Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Adventus MusIQ - a review
I am married to a guy who hails from a musical family. He grew up traveling the country and other countries in fact, with the rest of his talented , musical family. Most every one of his siblings is involved in music at some level. I did not have that experience, and part of me has always felt that I had missed out because of it.
When we had children, my hope was for them to have the opportunity to learn at least one musical instrument. Which brings me to the subject of this post.
As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I have the privilege of trying out some wonderful homeschooling products and resources. This month has been no exception. I was delighted to find that my dream of music lessons for my girls would indeed come to pass with the review of MusicIQ Homeschool brought to us by Adventus .
This innovative program works with kids ranging in age from 4 yrs. to 18yrs.. How many programs can say that? These are the lessons available:
* Children's Music Journey Volume 1
* Children's Music Journey Volume 2
*Children's Music Journey Volume 3
*Piano Suite Premier
*Ear Training Coach 1-2
*Ear Training Coach 3-4
We were given downloads of each of these, and will be working our way through them all.
Our children have basically no musical training, so we've been learning with the very first, Children's Music Journey Volume 1, which is geared for the 4-10 yr. old set.
Before we began, we needed to purchase a keyboard, and we did so through Adventus . You will need a MIDI keyboard to use this program, and we figured why not buy through this company since it comes with the cable and all, and works with the curriculum. It was easy to set up with the computer, and the program helped us with getting the settings working correctly.
And the lessons began. There are a variety of "teachers" in this program, mostly famous classical composers like Beethoven, Bach, Joplin, and more. My 7 year old has really gotten a kick out of these characters, and it makes me smile every time she graduates to a new section, because that means a new composer, and every new composer instantly becomes her favorite teacher.
Before each lesson, the composer plays a piece of classical music and shares some light information on its origin. Bite sized pieces that have been just right for my daughter. Then the lesson begins. I like the gentle progression of this program. High and low notes are first introduced as a bird and a whale, and proper fingering is demonstrated with the 2 pointer fingers.
The program allows the student to play back the correct notes to the teacher, including either encouragement (Superb job!) or gentle correction at a mistake (Careful!). There is always time to try again to play the right key. The lessons then end with more of the classical music piece, again, small doses of the more famous selections to familiarize the student with these works.
After the main lesson, the student has the option of choosing from a menu that includes practice with "Miss Melody", a games section, an improvisation section for creating their own songs, and a library for further information, lessons and such. It is necessary to practice with Miss Melody before progressing to the next lesson.
The games are engaging and fun, with the goal being hitting the correct notes, "composing" their own piece of music, proper finger positioning, all of the basics. I still have the image in my head of my sweet girl in her nightgown, in the midst of a lesson. She was standing up and had herself staged like a rock star at the keyboard while composing her own song. The delight on her face was obvious. She was having a blast! So how about a few of her thoughts on this product?
Quite simply, she loves it! The composers crack her up, and she really likes the history of the music as well as the composers themselves. The lessons are providing enough of a challenge to spur her on without frustration. She's breezing through with enthusiasm. She can't wait to share what she's learned with her dad at the end of the day, and the fact that she's kind of re-teaching it as she explains her lessons are showing us that she's retaining the information. This looks to be a music curriculum that our family will be using and enjoying for quite a while.
Ages: 4yrs.- 18yrs.
Price: Monthly subscription $10.95 per month. You can also purchase one of several bundles that give you the software outright. The complete bundle has every level as well as a midi keyboard for $489.95
Lower priced bundles also available, depending on your budget and needs.
Our Crew members used a variety of levels with this program, so to check out the others,
Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew