This is actually the third time the boys and I have been able to review Kinderbach. The first time we reviewed it, I noticed their enthusiasm waning after the first month as holiday season hit. Then, last year I focused primarily upon changes from the previous year as we had limited time with the program before everything was packed up for our big move. When the call went out for volunteers this year, I was not certain about putting my name in the hat. But, then, D ASKED if we could review it.
This time we have made significantly more progress than we had previously. D has entered Level 3 and should reach Level 4 in short order. R has joined in a few times, although he is checking out the upper levels where it seems a bit more challenging. J is found dancing about the room singing “Dodi, Dodi” while D is trying to do whatever activity is before him.
I am especially thankful that we can utilize Kinderbach through the Wii so it is all on the big screen rather than having to move the laptop about the room. The digital piano is positioned so that there is a clear view of the TV, which has come in quite handy for this particular product.
Now there are a few things I should point out about this program. While Kinderbach has the child using a keyboard for some of the activities, this is NOT strictly a program for learning to play the piano. Yes, they will play some songs as they progress through the different levels. However, for the early levels the songs appear as steps rather than notes on sheet music. The character on the step indicates which note to play. This is not how most piano instruction materials approach learning.
Instead, Kinderbach is really trying to engage the younger child in learning the basics of music. The entire presentation is geared towards a pre-schooler or a young elementary student. I think this is why my now 10 year old has less patience for Kinderbach than my now 7 year old. It just seems too young to him. But, the upside for a slightly older student is that they catch onto the concepts easily and can move through the program quickly. Little J, on the other hand, is still a little young for the material. However, he happily will dance about to the music.
Along with the streaming video lessons (an intro plus 4 per week), Kinderbach offers worksheets to print either from the specific lesson or from a downloadable workbook.
Some of the worksheets serve as ‘music’ for the student while others reinforce concepts being learned in that lesson. Some pages can be printed double sided while others need to be cut for completion.
All in all, Kinderbach is a well rounded and fun program IF your child is in the target range (ages 3 – 7) or willing to just work through the beginning material quickly. Both D and R are able to go through a week or more of the lessons in one short sitting. But, a younger student might need to go at the pace of one lesson per day.
Kinderbach is available either online or on DVD. Online subscriptions cost $19.99 per month with no time commitment, or you can purchase a one year membership for $95.88. The first 2 weeks of lessons for Level 1 are available free so you can get an idea of what the program includes. With 6 levels currently available and a 7th on the way, Kinderbach could easily be used for a year or more. And, it could be just the ticket for a child expressing an interest in music lessons with a much smaller price tag than private lessons.
Disclaimer ~ Our family received 3 months of access to Kinderbach for the purpose of completing this review. No other compensation was provided and the opinions expressed are our own. You can read what other TOS Crewmates thought about Kinderbach by visiting the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.