HomeSchoolPiano Review

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For the past couple of months we have had the privilege of learning piano from HomeSchoolPiano, an online subscription program created by Willie Myette. Besides the lessons, which are 10-minute videos, we also received access to HomeSchoolPiano – Complete Set of Books. These three books (PDFs you must print yourself) will take you from an absolute beginner level all the way to the advanced level of creating different arrangements in various musical styles.

HSPianoLogo

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These online piano lessons are for all ages. Willie is very engaging. He tells jokes and makes intentional mistakes to see if you are paying attention. He repeats concepts several times in the course of the lesson so that new ideas will stick. As long as your child understands English, he should be able to follow along.

HSPianoScreen

Some of the lessons have some practice and others are more theoretical. So, besides piano techniques and posture, you also get music theory, which is very helpful, especially if you yourself have never had musical training.

I took four years of piano as a child growing up in Romania, so I don’t need the basics, but I like to hear these lessons anyway because of specific musical terms and vocabulary in English. I will give you an example. The treble clef in Romanian is called the G clef. Well, in my son’s music theory book, which we got from Amazon at the recommendation of our violin teacher, the treble clef is the treble clef. It’s not called anything else but the treble clef.

HomeSchoolPiano Tablet

In his introduction of the treble clef, Willie explains that there are two names for this symbol: the treble clef OR the G clef. Thank you, Willie! I’m a linguist and words and terminology are important to me. This might not be a big deal for somebody else, but it was for me. I feel more informed about the English musical terms and vocabulary.

HSPianoBinderCDs

All you need to use this curriculum is internet access. As you saw above, the site can be viewed from mobile devices, as well.

You can purchase HomeSchoolPiano in two ways, because they provide two payment packages. The pricing is as follows:

1. Success Package (One payment of $299)
Unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students. 

2. Payment Plan (Payments of $99.97 per month for three months)
Unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students. 

There are so many benefits to learning a musical instrument. But time to drive to and from a piano teacher’s studio may be an issue for your already crowded schedule. Money may be an issue as well.

A typical 30-minute instrument lesson can be around $40. If your child takes weekly lessons, you will have spent around $300 in two months. HomeSchoolPiano is a great value when you look at it that way, because you get a lifetime subscription and work at your child’s pace. Not to mention, if your family is smaller than six members, everybody in the family can learn!

To introduce this curriculum to my children, I just logged into my account and started playing the first video lesson. They came running. They heard a new voice and they rushed to see what it was. They watched the first couple of lessons with rapture. The two keyboards on the screen looked very different, I suppose. Plus, Willie can be funny.

When he gave them the assignment to find all the Cs on the piano, they ran to the piano. That’s how I realized that I need to take my laptop with the video lessons into the room with the piano.

The following day, I started the lessons in the same room with the piano. My son proudly demonstrated all the Cs on the piano. My daughter is only four and she did not know what to do. She learned as she watched her older brother.

And so we continued with less and less interest from my youngest – although she hangs around when we do the lessons and practices. She learns by osmosis, like any younger sibling.

My son, on the other hand, has learned a few things directly, not by osmosis. I think the most important thing for him at this point was the grab technique. The tissue trick was great. My son was spreading his pinky all over the piano key and no matter how much I told him to hold his hand together as if he were holding a tennis ball, he would not do it. But we practiced grabbing the key with a tissue and then I only had to remind him twice. His hand position is greatly improved.

Overall, the curriculum is easy to use, but it can get a bit boring in places. My son lost interest after a few lessons and it was rather difficult to get him excited about it again. I liked it for me, but I am an adult. I suppose an older child or a really motivated child would find it easier to use.

HomeSchoolPiano Six Step Technique

Here are the social media links for HomeSchoolPiano:
 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HomeschoolPiano
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jazzedge
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jazzedge/

 

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KinderBach.com Review

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In our homeschool, music and art do not get categorized as “electives.” On the contrary. So I was very keen on giving KinderBach piano lessons to my children when the opportunity came up, through the Review Crew.

Kinderbach Review
To be specific, I have been using the The KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner. Let me explain. Kinderbach is an online curriculum with piano lessons for children ages 3-7. For a limited time, the yearly subscription is $95.88 per year. That’s only $7.99 per month.

