About a year ago, our family had the opportunity to use and review Kinderbach, an online 60-week program designed to introduce kids aged 2-7 to the world of music. You can find my original review here (Please see below for updated pricing). We recently had the opportunity to try out the program again.
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free 3-month subscription to Kinderbach's online piano lessons for review purposes. I received no other compensation.
The program itself hasn't really changed since my last review, but my kiddos have grown up some. Mary and Peter still couldn't get enough of these short, snappy lessons. While the lesson length varied, none are more than 15 minutes long. Every time I announced "It's Kinderbach time", they gleefully dug through my kitchen drawers and cupboards for "rhythm" instruments (why is that left to their own devices, children always concoct the noisiest contraption they can...think stainless steel bowls and metal serving spoons?). We watched a week's worth of lessons each time. It seemed as though they were just getting warmed up by the time the first lesson of each week ended...they always begged for "just one more." While Peter still doesn't fully have the rhythm thing down, at age four he was much more on the ball with this program than before. Mary has matured musically as well.
Last year, I had some difficulty with the activity sheet pdfs not downloading properly on each lesson page. While I was still not able to get these to download consistently off the week's page, they have added downloadable activity books for each level that can be downloaded and printed ahead of time. I was also able to overcome the logistical problem I had before with having 2 kiddos sit in front of the computer while trying to do coloring pages and banging away on rhythm instruments: I hooked the computer up to the TV so we were able to view the lessons on the big screen. Everyone had plenty of elbow room sitting on the couch and our clipboards came in handy for coloring.
Overall, it's a cute, engaging program for the kiddos, but I have a little trouble using it consistently simply because it is online. The extra step of having to shutdown my computer, switch the video cable, boot up and then go online causes too much of a break in our day. I have not seen a lot of retention of the lessons, but with consistent use, I might see more improvement than I have. The lessons are available on DVD, so it might be worthwhile to investigate that route.
The overall cost seems a bit steep given the length of the lessons---you could easily go through 4 or 5 weeks of lessons in a week and complete the whole program in about 3 months. There are no "outside" activities offered for reinforcing the lessons other than the printable activity pages, most of which are used during the lesson itself. However, the lessons are easy on Mom---other than printing the activity sheets ahead of time, there's really no prep required.
The cost has gone up a bit:
Get an annual subscription for $95.88 or pay $19.99/month.
They've added a 1-day pass for $5.95.
You can still access the first 2 weeks for free by providing your email addy.
Lessons are also available on DVD, with single levels (there are 6) starting at $40.45.
DVD value packages are also available.
For other reviews of this program, please visit:
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