Saturday, February 13, 2010
Kinderbach-An Online Introduction to Music for Your Little Ones
Program: Kinderbach-Online Lessons
Price: $19.99US/month or $95.88US/year
For the past year Liam has been asking me if he could take piano lessons but for financial reasons I have always been forced to tell him no, despite believing that music is an important part of a child's education. I was very happy to be chosen this year to review Kinderbach-an online introduction to the keyboard for 3-7 year olds as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. Using creative characters, engaging videos and a passionate teacher this online program actually teaches your young ones to read notes, learn intervals and rhythm and actually play simple songs.
My children, 4 and 6, really enjoyed using this program. The teacher is very enthusiastic and the kids were captivated by her energy (I wish I has some of her enthusiasm for some of the other subjects that I am teaching the children!). They enjoyed trying to sing along to the little songs and banging on their rhythm instruments. There was a fair amount of "busy work" in this program and while I did not like having to print out copies of worksheets for the kids (when they could easily call out the answers without wasting paper) the kids enjoyed these extra colouring activities as well.
While I think that this program is worth it for the youngest of students as a basic introduction to music, I would hesitate to buy this for a student that is very eager to play piano. My son is very interested in classical piano and this program, while fun, does not prepare a student for continuing further along in their musical career. There is no real emphasis on proper fingering or sitting at the piano correctly. It takes quite a while before the children are introduced to the simplest of songs and after a while my son, while enjoying the program, started asking when he would actually learn how to play the piano. I also found that while the sing-a-long songs were fun, they were often quite fast or the characters had a voice that was not easy to understand so the children often ended up stumbling over words or asking me what the character was saying.
For the price, I would happily pay for this program if I was looking for a program to see if my children have a real interest in piano or if it is just a passing phase. I think, however, that it is best suited for the preschool age group, even though my son did enjoy using the program because it was "fun" school. You can test out the first two lessons for free on their website or for $5.95 you can purchase a day pass to view the entire site to decide if this program might would for you and your family. DVDs and workbooks are also available on their website for those people that wish to use that format instead of the online membership. This is especially beneficial for families using dial-up internet or those that have many children that will use the program over and over through the years.
I encourage you to check out the Kinderbach webiste and see what their program is all about. There are many different options available and you might find one that works well for your family that will bring a whole new world beyond music appreciation to your little ones. Be sure to check out what other Crew members have said about Kinderbach here.
***Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.