Wednesday, October 10, 2012

CREW Review- Kinderbach


Who doesn't want their kiddos to play an instrument?  Any instrument!
Fairly early on with my girls, I was successful with that goal.  Both of my girls play the piano well, while one is now also pursuing guitar and one likes to fiddle with a violin.  But the boys- well, let's just say I have been a little behind.  You know, a mom gets busy sometimes.

Thanks to KinderBach and their newly released iPad app, I am on the way to catching up! 
I was first exposed to KinderBach during the summer when I had the chance to explore the first few lessons in test mode.  Can I just tell you how hard developers work to go from a good theory to a workable and enjoyable app?  LOTS!  There were many downloads and reloads.
Since releasing their final product I have been able to review the whole program through Schoolhouse Review Crew.  The finished project is even better than I had hoped for.
Here's how it works-
There are three levels with 10 Lessons each.  You choose which level to start with and which lesson, which will bring you to a screen that looks like this-
From here you watch each short lesson and follow along.  That simple!  The intro video for each level reminds you of what will be taught in that particular level. Karri Gregor, the gal you see pictured, teaches a lesson, shows you keyboard information, sings, and teaches fun games to follow along with.   There are also numerous hands on activities you can do with her by simply hitting the print key.   If you are not able to "air print" you can click on the ? button on the bottom of any lesson page which will provide a link to download books from their website. PDF books are also available at a small fee.
Here is what an activity page might look like-
Another button you see is the Game button.  This takes you to six games at varying degrees of difficulty for your child to play.  One particular game, the train game, has had a few glitches in it, but Apple is working to resolve those now.  Each game provides practice for the concepts taught and gets progressively harder.
I have used this mostly for my 5 year old at this point.  My 10 year old looked at it some, but felt like the activities were too young for him.  (KinderBach is geared for children 3-7, but I was hoping I could talk the 10 year old into it.  Can't hurt to try, right?)  The 5 year old however, loved it!  One of his favorite activities was the hi low game, in which you squat down when you hear low notes and grow bigger with high notes.    It was one of the first activities he did, but it has remained his favorite throughout the program.  He also loved the characters Karri uses to introduce concepts, especially Dodi, the donkey that lives in the two black keys!

What did I like?  This is a fun interactive program.  Despite the fact that it is a iPad app, it encourages singing and lots of movement.  When a keyboard is required, one is displayed at the bottom to use and sounds very much like a real piano.  Oftentimes, CJ would use the keyboard when using the app, but later go to our big piano to see if he could do the same activities.  Who knew music could be portable?   I also love that the print button is easy to use and allows your child to follow along with the video.  Karri is energetic, easy to listen to and fun for the kids.  It is like having your own music teacher right in your home...or car!  Each lesson is quite different from the other, which allowed my son to keep engaged and not become bored.  He tends to be one to just keep hitting buttons on apps and I saw very little of that when he was playing with the Kinderbach app. 
About the only thing I would love to see updated is the ability to automatically go back to where you left off after each lesson.  My 5 year old could not always remember what he had done last, and I had to keep a note for myself as to what lesson and video we were on.
So, do I like it?  Another thumbs up here!  Combine learning and fun with a portable app for music and they have my vote.  You can try the first two lessons for free if you want to see if it is a good fit for your family!
KinderBach School Version App, which I reviewed, can be purchased for $26.99 at the App store.  The School version allows you to purchase all levels at once, a year's worth of lessons!   According to their Facebook page, this may go on sale Friday, so keep your eyes open!  There is also an online version if you are interested.
Update!  Receiev 30% off any order by using Coupon Code: TOS_crew2012
Expires: 12/31/2012

Also the KinderBach App is on sale This Friday, Oct. 19th, 2012 ONLY. The
app will be discounted over 50%, down to $12.99! No code needed just the
link to the Classroom KinderBach app in the App store:
To see what fellow CREW members had to say about KinderBach App and the online version as well, click on the banner below.
Disclaimer- I received KinderBach iPad app in exchange for my honest review of the product.  Opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by the company in any way.

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