Kinderbach is an online program designed to teach young children the basics of piano. It is a very gentle approach to teaching music. It is created to teach kids aged 2-7. I have a 3 and 5 year old using it and it is perfect for them.
You can purchase online lessons or the DVD's to teach your kids music at home. Prices begin at $7.99/month and go up from there depending on what you want to purchase. You can see all the purchasing options here
Kinderbach is 60 weeks of lessons with 4 lessons per week. Each lesson is pretty short and most have other activities to do off of the computer. There are coloring pages, activities on the piano/keyboard and games to help young learners get ready to learn any instrument. According to their website each child will know the following at the end of all the lessons:
Know all the notes on the piano by location and letter name
Be familiar with the grand staff,
Read some individual notes on staff and all notes by pattern on staff,
Understand and read rhythms from eighth to whole notes,
Have improved listening skills so that he/she can interpret rhythms, intervals and patterns heard.
Play familiar melodies,
Play hands together or separately,
Have a working music vocabulary,
Understand basic composition methods
Kinderbach uses fun characters and great stories to teach all the things listed above. In the first week my 3 and 5 year old knew where the "D" was on any piano/keyboard. "Dodie the Donkey" lives between the two black keys, so the "D" is between the two black keys. The other great characters are teaching them the rest of the notes on the piano. The characters are as follows:
Frisco--the little boy who helps your kids learn about all the characters.
Alan the Alligator
Bob the Bear
Carla the Caterpillar
Edward the Eagle
Felicity the Frog
Gracie the Gorilla.
My animal loving kids have really attached to the characters we have learned so far. They can't get enough of them and are learning the notes of the keyboard while having a blast.
They are also learning what each note looks like and how many beats it has. Frisco is teaching them how to stay in rhythm and count beats. I am very impressed with the program and how well the kids are learning music theory. I feel like it is a great base for them to start with. Paul started piano lessons in the first grade and has done well with them. We were debating if Zach was ready for them or not next year. He is a "young" first grader and not quite ready for formal piano lessons and the practice time that sometimes entails. Now we know we can just continue through Kinderbach and give him a firm foundation in music before we start the formal lessons when he is more ready for them.
Molly has a slight disadvantage when it comes to piano playing (although you could never convince her of that). She has only a partial thumb on her left hand and on her right hand she has three fingers and a thumb and none of them bend and move as they "should". So, when the lessons started numbering fingers I watched her closely to see how she did. She just works with her left hand and doesn't even think about it. She has made a couple of comments about not having 5 fingers on the right hand (something she never noticed before). But she has still learned her notes and their names and is working on a wonderful foundation for whatever instrument she does decide to play. We are thinking the violin may be more suitable to her needs.
Kinderbach has really increased both of the kids desire to learn music and they often want to pick out a "song" on the piano instead of just banging on the keys. Early on in the lessons we made rhythm instruments out of butter containers with beans inside. We have used them as "maracas" as well as "drums" with pencils as drumsticks. The kids love this!
Notice Molly's "I am really trying" face!
Zachary thought it would be so funny to use his "twistable" crayons instead of pencils. Kids crack me up when simple things make them so happy!
Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the product. There was no other compensation given for the review