29 January 2012

Kinderbach: A Review

I recently received a subscription to Kinderbach to review.  Kinderbach is an online music program primarily for ages 3-7.  The great thing about their in-home program there is no need to have a musical background or training to teach this to your children.  You don't even need to have a piano, a simple keyboard will do nicely.

I have tried a few different ways of teaching piano to my kiddos.  When they were still preschool ages they attended a group music class that was fun, but I don't think they retained much.  Mr. B can hardly remember it.  When The Princess was in 1st grade I asked my sister to give her lessons once a week, just the beginning basics.  That went okay, but she wasn't really into practicing much and I wondered if I had started her a bit to early.  The next year I invested in some beginning piano books recommended by a friend who teaches music intending to teach them myself (I took 3 years of piano as a child and know the basics), but after a day's worth of school lessons it was just too much to tackle--at least it was that year.  So I have just let it go unfortunately, since private lessons are not in our budget at all.  They both have an interest though and I really want them to learn.  So when the offer to try Kinderbach came up I was excited to try it with my son since he falls into the right age category and has had less piano exposure than my daughter.

With the Kinderbach in-home program, it is very easy to incorporate the lessons into your days.  They are fun and simple to do!
There are 6 Levels of learning in this program, with each level having lessons for 10 weeks.  This is a total of 240 lessons or 60 weeks of lessons!  Each week in the level has 4 videos with short lessons that contain songs and activities.  To go along with the videos there are downloadable activity books with printable activity sheets to help them practice and reinforce what the lesson is teaching.  I should add here that my son often wanted to do more than one lesson at a time, so we would sometimes do two in a sitting.  Since he's on the high end of the ages for this program I wasn't surprised by that.  A younger child would probably go a bit more slowly.   
(Mr. B practicing drawing quarter notes)

Kinderbach is definitely for the younger student and I wondered how my 1st grade boy would respond to the simple videos.  They remind me of Blue's Clues with the colorful, green-screened backgrounds and they are geared toward the younger child.  However, he loves them!  He gets so excited every day when I say it's time for his music lesson and is ready to drop whatever he's doing in order for some music time.  I was so glad!  He faithfully follows along and then does his activity sheets, all the while telling me just how much he loves it all.  I am hoping this will help give him a good foundation for more formal lessons in the future.  

Younger students seem to do best with music lessons when either in a group setting or when their parent shows interest and participates with them.  In this way, Kinderbach provides a great foundation using rhythm instruments, dance, songs, colorful characters and more to keep the student engaged for a short lesson.  

By the end of this program your child will:
1. know all the notes on the piano by location and letter name
2. be familiar with the grand staff
3. read some individual notes on staff and all notes by pattern on staff
4. understand and read rhythms from eighth to whole notes
5. have improved listening skills so that he/she can interpret rhythms, intervals and patterns heard
6. play familiar melodies
7. play hands together or separately
8. have a strong music vocabulary
9. understand basic composition methods

Kinderbach is available as an annual subscription for only $7.99 per month--this is billed in a one-time annual payment of $95.88 which gives you a 60% savings!  If you prefer to pay monthly, it is $19.99 per month.  This membership includes online access not only through high-speed internet on your computer, but is also available on your iPad, android tablet, Kindle Fire or Nook.  It also includes the accompanying pdf activity book downloads.  

Right now they are having an awesome New Year clearance sale and you can receive 40% off of your subscription!!  Click here to sign up at 40% off.

And you can try Kinderbach for FREE!  They offer 2 weeks of lessons (with activity worksheets!) for a free trial. This is definitely worth checking out if you are at all interested!  

Disclaimer:  I received a free subscription to Kinderbach through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew and Kinderbach in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

You can read about what other homeschool parents thought about this program here.  


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