Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kinderbach New TOS Review

Online Video Sessions or Lessons by DVD

KinderBach LLC | P.O. Box 181 Le Claire, IA 52753 || 1-563-332-0587

Online:  Monthly $19.99
            Annual    $95.88
            One Day Pass $5.95

DVD:   Beginning at $40.45  per level.   Various Packages are also available

Both of these come with a 30 Day Money Back guarantee

Try a free trial here.
Several coloring pages and a sample song download are also available on KinderBach's homepage.

Many studies have shown that the study of music provides numerous benefits especially to children.  Not only is it a source of enjoyment and relaxation music study can help the brain to learn and retain other information better. Some experts even suggest the earlier music study is begun the more it will benefit the child. Many parents and homeschooling parents realize how important it is for children to study music but often the lack the knowledge to teach their child or the cost is prohibitive. Many parents may also feel it is better to wait until their child is older to begin music lessons to early.

One opportunity to expose young children to music is through KinderBach, a beginning piano course for children ages 2-7. KinderBach operates on the philosophy that the ideal time for a child to begin musical training is between 3 and 6 years of age.

From the website, "Kinderbach students learn to play piano, read notes, learn intervals, rhythm and music patterns".

Sample of Session
The KinderBach program consists of  short sessions, about 3-6 minutes each with 4 sessions for a week. There are a total of 60 sessions in 6 levels. These sessions teach and expose the child to the arrangement of the keyboard, different types of notes and the number of beats they get, how to move up and down the keyboard and different tones and volumes the keys make.  They are also taught finger numbering and what part of their finger to use.  Some technical terms are introduced, but is a child friendly manner.The sessions are a mix of live interaction with the instructor and cartoon type featuring the various characters
of the program.Thus there is a mix of basic technique instruction as well as music theory.

The length of time given to different notes is taught using the idea of standing for half notes and walking for quarter notes or sit down waiting for a whole note. Students practice this using some type of rhythm instrument, whether it is a drum, sticks, or even wooden spoons.  The choice is up to the parent. Stair steps give a visual to explain staying on one note or up for down for moving along the keyboard.

Each note has a character whose name begins with that note.  For example Dodi is for D, Carla is for C,  E is for Edward, Felicity for F and Gracie for G.

Letter Characters

Sample Activity Page
There are activity books which are integral to the use of the program.  The pages are featured in the video sessions and contain activities which are done both at that time and later on to reinforce the concepts introduced.  Some are simple coloring, others are matching, and other ways to reinforce the concepts that are shown in the videos.  There are also a number of song sheets included which are used to teach the child how to follow along on music.  The videos clearly show how the activity pages are to be used.

Activity Book Covers

All of these concepts are reviewed quite frequently.  Generally several different concepts are reviewed over the course of a weeks sessions.

Additional materials of a rhythm instrument, crayons are often needed.  Occasionally scissors and glue are also required.

How We Used KinderBach

My 6 year old Son has been wanting to take piano lessons for quite a while, but we just didn't feel he was ready to begin.  The teacher our daughter has also felt it might benefit him to wait a little while also.  So when we learned we would have the chance to review Kinderbach he was ecstatic and couldn't wait to begin.  He quickly watched through the first several weeks of the online program and didn't need to spend much time with it as he was already familiar with the concepts of the sets of 2 and 3 black keys, and high and low sounds.  Since these were essentially review for him his enthusiasm was tempered a bit.

After I explained that he could watch more than one session at a time so he could progress at a faster speed he was excited again. As he progresses he is reviewing the content of those first sessions periodically so I don't think he really missed anything crucial.  He has finished through week 25 of the program and begs to use it everyday. Sometimes he decides on his own that he needs to go back and rewatch a session because he didn't get everything in it.  I am glad he is this enthusiastic and can determine what he needs to study more for himself.

He has used many of the activity pages but not all of them.  I generally ask him if he thinks he needs a particular page especially when it comes to reviewing a topic.  I don't want to burden him with extra paper and crayon work if he knows what is being taught.

He is really loving KinderBach and wants to finish the program.  He is so eager to play the piano and I am seeing him make progress in his musical knowledge and abilities.  Sometimes the review is a bit much for him, but as he is towards the upper end of the recommended age range I understand that.  If he had used KinderBach at a younger age the review would have been good for him.  I also think he has picked up a lot by being in the room during my daughters lessons as well as our discussions at home.

The instructor is very welcoming and personable.  She makes the program exciting and welcoming for the children by her enthusiasm. I also like how she explains step by step how to use the activity sheets to the child. Several of the activity sheets require cutting which may need to be done by an adult for the youngest users.

One concern I have with the program is I have not heard notes referred to by their names or the keys being called by their names.  I have watched some of the sessions further along and have not noticed a transition to this either.  Notes and keys may be named later, but not just in the episodes I watched. I fully expect that in the summer or fall he will begin formal piano lessons and I wonder if not associating the names of the characters with the notes or keys will be a hindrance to him then.

I can recommend KinderBach as being a solid music education program for young children.

Other members of The TOS Crew reviewed KinderBach and you can read what they had to say on the Crew blog.

Disclaimer: I received a free online subscription to review.  I have not been compensated in any other manner.  All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

1 comment:

  1. Loved your explanation of the product. Very thorough! Good job.