Friday, February 3, 2012

Kinderbach Music Program

Kinderbach at Home is an interactive music program geared towards preschool aged children through early elementary ages (3-7). Available both online or in dvd format, Kinderbach is a lively and imaginative system for introducing young children to the basics of music theory using a variety of methods and instruments, most notably, a simple keyboard.

Children are taught about rhythm, reading music, timing, pitch, composition, notes and measures, and singing by a cast of friendly characters and a passionate teacher through a series of engaging videos, worksheets, and activities.

While Kinderbach does a great job of exposing young students to a wide array of musical terms and concepts, it takes quite a while for the students to become involved with actual playing of songs on the keyboard. This can be frustrating for more serious students who want to dive right in to playing songs. However, if you have a variety of ages in your home, and have older students who are taking traditional music lessons and little siblings who would like to do the same, but just aren't quite old enough yet (as is the case in our house where Ladybug is taking formal piano lessons, Cowboy occasionally joins her, but Firefly is not quite ready for it), Kinderbach can be just the thing to take the "sting" out of having to wait for those little ones. 
Both Firefly (age 4) and Boo (age 2) enjoyed the interactive features of Kinderbach's online lessons. Kinderbach approaches their teaching using multiple learning styles so that the lessons appeal to all types of learners. The lessons are very active, and not too long, to allow for the shorter attention spans of younger students.

Each of my participating students liked different things about the program. Firefly especially liked the coloring and activity pages, while Boo loved parading around the room with a variety of instruments we pulled out of our music box.
Cowboy (age 6) willingly participated alongside the two of them, dominating the keyboard, as he remembered much of the lessons we completed last year when we tried out this product before. He still talks about finding "Dodi's house" on the piano keyboard, a year after trying out the product last... I guess it made an impression on him! 

Ladybug (age 8), who is learning how to play the piano with her grandmother and me as her teachers, was not so interested anymore. She preferred to practice her songs and scales on the regular piano downstairs. The others were perfectly happy with the simple keyboard, other instruments, and fun activity sheets and crafts upstairs. If you like, you can see a few examples of coloring pages that accompany some of the lessons on the Kinderbach website and a listing of the topics covered in the Kinderbach curriculum.

I like the idea of Kinderbach's online lessons (though you can purchase the same lessons on dvd if you have a slow internet connection) for younger students, especially those with parents who are interested in exposing their younger kids to music, but don't have any experience in that area and need some help. It is also a good compromise for younger siblings of serious older music students.

There is enough variety to keep kids interested for a long time, though more motivated students may wish to do more than the suggested one lesson a day as they are fairly short and simple. The brevity of the lessons is ideal for the youngest members of the family, though. Perseverance in the program eventually leads to playing simple tunes, which your children will love.

Both the dvds and the online lessons are accompanied by printable activity pages. Additional coloring books may be purchased separately.
If you would like to learn more about Kinderbach, you can watch an introductory video about the program on their website. You can also check out this video about the Kinderbach at Home program specifically. If you decide the program looks like it might interest you and your children, you can sign up for a free two week trial! You just can't beat FREE!

If you decide a subscription to Kinderbach is for you, you can purchase a yearly subscription for just $7.99 a month by paying a total of $95.88 in one annual fee, or pay on a monthly basis at a cost of $19.95. For a limited time, use the code TOScrew2012 to get 30% off your subscription!!

You can also purchase the dvd sets by level for $40.45 each. The same coupon code applies for these purchases, or any other purchase from the Kinderbach site.

To read my review of this program from last year, check it out here.
To read what others on the TOS Crew had to say about this product, click here.


We received access to online lessons from Kinderbach for the purposes of reviewing this product. All opinions expressed here are our own. If you have questions concerning this review, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

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