KinderBach is a music program for ages 3 to 7 that can be done in your home. It's available as an online subscription, as an iPad or iPhone app, or on DVD. I was given a 6 month subscription to review.
I cannot play the piano. I played the flute from the 6th grade through the 9th grade, but I have completely forgotten how to read music. However, despite my lack of musical knowledge, I am convinced that learning to play an instrument is a wonderful way to engage and train the brain, and I think piano is a great instrument for learning to read music and learn music theory. My older four sons are in piano lessons, and it's about time to start the youngest. I was very happy to receive this product to review, and so was Nicholas.
KinderBach teaches piano through adorable cartoon characters. Dodi the Donkey (pictured above), Frisco, Carlo the Caterpillar, Edward the Eagle, Felicity the Frog, Gracie the Gorilla, Alan the Alligator, and Bob the Bear (along with Ms. Karri, the founder and lesson instructor) will guide your young child through learning to play the piano. In addition, Miss Diddle and Bruno will help teach your child to play different music note patterns on the piano, and the Beat Bug Brigaide will help your child learn rhythm. In Bach Talk, your child will learn tips and techniques for making their own songs.
There are 6 levels, with 10 weeks of lessons in each level. Each week is broken down into 4 short lessons. The short lessons are wonderful because they keep the attention of a young child, but are long enough to teach the concept in a fun manner. Throughout the lessons, the student is often moving around and interacting with the lesson (beating a homemade drum, for example, to work on rhythm).
Each lesson is in video format. Ms. Karri teaches your child the fundamentals of playing the piano. She's energetic and entertaining, and Nicholas really enjoyed the lessons.
In addition to the online lessons, there are PDF worksheets to download and print. You can print out the entire book for each lesson, or you there is an option to print individual pages for each lesson. These range from coloring and activity pages to do along with the lessons to music to practice with. The activity pages were a little bit young for Nicholas, and he doesn't really enjoy coloring, so we skipped doing many of them. I can see where they would be very helpful with a younger student, though.
KinderBach is a hit with Nicholas. We've only had our subscription for 6 weeks, and I already see a huge improvement with his ability to keep a rhythm. He loves to practice the piano like his older brothers. He asks daily if we can do a lesson, and often tries to talk me into doing additional lessons. I'm happy that he's getting exposure and developing a love for making music before we start more formal lessons.
To use this program, it's best if you have a keyboard to play. You don't need anything fancy, just a basic piano or keyboard is recommended. You'll also need basic craft supplies.
The online program is priced at $19.99 a month (billed monthly) or $95.88 for a full twelve months, and you can try the first two weeks of the program for free. The iPad app is $26.99, and there is a free version to try the program out.
For more reviews of KinderBach (both the online subscription and the app), go here.