Homeschool Creations

Monday, January 5, 2009

Kinderbach: Piano for Children


Our kids have been begging to play some sort of instrument for quite some time, so I was very thrilled to have a chance to review KinderBach's music lessons. We've looked into piano lessons for the girls and lessons would be around $30/week for both girls and about one month of lessons at $120 can be a little overwhelming!

KinderBach is an online piano program that is geared toward kids between the ages of 4-7 and introduces them to the basics of piano and music instruction. The girls and I worked through quite a few of the sessions together and then they spent time on lessons independently.

The lessons are taught using cute piano pals (Frisco and Dodi are the main characters) and begins by teaching how a keyboard is set up and progresses along teaching children how to read notes, learn intervals, and identify rhythm and music patterns. Each lesson reviews prior lessons and then builds on what has been learned. Karri Gregor is the creator of KinderBach and she teaches each of the lessons. Some of the lessons have printable worksheets to go along with the lesson while others are hands on or involve the children in various ways. You can view a syllabus of the lessons here.

The lessons are broken up into short segments so they keep and hold the attention of the kids. The worksheets that go along with the lessons are easy to print off and over all the program is very user friendly. I did let Zachary (4) play along with the lessons and he really did enjoy them also. However, after we had progressed through about 10 lessons the girls (ages 6 & 7) complained that the lessons were for "preschoolers" (their words, not mine). That didn't stop them for wanting to do the lessons though. :)

Benefits of KinderBach:

  1. Saves driving time since you can do the lessons from home.
  2. Cost efficient because you can use the lessons with multiple children at a time.
  3. Works into your schedule and you don't need to juggle times around in your week.
  4. Fun approach for kids to learn.
  5. No musical training is required for you to use the lessons with your kids.
  6. Able to work at your own pace with your family to suit your needs.

My Personal Drawbacks:

  1. Sharing the computer. Our main computer isn't in a convenient location for us to have the kids working on the lessons and since our laptop is generally "hands off" for the kids it caused a few issues. Personally I think I would save up for the DVD version of the program and use it that way.
  2. The age-appropriateness of the program for our family wasn't a good fit for the girls. I feel it is geared more toward preschoolers (I would say ages 3-5).
  3. Slower internet connections will have difficulty using the online lessons...or if you have a finnicky computer (and the computer in question shall remain nameless).

The full KinderBach online program via their website is $85.95 if paid in full - right around $7 a month. If you choose to pay month-to-month it is $14.95 month. If you would like to check out some of their lessons, the first two weeks are available as a free trial.

The dvd version of the one-year program and activity books is $217.95. KinderBach has a 30 day money back guarantee.

Because Kinderbach offers different choices in teaching piano in your home (online or dvd) you are able to find the best fit for your family. I would recommend KinderBach and personally, I am looking into purchasing the DVD set for our youngest two (and I'm sure the girls will still have fun and learn along!). If you'd like to read other reviews of KinderBach head over to the Homeschool Crew blog.


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