KinderBach is a wonderful online piano and music-learning program written and taught by Ms. Karri Gregor. I had the opportunity to review The KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner and I have been so impressed with how well it has held my three year old’s attention and has taught him important musical concepts. KinderBach is a leveled program (Levels 1 – 6 are currently available) that teaches early learners, mostly 3 to 7 year olds, how to begin playing the piano and understand basic musical concepts. My son is only three, so we worked through Level 1. But we are certainly excited to keep moving, as he is able.
I was immediately impressed with Gregor’s enthusiasm in the KinderBach program — her fun attitude in the videos themselves, but also in the entirety of her work. She has written the program herself and you can tell it has been a labor of love! She also is a talented musician, singer, creator, and artist — she has drawn all of the little characters which help children to learn the musical concepts as she goes!
I love the introduction of simple musical concepts:
High and low sounds: Fun dancing and sing-a-long time with little Frisco the boy, as well as some interactive coloring pages are included. I like that these concepts continue to be repeated throughout Level 1 of the program.
Black and white keys: Sweet little Dodi the Donkey needs a home — her home fits perfectly on the two black keys. This concept is a little hilarious to me, but my son loves it! He has been talking about the two black keys and the three black keys ever since he started watching and listening about “Dodi’s home” — these sweet little ways of learning work!
Quarter notes: Children learn beats with homemade kitchen rhythm instruments, by walking with the very cute musical little pal Frisco, and by exposure to the actual quarter note itself. Children learn in so many different ways and she exudes great knowledge by expressing and teaching these concepts through many different means.
Teaching the fingers: I love that KinderBach teaches the fingers as “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” — this is less confusing for a child than giving the fingers actual names (pointer, tall man, etc.) Right at the start, she introduces a 2-3 finger position for the black keys (i.e. Dodi the Donkey’s home). This is cleverly done — however, if you don’t favor “cutesy” musical teaching with these extra flairs to hold and captivate a child’s attention, then the program may not be for you.
John loved these lessons. Every time we go through them, he doesn’t mind reviewing what he already has watched (there are 40 lessons per level). He does not usually like to color, but other children may enjoy that coloring pages are included. He is beginning to learn (and love) how to place his fingers on the piano, rhythmic styles, and dancing with Frisco, of course!
KinderBach allows children to move at their own pace. It also weaves well-known, yet beautiful, songs — Starlight Starbright, Hot Cross Buns, I’m a Little Tea Pot — to reinforce the teaching curriculum (i.e. quarter notes, etc.) This is a nice touch — to subtly show a student that all of these musical terms (and hard work!) will eventually turn itself into actual songs and musical creations!
This program, though it is thorough and includes wonderful teacher guides, student guides, and activity books (with coloring sheets and practice learning sheets), it is mostly a computer learning music program. I tend to want to shy away from technology (I am trying to stay old-fashioned! i.e in the dark ages). I can’t help but nostalgically wish that my children could live in a garden without the use or need for technology.
However! I really fell in love with the program, it is winning me over — technology is indeed wonderful, because programs such as KinderBach are available to more people which means more musicians will be made! How wonderful. If I were not a musically-inclined person, I don’t think this is the only tool I would use for my child to wholly learn piano, perhaps as a beginner, but one-on-one lessons with a real-life teacher is very important to me, from an educator’s perspective.
The KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner is a wonderful value at only $95.88 (this works out to be $7.99/month) for one year of access. This includes over 240 web lessons that can be accessed by computer or iPad, etc., downloadable PDF activity pages, access to all Teacher Corner materials for Levels 1 to 6 PDFs and Audio MP3s, as well as all story books, coloring pages and song books.