Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Music, Music Everywhere - A New TOS Review!!

Both my husband and I love music and I want my children to have a love for music.  I would also like for them to be able to (eventually) play one (if not several) instruments.  I have played piano since I was a child and even though I'm not awesome at it, I can play a song here and there, I know the keys and if I need to play I could.  My husband has played saxophone since he was a child and has several of those.  He has also dabbled with playing the guitar.  He actually has 3 guitars, a mandolin, wants a base, and I have a violin (which I bought many years ago to teach myself how to play since that is one instrument I have always wanted to play.)  So needless to say, music is in our bones.

While pregnant with both of my daughters I was actually on the worship team at our church.  When my eldest was very young we knew she had music in her bones too.  Audrie has it too, but she loves to dance and whenever music is on she's moving to it.  Both of them have shown interest in learning how to play the piano as well as one of our plethora of other instruments.  That is why I was so happy to get chosen to be on the review team for Kinderbach.
The Product:Kinderbach is a program created for children between the ages of three and seven to have lessons be broken down into child-sized portions.  The creator, Kari Greggor, is the one who will be teaching each of the lessons to your children.  You can see her enthusiasm for music and teaching in each of the short sessions.  Each week has an introduction as well as 4 short sessions ranging from 3-10 minutes each.  The lessons include watching instructional yet fun videos, learning new songs that they will also learn to play later, coloring exercises (from available corresponding PDF printables) to help cement basic music theory, games and activities .  All of these pieces help the big picture of MUSIC to come to life for the children.

There are a total of 60 lessons that cover 6 levels.  Each lesson exposes your children to music theory without them even knowing it.  The children are introduced to fun characters that help them explore the music in a very fun and entertaining way.  Each character (as you will learn) stands for an actual musical note on the piano.  For instance, we first are introduced to Frisco and Dodi.  Frisco is a little boy and Dodi is a donkey.  Frisco builds Dodi a house on the two black keys.  There are seven characters (for the seven notes).

 You can either use the program online or choose to purchase the DVD or CD versions.  You can try the program out free for the first 2 weeks.  The cost of the program after that is $5.95 for a one-day pass, $19.99 for one month, and $95.88 for a one-year subscription.  If you are dissatisfied with the program, Kinderbach has a 30 day money-back guarantee.  Now that shows confidence in their product!

Our Experience:
We jumped into this program straight away!  My girls loved it. Actually all the kids loved it (including the two other littles I watch.)  Here's a picture of them all participating in the lesson.  We were able to login to Kinderbach via the Wii.  I didn't know this was going to be able to be done, but I was VERY excited that it did work.  Using the Wii allowed us to have room to all watch and participate and do our lesson, whether coloring an activity page, tapping a rhythm instrument, playing on the piano or watching the lesson.

The program was set up to complete one lesson per week.  We were able to complete one lesson in one day.  So what we did was to watch a lesson once fully through.  The second time we participated fully in it (depending on what we were working on - playing the piano, rhythm exercises, etc.)  Then we would watch the lesson at least one more time (if not several more times.)  We would do about 2-3 lessons every week.  I was trying to make sure not to go to fast, but also keep from them becoming bored.

For the online version you also can download corresponding PDF books that have about 60 pages in each.  There is one for each level.  They can be printed as a book or you can select individual pages as necessary.  Some of the worksheets will need to be printed to be used during the lesson, but each lesson tells you that on the side of the screen.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely love this program.  And so do my children!  I think the way that Miss Karri explains the subject is the real reason that this program is so effective.  The pace of the program is slow, but it does teach the children to instinctively know where the keys are on the piano.  So slow and steady is the name of the game.  As I said earlier we would go over lessons more then once to help them remember them and because they enjoyed them.

My 2yo LOVED the lessons to.  He asks for the train one A LOT (but he loves trains) and also loves to participate during any of the rhythm parts.  I am glad that this was something all of the children could participate in.

(I have a picture to put in here, but it won't upload. I will try and add it tomorrow because it is so cute.)

On that note, this is definitely geared more for the younger children.  While my eldest, who is 7.5, enjoyed it and participated along with everyone else, if she had any prior musical knowledge this might have been too remedial for her.  Since this is not the case and she is learning, she loves it along with my younger two.
 I'm sure you are wanting to check Kinderbach our for yourself so go and do that now.  Then make sure you go and see what other Crew members thought about Kinderbach, too!

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

1 comment:

Very Blessed Mamma said...

Very good review. We love KinderBach too!

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