Monday, January 5, 2009
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out the products and giving you my honest opinion.
I have to tell you, I have been excited about Kinderbach from the minute I received an email from Karri Gregor, the creator of the program, asking me to review it. We have wanted our children to take piano lessons for about three years now, but it has simply never been in the budget. Kinderbach not only makes it affordable to teach your 2-7 year old beginning piano lessons, it is also makes it so, so easy!
Kinderbach's lessons can be viewed online or by DVD. We received our lessons online. You will need access to a keyboard (or piano), but any 36-48 key keyboard will do. I found one on ebay for $10. They are also sold at Wal-Mart for around $20. If you are viewing your lessons online, you will need high speed internet. (I would personally recommend purchasing a set of speakers for your computer if you don't have them, as the sound is a little low without them...at least on my computer it is. I bought speakers for $15 the other day and they work perfectly.)
Kinderbach offers 60 weeks or two years of lessons. Each week has 4 short lessons. The lessons are taught by Miss Karri with the help of her friends...adorable cartoon characters. Miss Karri engages the children in a way that makes it feel like she is in your living room with you. Your children will learn so much from her! Here is a quote from their website:
"KinderBach not only teaches piano, but other factors of music. Music theory, note reading, rhythm, ear training, hand position and much much more!
KinderBach was designed to give your child the over all music foundation. Your child can take everything they have learned from KinderBach and apply it to another instrument or continue further with piano. KinderBach was designed to be a spring board, taking this information and just going to endless bounds with what they have learned!"
This program moves pretty slowly, geared toward the pre-schooler/kindergartner, but even my 8 year old enjoyed it. I was afraid he might think it was too "babyish", but he didn't have time to think that as he got caught up in how much the other kids were enjoying it! I would gather my 3, 5, 6, and 8 year old all around the computer screen. Generally we would watch 4 lessons (one week's worth) in one sitting. The lessons are only about 8 minutes long and you can view them over and over again for review. There are also worksheets that correspond with some of the lessons that you can print from your home printer. You can totally let Miss Karri teach your students without being involved in the teaching. Even so, I had fun watching the videos too, so I learned right along with kids.
I was even pleasantly surprised to find that A6 has quite an ear for music...well, not so surprised since she's been clapping the beat and singing in tune to songs since she was two. But now I have evidence...one day after our Kinderbach lessons, A6 was playing on the keyboard. She came to me excitedly and said "Listen!" Then she promptly began playing a tune from the Kinderbach lessons...one that had not been taught! As a matter of fact, in that point in our lessons we had not yet learned to play any tunes on the keyboard, but just to keep the beat to the song by pressing two keys over and over. I was quite impressed with my little musician!
You can purchase the Kinderbach lessons on DVD in sets of five weeks or get the entire first year (30 weeks) for $197.95. Or you can have access to all 60 weeks worth of lessons online for just $85.95 per year. I think that's a pretty sweet deal when you figure piano lessons usually cost no less than $40 per month per child. Kinderbach also offers a 30-Day money back guarantee and you can try the first two weeks for free! So with the risk of sounding like a corny, late-night infomercial...what are you waiting for?!
Check out other reviews of Kinderbach at the TOS Crew blog.
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