I love music – enjoy listening to it and even enjoy singing, though I don’t think I sound great – but I never really learned to play a musical instrument. All the kids in my grade school had to take recorder class in fourth grade, and I learned to play Mary Had a Little Lamb. (I could even play it on the telephone…3 2 1 2 1 2 1 …something like that.)
For fifth and sixth graders, the school had a real band. I wanted to play the flute, but the guy at the music store told my mom that because I was going to be getting braces I wouldn’t be able to play it. So I was never in the band and never learned to play an instrument.
Of course I’d like my sons to be able to play one or more instruments because I think it’s a good thing to know how to do and it would enable them to help out with the music at church as they get older.
As part of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was able to use Kinderbach Online Piano Lessons for the last few months. We have loved them!
Kinderbach is run by Karri Gregor, who is a mom and professional musician and has taught music to thousands of children both in person at a studio and via the internet and DVDs through Kinderbach.
All of the lessons can be viewed at the Kinderbach website and are set up in a weekly format. Each week contains four lessons and an introduction, but we have frequently watched a full week’s worth of lessons in one day. They are so fun that my boys want to keep going!
The stars of the lessons are Frisco and Dodi the Donkey, along with several other animals. Dodi has a house on the piano (beside the train station), and he even has his own webpage!
My boys were immediately drawn to the friendly characters as well as to Karri herself, who also appears on many of the videos. The lessons are very simple and short so they’re easy for the kids to understand and remember. Most lessons include a color page that can be printed and which reinforces the concept being taught that day.
Our favorite color page was the “beat bugs.” A drill sergaent voice instructed, “Color the strong beat bug green. Color the medium beat bug yellow. Color the weak beat bug light blue. I’m not in the habit of repeatin’ myself…but I will.” I wish you could hear it. It was at least two months ago that we heard that lesson, but my boys still like saying it to each other and to me.
Since this is a piano program, you’ll need a piano (electric or otherwise) to use it. We started out using a little toy keyboard, about 20″ wide, which wasn’t the best but worked temporarily. For Christmas, we were able to buy a Yamaha electronic keyboard piano from K-Mart. (Thanks, Nana!) It cost a little under $100.
Our hope is that one or all of the boys will continue enjoying the piano and can use the one we bought for many, many years. If you don’t foresee that for your family, you may not want to invest as much money but I’m not sure you could get a real electric piano any cheaper. We couldn’t find one anyway…and trust me, we looked.
One of the best things about Kinderbach, in my situation, is that it doesn’t require any musical knowledge (or talent) on my part. Karri and the characters teach everything. I can learn right along with the children. My review period of using the program is over, but I plan to purchase a subscription in the next month or so. (Yipee, income tax returns!)
An online subscription to all the sessions (over 300) is $85.95 for a year or $14.95 if you prefer to pay monthly.
If you have a slow internet connection or if you’d like lifetime access to the lessons, you can purchase them on DVD instead. The cost for all lessons on six DVDs is $217.75. You can purchase fewer DVDs at a time for a cheaper price.
The full package of 6 DVDs also comes with
- 6 – Activity E-Books
- 6 – Activity Audio CDs
- Patriotic, Everyday, Hymns and Christmas Songbook Package
- 4 – E-Songbooks
- 4 – Corresponding Audio CDs
A Kinderbach Classroom version is also available to use in schools, day cares, etc. with at least five students.
No matter which version you purchase, the cost of Kinderbach is a fraction of the cost of in-person music/piano lessons with a private teacher.
© 2009, Cindy. All rights reserved.