Thursday, August 2, 2012

Learning Music part 1

We've been doing a lot of music this week. Music has always been something I've wanted to do with Nikki, but since I haven't really learnt anything music-related since giving up the violin at age 11 (I scraped past my Grade 1 exam) I don't really have the skills to teach him  more than note-sounds on the bells or xylophone.

When I realised that Little Musician had finally been released, I was thrilled. From what I had heard from discussions during beta-testing it was just what I needed to offer Nicholas a more rounded music education.

We started on the trial Monday and I am speechless. It is so much better than I hoped. Most importantly, Nicholas loves it. He asks to watch the lesson many many times in a day. I try and keep it down to 2 or 3.

The whole lesson for each day lasts around 5 minutes and is split into many parts:

Chord Recognition - a chord is played, named and then sung in solfege. This is repeated for two chords.

Solfege - the note sounds and solfege names (do re me etc.) are taught for three different notes.

Note Sounds - a simple scale is played.

Musical Knowledge - either three instruments are introduced, including the sound and how they are played, or pictures of three composers are shown while one of their famous compositions plays.

Music Appreciation - an excerpt from a famous classical piece.

Clap-Along Rhythm Lessons - Nikki's absolute favourite. A nursery rhyme tune (so far we have seen Mary had a Little Lamb and the ABC song) is played while an animated baby claps the rhythm.

At the introduction to each section, Nikki announces 'I like... !' He happily sings the notes that are played, and enjoys listening to all the music.

I've decided its worth investing in the full version - I think Nikki would melt down if the trial ended and he couldn't have any more! I really like the program: it is fun, quick and full of information with a year's worth of lessons pre-loaded (the software and lessons are both for life).

There is a free 14-day trial available for Little Musician at the Brillkids website. If you are thinking of buying, please use my code to get a 10% discount! BKAFF49125

This post has turned out a lot longer than I anticipated, so I'll write about our other musical adventures separately...

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