Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kinderbach App

     KinderBach has been offering dvd and online beginner piano lessons for young students for over a decade.  As a matter of fact, we had the opportunity to review their online lessons a couple of years ago and loved it!  However, I have to tell you, I'm even more excited to tell you about the new KinderBach app for iPad and iPhone.

     The Kinderbach app offers 30 lessons ( a full year curriculum) geared toward 3 to 7 year olds.  These are the same colorful, fun lessons offered on the KinderBach dvd and online curriculum taught by Miss Karri and her animated friends.  But the app makes the lessons portable and even more interactive! 
     Each time the student plays a lesson of the KinderBach app a keyboard pops up at the bottom for the student to play along!  I loved this feature and so did L4 who has been faithfully "doing her school on the iPad" as she calls it with KinderBach.

     The 30 lessons are divided up over 3 Levels (with 10 lessons per level).  As you can see from the screenshot above, when we click on a lesson our keyboard pops up and we can choose to watch the intro and 4 available videos for that lesson.  Each video is anywhere from 2-5 minutes long.  Therefore we can complete an entire lesson in less than 20 minutes.


     I decided to use KinderBach with L4 because she is at the perfect age for it.  She feels so special that she gets to "play" on the iPad like her big siblings!  Most days, I will sit next to L4 and we will work through the entire lesson watching each video together.  Then she will play the accompanying KinderBach game.  However, many times I have let her simply play with the app watching the videos herself.  This app is user friendly enough that once I showed her how to use it, she can easily operate it alone even though she is pre-reading.
     Dodi is a donkey and one of the fun characters that Miss Karri uses to teach the students about rhythm notes, finger placement, and to play simple songs.  These characters really make the lessons interesting for young students.  You will not find a boring teacher lecturing on camera in any of these videos...instead you will see Miss Karri dancing and singing about Dodi and his house (which happens to be the two black keys next to each other on the keyboard)! 
     Printable worksheets are also offered through the app.  When a worksheet is available for a particular lesson, a "print" icon will appear on the screen.  Your printer must be compatible with Airprint to use this function.  If you don't have that, the PDFs are available for an additional purchase.  However, we found that the worksheet material was thoroughly covered in the videos and we really didn't need to print them.

     A great motivational factor for L4 are the six games (one shown above) that are unlocked as she progresses through the lessons.  

Additional Thoughts

     L4 has definitely enjoyed the KinderBach app and we will continue to use it.  Because she is still only four, I have felt like it is beneficial to our move through the lessons slowly.  I usually repeat a lesson with her a couple of times before moving on to the next one.  Because of that, we have not yet completed Level 1.  I also plan to start this with H7 soon.  She is an advanced reader but hasn't had much introduction to music.  I know that she would really enjoy these lessons and could easily do them independently on the iPad.

     The first 2 lessons  and 1 game of the KinderBach app is offered free.  Lessons can be purchased individually through the app after that or you can purchase the "Classroom KinderBach: School Version" for just $26.99.  I received the Classroom version to review and it is just like the free version, except that the in-app purchases are removed and you have all 30 of your lessons available to you with one up-front fee.

     Please click on over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew to read more reviews of KinderBach! 

Disclaimer: I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the last few years. The only compensation that I receive for my review is the free product. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in review groups and I have enjoyed trying out these products and giving you my honest opinion.
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