Members of the TOS Homeschool Crew were given a free three month access to an on-line video program called Kinderbach that teaches children about rhythm, music, and how to play the piano.
I had both J6 and N8 try this program out. N8 has been begging me for about a year to take piano lessons. Kinderbach is geared for preschoolers to early elementary children (ages 2-7) and this is very obvious in watching the lessons. I think it frustrated N8 a little at the slow pace of the program, but J6 loved it.
The instructions in each video are very concise and clear. Any printables that go along with the lesson are easily printed off for each lesson as you go along. Each week has four sections. A child can move along at their own pace this way. We tended to do an entire week during one session. The lessons are short and once I had the keyboard set up, it just made sense to keep going.
An inexpensive keyboard or piano, a computer, and "rhythm" instruments are all that's needed to use this program. Rhythm instruments can easily be raided from your kitchen cabinets.
Anyone can try out the first two weeks for free in order to see how the program works. There are a few other freebie samples that you can check out at the website (lower right hand corner of the screen). If you'd like to see what the curriculum covers, please click HERE to see the syllabus by level.
The cost of the program $95.88 for a year or $19.99 a month. Considering the cost of face-to-face lessons, this seems to me to be a good way of perhaps introducing your children to rhythm, reading music, and beginning piano - especially if you live in a rural area like I do. I know that I am now more comfortable investing in piano lessons for N8 and possibly even J6 in another year. If you're still not sure and the two week free lessons aren't enough to answer your questions, you can purchase a daily pass for $5.95. Click here to see the choices for purchasing the in-home program.
Kinderbach now also offers their on-line program in a DVD package as well. Prices for these start at $40.95 and increase in price depending on the package purchased. I know that it can be difficult for some to use the online videos - especially if the computer and the piano are in different areas of the house. I have a portable keyboard that I was able to set up right in front of the computer and this worked well for us.
Overall I thought the program good. Keeping in mind that it is geared towards children ages 2-7, I did feel that it was a bit slow for older children. I know N8 wanted to just learn how to play the piano and it seemed a lot of rhythm activities and counting activities occurred first. All necessary for learning to play but he felt it was a slow start. J6 and even Miss H (who was here for some of the earlier lessons this fall and is 2 - so the younger part of the age spectrum) did enjoy it and had a lot of fun playing. For them, it was fun music, loud "rhythm" making, and having fun. However, it is a good intro to music as well.
Be sure to head over to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read more thoughts on Kinderbach.
*Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in exchange for our unbiased opinion of the product.