This is an online course, so you will need a computer and internet access, although DVD lessons, CD books, and an app for iPad and iPhone are available.
KinderBach is intended for ages 3-7, but we have all used it. Even two year old Merrick likes to get involved on days with the rhythm instruments and the high/low game, which we've watched and played over and over and over... He enjoys the scribbling, I mean, coloring pages as well. (Ignore the faded look at the bottom of the printing. My printer always fades out at the end of a print job and it is in no way a reflection of KinderBach.)
The PDF lesson plan follows an up/down format, giving children a chance to move and sing, alternating with quiet activities. An example lesson might include singing, clapping, dancing, watching the video, playing rhythm instruments, and then coloring.
There is a short video introduction each week that informs the parent or teacher what the four lessons for the week will involve. Usually, at the beginning, you only need rhythm instruments (these can even be homemade or use a pot and a spoon) and crayons, paper, and scissors. We do not have the size keyboard recommended on the KinderBach website, but we've done just fine with 22 keys for the time being. There is also a printable keyboard available.
|When we finished the train stations and placed them on the keyboard with Dodi's house, Mal stepped back and softly whispered, "WOW!"|
Each lesson is a short video, usually with activities. Sometimes, we do the activities in advance (like coloring and cutting) so they can jump right in without having to pause the video. The listening and visual activities need to be done with the lesson. Once they have practiced a concept on the video, I've used the keyboard, my voice, or rhythm instruments to practice. It's so easy for them to memorize the order of the video for loud/soft and high/low, so this way I can mix it up. I'm a bit devious like that. There are plenty of coloring sheets, matching, and other hands-on (or "ears-on") projects to reinforce the video lesson.
Six levels are currently available, with sixty weeks of lessons, four lessons per week. Just start the children where you feel they are ready to begin. Xavier had recorder lessons at co-op last year. He was the youngest in his class and the only boy. He was a little familiar with some of the concepts at the beginning, but the activities were so fun for all the boys, that we just started at the beginning and worked from there. You can easily complete more than one lesson at a time, as they are very short and simple. KinderBach is adaptable to fit your family's needs on any given day.
Friends like Frisco, Dodi the donkey, and the Beat Bugs give students their first piano lessons, learning about notes, keys, and beats. Malachi *flipped* when we got to week 5 and he saw we were going to involve trains in our music lessons. The trains live at the three black keys. If your little ones like trains, they'll enjoy the Train Stations! ebook.
Karri Gregor, the creator and teacher, has a friendly, happy face to watch. She kept the boys mostly engaged and they were happy to be cooperative, which around this house can be difficult with all three of them involved. Her artistic abilities are not limited to music, as she is also the author and illustrator of the companion books of the piano pals.
In the Teacher Corner, ebooks are available for the teacher guide, student books, and for the first three levels, teacher audios as MP3s. A parent guide gives you all the information necessary to introduce your child to music theory. The story book, coloring books, and song books (including Frisco's First Hymns) with MP3s are also located here. I love how these song books are set up so much that I just had to share this small piece of the Doxology page.
I'd like to share this story of our first day with KinderBach. We were having a MISERABLE day, an awful, terrible day. After everyone took a rest (separate rooms, quiet time), I had Mal and Xav come out to the computer to see our first lesson and I told them how fun this game was (it was the high/low game). Mal crossed his arms and yelled, "I hate singing and dancing and I'm not going to do it!" I told him that he wouldn't be singing and dancing, but that he definitely would be playing the game. I started it up and Xavier got so excited. "We used to play this game in recorder class!" It didn't take Mal long to catch Xav's enthusiasm. He played along and laughed and flopped around. They enjoyed it so much, they played it three more times. We were all laughing our heads off. KinderBach was a huge blessing to all of us that day!
So far we've covered quarter notes, two black keys, three black keys, correct fingering, loud/quiet, high/low, beat, and how to follow along to read a song. These lessons and more are still just on level one. I've found KinderBach to be entertaining and educational. Each of the boys has enjoyed various activities, there may have even been some good-natured competitions while completing the lessons. Karri is pleasant. The animations are sweet. The lessons are paced well for the age range. Overall, I found it to be a great introduction to homeschool piano lessons.
The only issue I had with KinderBach was that the video was a little bit grainy in full screen. I think it may have had something to do with the blue screen back drops (which, by the way, are cute), but I'm not certain.
The regular price of $130 for one year is currently reduced to $95.88. There is a New Year Clearance of 40% off of of the reduced price, which makes it about $57.52 for a year if you purchase before this Friday, February 28, 2014. HURRY! That is a phenomenal deal on music theory and piano lessons! Get the code!
KinderBach on social media.
Facebook for Teachers
YouTube: KinderBach Preschool Piano