Monday, January 5, 2009

Review: Kinderbach Preschool Piano Lessons



Kinderbach is an online Preschool music program that not only teaches children ages 2-7 how to play the piano/keyboard, but also covers aspects of rhythm (something 2 out of 3 of my kids weren't born with), reading notes, correct hand placement, singing, cutting/pasting, color recognition, counting and more.

Kinderbach's Online Learning Center incorporates a vast library of over 300 web-based lessons with an assortment of coordinating games and printable worksheets any child--regardless of musical background or talent--can do.

Each short daily lesson focuses on a specific aspect of musical training and builds up very slowly. However, if the pace is a bit too slow, you're always free to move ahead to better suit your child's needs. Such is the beauty of online learning! :o)

The program's characters like Dodi the Donkey and Felicity the Frog (my personal favorite, as she's about as girly as a frog can get!) strike the perfect balance between whimsy and entertainment, while avoiding the pitfalls of either being completely ridiculous or downright neurotic. Something that unfortunately cannot be said about various children's TV programs. (Anyone out there seen Yo! Gabba Gabba lately? I rest my case...)

The video quality itself is fantastic; very colorful, easy to follow (click "start", "stop" or move the arrow ahead) and "current" looking. Not outdated in the least. However, I did find the vocals during a few of the songs to be a bit difficult to make out. Then again, this could just be an issue with my speakers and not with the program itself.

Kinderbach creator/instructor Karri Gregor is the perfect "perky kindergarten teacher" persona. Her sweet encouraging manner reminded me a bit of Shari Lewis (of Lamb Chop, Hush Puppy and Charlie Horse fame) or myself back when I taught Awana Cubbies. In fact, every time she said "Good job!" or "That's it!" I couldn't help but grin and reply, "Thank you Miss Karri!" (Hee hee)

As a penny-pinching homeschooling mom, I believe the membership price of $14.95/month is incredibly economical, especially when compared to the cost of private lessons (you can also purchase a "Bronze" membership for only $85.95/year). If you're still uncertain, you can sign up for a free 2 week trial here.

The online platform is ideal for homeschoolers, as you don't have to try to coordinate music lessons around a baby's nap schedule, or making Junior mind his instructor when he's clearly not interested at the moment! The beauty of Kinderbach is that if you need to stop in the middle of a lesson--no problem! You can access the lessons as often as you'd like. No limits, no stress!

To use Kinderbach, all you need is a portable keyboard or piano (nothing fancy or expensive), a good internet connection, printer and a willing participant. That's it!

I wish I'd had access to Kinderbach back when my children were younger. I know they would've LOVED it! (Although I did make them watch the lessons with me--which they did enjoy some aspects of--they really were NOT into the whole Kinderbach Music Experience. But I digress.)

So, to recap the Pros of Kinderbach...
  • Online format--use any time, any place
  • Very easy to use and follow
  • Printable PDF coloring pages and additional online activities
  • Requires an inexpensive keyboard available at Target, Wal-Mart, etc.
  • Economical and affordable for most budgets
  • Optional DVD program also available (if you don't have high speed internet or just like DVD better)
  • Cute characters (especially Felicia the Frog! Oh, and Carla the Caterpillar's pretty cute, too.)
  • Makes learning to play the piano easy, fun and highly effective!
I'd list the cons of this program, but I really can't think of any. :o)


Check out Kinderbach.com today and sign up for your free 2 week trial. You and your (younger) children will love it!

I give Kinderbach 2 delighted thumbs up!

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