  You can learn right along with your child.  The lessons are very simple and short, so they don't require a long attention span either, which was nice for Jacob, as he's a mover.  Here are some of the things your child will learn from Kinderbach:
  • Music vocabulary
  • Music theory- note reading, time signature, fingering, different types of notes, etc.
  • Rhythm and beat value
  • Physical technique
  • "Do Re Mi" singing
  • Listening skills- learning high vs. low sounds, etc.
  • Ear training
  • Introduction to music composition- with Bach.
  • Keyboard landscape- using characters, activities, etc.

The lessons include several colorful characters, including Miss Diddle, the Beat Bug Brigade, Frisco, Dodi, and others.  Jacob absolutely loved Dodi and Frisco.  The keyboard is the home for all of these characters, as you will see when your child begins learning where different keys are.  The characters are also included in the printable worksheets that came with our lessons.

With several lessons, your child will have games, puzzles, coloring activities, and more to help reinforce what he is learning.  He will sometimes work right along with the video.

There are 6 levels to Kinderbach, each level having 10 lessons.  You can use Kinderbach for one or all of your children, which is nice when you consider the cost of having multiple children in piano lessons.  You can purchase a Kinderbach online membership for $7.99 a month, paid in one lump payment of $95.88 annually; or if you choose to pay monthly, it's $19.99/month.    They also have DVD packages available, as well as extras (worksheets, coloring pages, etc.) to go along with the lessons.  You can try it for free here.  I definitely recommend Kinderbach, especially with the cost of music education nowadays.  In my opinion, it can give your child an early start  and an education that's going to stick with him for a lifetime, possibly helping him if he chooses to keep playing piano or chooses to play another instrument later on.  It has definitely helped Jacob to learn how rhythm works, which is something he didn't quite understand before.  Here's a video that tells you a bit more about Kinderbach.

To read more reviews, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog

(Disclosure: I was given a Kinderbach trial, free of charge, by Kinderbach, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.)


Mama to 3 Blessings January 22, 2010 at 8:55 AM  

1st time visiting your blog - thank you for the piano info - I have a women in our homeschool group that teaches piano & I am thinking about having her teach my son, this would help. your very resourceful! :)

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