Monday, 24 February 2014

KinderBach: for early music lessons- a review

Music is a subject where I knew that we weren't doing as much as I wanted so I was delighted to have the opportunity to review The KinderBach online piano membership withTeacherCorner 
Kinderbach Review

from KinderBach.

Kinderbach Review
KinderBach is an on-line programme which teaches young children the basics of music, specifically of the piano or other keyboard instrument. The programme's own description is
Piano Introduction for Young Beginners in Home Educating Families
There is another version of the programme for group settings.

KinderBach is designed for young children aged 3 to 7. I used it with my two younger children aged just five and seven. Youngest Son, aged five, had had virtually no music teaching before using KinderBach whereas his sister had had some early American organ lessons so was aware of the names of the notes and simple written music. We used the programme each week day, after lunch.

The programme uses a log-in name and password. Once the actual on-line portion is accessed, there are six levels each of which is divided into ten weeks with four lessons per week. There is an activity book to print off for each level.

Kinderbach Review
The lessons are short: typically the on-line lesson lasts 4-6 minutes and an activity page to go with most lessons. The activity sheets may be a simple tune to play, loud/soft notes to distinguish, cards to make to place on the keyboard, beat notes to colour and  much more.

Each week's lessons has a very short introductory video with an outline of the week and what is needed. Generally, the items required seem to be coloured pens or crayons, a rhythm instrument and a piano or keyboard of some description. Some weeks require "cardstock". I found that it was easier to print the items which were said to need card on paper and then laminate. The videos explain that many household items can be used as rhythm instruments so there is no need to go out to buy something special to use. We used saucepans, pieces of wood and surfaces to bang.

The lessons are taught by Karri Gregor who has written the course.

Kinderbach Review
KinderBach is completely self-explanatory and assumes no musical knowledge at all. The children are taught their way around a keyboard with the help of characters, Frisco and Dodi the Donkey.

The children colour and cut out cards to find notes on a keyboard:
 C# and D# are Dodi's House

F#, G# and A# are the Train Station.

They also play simple matching games to teach finger numbering.

In addition to the lessons and activity books, there is a Teacher Corner 

Kinderbach Review
with lesson plans, a Teacher Aid Book with more printable sheets to back up the lessons and mp3s of the songs.

What we liked about the programme

  • It was really easy to implement.
  • The children enjoy it, particularly, Youngest Son who had virtually no previous musical teaching.
  • The sessions are short. Younger Son often asks for more than one lesson per day.
  • Apart from a keyboard of some description, very little equipment is needed.
 What worked less well for us

  • I had planned to start Younger Daughter, aged 7, on a higher level in the programme. This didn't work out because the characters and nomenclature used in KinderBach, really needed to be known before she could tackle these levels. She watched the videos with her younger brother but I wasn't able to use KinderBach  to advance her playing.
  • The workbooks tend to involve a fair amount of colouring. Sometimes, this can be simplified to circling the loud or quiet sound in a particular colour which can be useful for little boys who prefer not to colour!

We like KinderBach and plan to continue using it. This is an ideal programme for parents who don't feel able to teach music themselves and for children with no previous experience of reading music or using a keyboard. It is set up in a way that makes it easy to use at home. 


A year's membership of KinderBach plus Teacher Corner is usually $130 but is currently discounted at $95.88 ( about £57.63) which comes to $7.99 (about £4.80) per month.

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