Before the TOS Crew was given this assignment, I confess I had never heard of KinderBach...but lots of other Crew members had and they were very excited to try it out. Their excitement was contagious! But as someone with an older child who is quite a proficient piano player, I knew what some of the other more conventional piano courses on the market looked like, so I was eager to take a look for a different reason than some of my Crew mates.
KinderBach has a printed piano series, but what we were asked to review was their online curriculum. Their target age range is 3-7 and they seek to introduce them to many fundamentals of music over the course of 60 weeks of lessons which you student works through at their own pace. Each lesson involves watching a short video on the computer and usually doing an accompanying activity. The activities vary; sometimes it's a worksheet, sometimes it's clapping the beats to a song, sometimes it's playing short pieces on the piano.
My 7 year old son has been using the program for a few months now. My 3 1/2 year old daughter has "audited" it-she has done and watched much of what he's done, but she has done it on her own with no help from me. KinderBach has many "pros" going for it. First, they have hit their target audience very well in terms of how the materials are presented. I hear my youngest repeating things she's learned when she sits down at the piano to "play" just like her siblings. I'm impressed with the musical concepts she's picked up just by being exposed to the information in a very child oriented way. And my son has really enjoyed it. He does about a week's worth of work at each sitting, and doesn't even think of it as "school" but as a fun thing he gets to do. KinderBach is good about telling you what materials will be needed for each lesson, and is very multi-sensory. The kids cut and color things, march to the beat of songs, and tap rhythm instruments in addition to sitting at the piano/keyboard or at the computer for their lesson. The lessons are short enough to cover each topic but not exhaust a young child's attention span. Also, parents do not have to know anything about music for their children to be able to use this program successfully. And the price can't be beat. If you pay by the month, it is $14.95 a month. If you pay for a year at a time, it is $85.95 a year which makes is $7.16 a month. ("Real" piano lessons run between $15 and $20 a half hour.)
The bottom line for me is that my son wants to continue doing KinderBach and he's never shown an interest in piano before despite (or maybe because of) having a brother who plays well. I think KinderBach is definitely best suited to the 3-7 age range, but it impressive that they even try to reach so young since many piano teachers won't take on Pre-K'ers. KinderBach is an amazing value. I know, because I write checks out to our piano teacher every month.
And KinderBach use some creative and easy to remember ways of introducing notes and their "homes" on the keyboard (see above) which has really worked for my son. KinderBach offers a FREE two week trial, so you might as well check it out and see what you think. I'm sure you won't regret it. Go HERE to try KinderBach for yourself.
To see what other TOS Crew members think, go HERE.