I love music. And my kids do too. But that’s not news to you, since I’ve blogged about raising kids who love music in the past, as well as why you shouldn’t give up piano. Now, my boys haven’t really had formal lessons, as they haven’t been old enough. But this summer, Toby, now in kindergarten, asked if he could take piano lessons.
So, I went digging through my music cabinet to see what books might be suitable for a younger piano student. I have quite a wide span of material, not surprisingly (my grandmother was an organist and a piano teacher, and I took piano lessons in grades K-12). When I inherited my grandmother’s upright piano, my mom gave me even more piano lesson books.
I found some books by Faber and Faber that I thought would be helpful (you can find lots of Faber and Faber piano books on Amazon #afflink). But I wondered if there was something else out there for the beginning pianist. Something more modern and interactive.
That’s when I discovered Busy Kids Do Piano (#afflink). When I saw this review opportunity grace my inbox, I was really excited! Busy Kids Do Piano is a complete system that includes online lesson videos and printable worksheets. Like any quality program, it’s not free. The Busy Kids Do Piano course is $49.95, which works out to a more than reasonable fee of $2.50/lesson.
Let me digress for just a moment. You may know that learning music isn’t just about learning to play the notes. It’s also about understanding rhythm. So when you research a learning method, it’s important to evaluate how well it teaches rhythm, note length, and other basic concepts… because these are the building blocks you need to make a strong foundation for later understanding of music.
So, for me, it was important to ask myself, does Busy Moms Do Piano teach these concepts?
The answer is yes.
For the first lesson, she doesn’t even have kids use the piano — because they are learning about rhythm. Toby had fun choosing a percussion instrument from our musical instrument box — he selected two, actually.
With a tambourine and a rhythm stick in hand, Toby listened intently as he learned about the different notes, what they looked like, and how long their counts are. He practiced tapping along for the different notes, and I made sure he understood the concept of “holding” the note.
After playing the video through a couple times so that Toby could play along as instructed, he was ready to work on his worksheet.
I’m not one to force too much learning in one sitting, but when my kids are interested in a concept, I’m all for continuing!
So I pulled out the first worksheet and Toby worked his way through it. He learned how to draw a whole note, a half note, and a quarter note. We played the rhythm that was written on the page together.
Over the next days, Toby continued to be excited about piano, and repeatedly asked me when he could do another piano lesson. Specifically, “the one with the video.” Score! I love it when my kids stay interested in something.
Looking back at our experience, I would say my child enjoyed Busy Kids Do Piano, and I did too. The materials were clear and I was able to walk Toby through the activities without any trouble. While I would have been comfortable teaching a more traditional lesson to my child, I think Busy Kids Do Piano is a great program for anyone who wants to familiarize their children with piano. It’s an easy way to try out piano lessons, with the benefits of being able to go at your own pace, and being able to do the lessons anytime, anywhere. And, as I mentioned, the fee for the material is more than economical when you consider a typical in-person music lesson might cost more like $30 for a half hour.
Can the Busy Kids Do Piano (#afflink) method replace a traditional teacher? I think that’s hard to say…it depends on what you’re looking for, honestly. For beginning musicians, or children you want to acclimate to music? Sure. For more advanced students? Nope. But it’s definitely a starting point for entry into the wonderful world of music! I grew up taking music lessons, and a number of my relatives are musicians. I think music lessons with a live teacher play an important role in shaping the musical experiences of children. The instant feedback, the communication — you just don’t get that with a video lesson. But these lessons are a good way to set the stage for learning music in the more traditional way, later on.
Note: I received this product free in exchange for an honest evaluation and review. The opinions and thoughts expressed are 100% my own.