Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TOS Crew Review: KinderBach

This review has been a really fun one to do with Daniel, to work together with him and watch how he is learning, as well as allowing him to play around freely with the keyboard whilst learning.
I have always wanted my children to learn the keyboard or piano but just could not honestly afford the lessons. They would probably cost about $20-30 per lesson or less if you have two children. I have never been able to learn to read music as I just don't get it. The following program is intriguing, interesting, exciting, activity based and a great learning tool for children aged 2-10 years of age I think. The program is called KinderBach.
The website reads the following information " KinderBach uses playful characters to teach note reading, rhythm, singing, and composition." The program is an introductory way to using a keyboard or piano. The lessons are simple and easy to follow with four parts to each lesson. The concepts are reinforced by repetition and by using different learning styles in each lesson. This means that no matter how a child learns they will 'click' with the lesson when their learning style is introduced. What I mean by this is that the site uses video, coloring, action and singing/talking to explain each concept.

My son loved to watch Dodi, Frisco, Carla and other characters dance across the screen finding their way to the respective homes or places on the keyboard. He also started to place his fingers on the correct keys with his arms/hands in the correct position after a few lessons. I liked to watch the enthusiasm on his face when he was accomplishing something.

With Kinderbach the child learns the sounds as well as how the notes look in printed music, and the parent does not even need to know how to read music in advance. I noticed that Daniel was identifying the keys on the keyboard faster than ever by the 10th lesson. He would also tell me what was a half note and a whole note once he knew them. He loved the reward at the end of a school day of playing the keyboard with the computer as his teacher!

There is a coloring book for each level of lessons. The onscreen teacher guides the child through the lesson step by step and there is nothing left to chance as to what to do next. This is definitely something that I think I will be focusing on using duirng my next year of teaching as it inspired my son so much.

The lessons are available online for a cost of $95.88 per year paid in advance which works out to be about $7.99 a month. If you can only afford a monthly subscription then 12 separate payments of $19.99 per month can be made during the year. An online subscriptions gives you access to all web lessons (240 sessions) as well as accompanying PDF coloring pages which are printed out before starting your lesson.

The alternative is to purchase DVD's Activity Packages of Level 1-6 either individually for $40.45 each or in a bundle of 2-3 levels for a variety of prices. A Level 1-6 DVD package sells for $202.88 currently. KinderBach does offer a free online trial of 2 free lessons before you decide to purchase any product from them. This gives you an opportunity to see if you and your child like learning this way. Their website is here : http://www.kinderbach.com/index.html for you to click through to and sign up for those free lessons.

The Old Schoolhouse Crew Blog does have at least 90 reviews of KinderBach at the link below and I think you will find a few good opinions on there to help you make a decision on whether this program is right for your family. Oh yes I do remember this cost you pay is for the whole family to use either as an online or DVD curriculum and you do not have to pay per child.
When you factor in the cost of private lessons for each child at such a young age and the transportation to/from those lessons you will probably figure out this is a unique opportunity to invest in some great curriculum. Here is the link for the TOS Crew reviews:
I was sent this product to review as part of the TOS Crew for 2009-10. I have written the above personal review of the KinderBach product for this blog and have not been paid for any part of this information.

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