Monday, January 5, 2009

KinderBach





KinderBach is simply piano and music lessons designed for preschoolers! Using the piano or keyboard as a basis, young children ages 2-7 learn how to play and read music. Karri Gregor, the creator of KinderBach, believes that children do not have to know how to read in order to play the piano. She uses animated characters to represent the notes on the piano and the videos are done in a style that reminds me of Blue's Clues. Karri is the one bit of reality as she teaches the kids and is surrounded by cartoon rooms and characters. It's really very cute!

My six year old tried out the first several lessons of this program and loved it. We placed our keyboard in front of our desktop and he had no problem following along when needed. He also enjoyed using spoons and pencils when rhythm instruments were requested. Karri and Frisco (the main animated character) were bright and friendly and he loved singing along with them and following their lead.

My friend's four year old came over to try it out as well and it was a hit! She came up with the idea to place the characters over the keys right before Karri suggested that in the video. Good thinking! She was very motivated to "play' with KinderBach and asked to play again the next time she visited. Who knows, maybe her mom will be convinced to be a new customer.

The lessons are very short and both kids wanted to do a week's worth in a day. If you were using this with a two or three year old, you'd probably want to keep it to one lesson a day due to short attention spans, but the older ones really get into it and want to keep going. The whole family liked gathering around and watching, even if they would never admit it. GRIN.

KinderBach is available in a couple different formats. The online subscription is what we had access to and it's referred to as the Learning Center. You log in online and watch the videos via the internet. There are activity pages available for you to print off and use with the lessons specified. This is the most economical way to enjoy KinderBach. Access to all web lessons and included pdf files is $85.95 a year. You can also choose the option of monthly billing at $14.95.

The other option is purchasing the lessons on dvd. This is called KinderBach at Home. The most economical way to do this is to purchase the first year package, which includes Lessons 1-30, activity e-books, activity audio cds, and a songbook package, for $217.75. I am assuming a second year package is forthcoming.

There is also a Classroom KinderBach available for those who wish to purchase this in bulk. This seems to be designed for day cares, preschools, and the like. I don't think this would apply to most homeschoolers but it is available if interested!

Personally, I would choose the dvd package if money were not an issue. Internet is always subject to possible slowness, freeze ups, or site issues. Dvds would be more convenient and more useable for future children. However, internet allows frequent updates and is definetly less expensive. Having both as an option is wonderful.

You can try out the first two lessons for FREE! I love that. I am a big try before you buy kind of person. Try it out and see if you and your children love it. We did!

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