Your young students watch short videos which present piano and music theory instruction. At different points, you will have to pause the video so that they have time to finish their crafts or get their rhythm instruments ready or get into position in front of the piano.

My son, 6, started taking violin lessons a few months ago. My daughter, 3, would really like to play an instrument, too. She does not want to get left behind. These online piano lessons for young children give her just enough exposure to music theory and practice to satisfy her curiosity.

My children doing their Kinderbach.com lesson with rhythm instruments, crayons and coloring pages

My children doing their KinderBach.com lesson with rhythm instruments, crayons and coloring pages

We have a piano, but a small keyboard will suffice. You should, however, have a fast internet connection, crayons, card stock, printer paper and a good printer. All the books and worksheets are PDFs and you print them as you go.

No internet connection at home? No problem. You can also get this program on DVDs. If you travel, you can download the KinderBach App. How convenient is that?

The curriculum contains six levels, each with 10 weeks. Each week features five short videos: an introduction and four lessons. Each video is about three minutes long. An occasional video will be double that.

One full lesson, according to the lesson plans they give you, should take about 20 minutes, but I have found that it takes even less for us, probably because I only have two students. So if you do one lesson a week, you should comfortably finish the first three levels in one school year.

My children can do three lessons in one sitting though. I actually have to stop them and direct them to our next activity. They really enjoy KinderBach and get engrossed in it.

Once, I was talking to my husband and the children were doing their KinderBach lesson nearby. When Ms. Karri, the piano teacher on the video, gave them the cue, they grabbed their rhythm instruments and started playing. It was surreal to see my children “perform” at somebody else’s direction. My husband and I had one of those feel-good parenting moments.

I think it’s great that you can start your child at whatever level they are on. I started mine with the very first lesson, even though I taught them some piano last year. I just wanted to make sure we would not miss anything.

Early music lessons help a child in so many ways. The question is not, “Should I teach my children an instrument?” The question is, “Which instrument?” Then, one must consider the cost of regular instrument lessons, plus leaving home, logistics with one’s other children and the cost of gas. By the time you factor all this in, KinderBach becomes one convenient bargain alternative.

Kinderbach Review
KinderBach lessons are fun. They introduce your young children to several animal friends who, in turn, show them piano basics. There are coloring sheets, crafts to make, songs to learn, rhythm instruments to tap and quick videos to watch. Young children look forward to KinderBach lessons because they enjoy them.

Some of you may be thinking, “I thought you believed in delayed academics. Dr. Moore warned against burning children out with practicing an instrument too young.” Let me just say this… When it comes to introducing children to music, there are many ways to do it, some more gentle than others. KinderBach falls in the very gentle category.

As I said above, children who take KinderBach piano lessons color, cut, paste, and play with rhythm instruments. They stand up with the high notes and they squat down with the low notes. They make friends with all these cute characters who teach them musical notes or rhythm (like the beat bugs). They sing “Twinkle, Twinkle” and “Start Light, Start Bright.” I cannot stress this enough: KinderBach is a very gentle introduction to music theory and piano lessons.

Kinderbach Review
For me, it was a little too gentle at first. I thought, “Can we please get past Dodi (the donkey) and his house (which sits between the two black keys)?” I know. I’m a bit on the serious side.

But then, I noticed how much my young children were enjoying it. They needed a point of reference on the piano for the pattern of two black keys and three black keys. They appreciated the animals and their fun names.

I took four years of piano in middle school, but one does not need any prior knowledge to teach with this preschool piano curriculum. KinderBach will give you lesson plans, lesson aids, short videos and MP3 files you can play and sing to through the classes.

You can make this as formal or as informal as you want to. The lesson plans will tell you exactly what to do and how. Or, you can simply play the videos for the children to watch and print out strictly the coloring page or craft for that particular lesson. That’s what I did. It gave me some freedom to get some things done while they were busy tutoring themselves through the videos. Not a bad deal at all.

Kinderbach Review
I cannot say enough about Ms. Karri, the founder of KinderBach and the teacher on the videos. She has a really great presence for small children. You know how teachers of small children can overdo it sometimes? She is just right. Not too silly, not too serious. When she says, “Would you play with me?” my daughter replies, “Yes!”

With their free trial offer, you can try it in your homeschool and see if it fits. They will give you two weeks’ worth of lessons and worksheets. You cannot go wrong.

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