Saturday, March 23, 2013

(REVIEW) Adventus-MusicIQ HomeSchool



I think all of us that were fortunate enough to be chosen for the MusicIQ Program from Adventus feel this review could be several pages long.   The program, in its entirety, is literally a seven-year music lesson program with so many wonderful aspects. It is for beginner to intermediate, to advanced music learners.  It incorporates music appreciation, music history, piano theory, instrumentation, and more!  

Let’s dive in and see if I can give you a great overview of the program without bogging you down with too many details. I want to help you decide whether it will work for your homeschool or not! 

 
First of all, you will need a MIDI-capable piano keyboard with adapter (I purchased my adapter for less than $6) or a MIDI keyboard. These plug-n-play keyboards are sold at Adventus, or you may purchase one on your own.

The keyboard we have for Abbey is old, was given to us by a friend who used it for 8 – 10 years in a band, and still we found it had a MIDI input on the back of it.  So check around for older models if budget is an issue for you at this time. 
 
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Because my daughter Abbey has had about six months of piano lessons, we began with Children’s Music Journey Volume 2.  Her first teacher was Dvorak and her second one was Mozart.  In cartoon, high-resolution video format, these great composers from history become your child's teachers!  Such a great idea, huh? Below is a screenshot of Mozart welcoming you to a lesson with him from the home page. 
 
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Each volume of Children’s Music Journey allows your child time with a different set of master composers. Each composer takes time at the beginning of each lesson to play pieces of music they have written.  Music appreciation is being taught even though Abbey doesn’t realize it.  The composer then teaches the student a lesson, and waits for your student to respond. Any strokes your child makes on the keyboard are "heard" by the composer and encouraged or corrected.  After each lesson, the child is directed to Miss Melody, their piano practicing teacher. She will review the lesson with  the students as often as they need.  Along the way, both master composers and Miss Melody will offer a gentle “Careful!” when your student plays the wrong note or gives the wrong count to a certain note. 

For each level that Abbey completes, she is allowed games to play that allow her practice some of the theories she has just learned in her lessons.  
 
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Playing the notes correctly in the game pictured above allows dolphins to jump from the water in front of the guitar-playing gal on the shore.  Each dolphin jump earns the student a trophy.  These games are a wonderful reinforcement and another clever way to sneak in some extra practice.The graphics are vibrant and the sound effects are clear and engaging. 

Included with the purchase of the MusicIQ Program software program are a set of lesson plans for each volume and program. *Lesson plans are not included in the monthly subscription, only in the purchase of each software. These include timelines of each composer, biographies of each composer, theory worksheets for your student, teacher suggestions, piano music practice sheets and more.  This huge PDF really helps you wade through this program step by step with your child.  So if you are a bit hesitant to start a program like this because YOU feel intimidated, I encourage you to try it, knowing that the Adventus supporting material will help you overcome those fears. 



Abbey is doing the MusicIQ HomeSchool Program three to four times per week. She is really enjoying working through each lesson and playing on this well-done program.  There is even an "Improvisation Room" where the students can pick an instrument, play and RECORD a song in any genre of music they would like, and have fun playing it back.  
 
  
A visit to the Library allows your student to do a variety of things: Listen to the composers' pieces, listen to their OWN pieces they have recorded in the the Improv Room, practice more with Miss Melody, and more!


As we begin each new composer, we take time to locate them on the timeline, talk about their lives and how they were influenced and inspired, and listen to some of their pieces of work.  This helps increase her interest level tremendously, versus just diving into a lesson without any background about each composer. 


The only negative thing I have to report about this program is the technical aspect of the initial set up. I do wish Adventus would include more explicit instructions for "technically-challenged" parents who need to be walked through the set up of the MIDI keyboard and the downloading issues of the software.  That being said, when I called their customer service number, I was given immediate help to resolve the issues and get going.  

 
What’s included: MusicIQ HomeSchool Program is a multi-level music and piano program for ages 4 -94, but the Children's Music Journey volumes are recommended for ages 4 - 10.  Your subscription or purchase will allow you access to the Children's Music Journey Volumes I , II, and III; Piano Suite Premier, Ear Training Coach 1 -4; and Music IQ Challenger Game. There are several different options for purchasing and using the homeschool-designed portion of their program.  


 For a wonderful introductory lesson to MusicIQ Homeschool Program, I encourage you to go to YouTube and play the several AdventusInc uploaded videos.  This was one of the deciding factors for us deciding to pursue this review.  

Want to try it FREE for seven days? Click here


More details:
 
1.  Monthly Subscription—$10.95.  This allows you access to all levels of the program each month.  This is perfect for multiple ages taking piano or music lessons.  You will receive access to all of the MusicIQ Software titles, plus you will be offered a discount on purchasing a MIDI keyboard. Amazing price for so much content!  You certainly can't take piano lessons for less than that monthly price.


 
2.  Purchasing Only the Early Curriculum (Ages 4 - 10)  or Multi-Level (Intermediate to Advanced) Software (you will receive a CD based on your purchase).  These can be purchased in money-saving bundles, individual programs, or a customized combo that fits your needs. The prices range from $89 - $309.

3. Purchasing the Entire Bundle (All of the Above) in CD and Downloads: $489, a savings of $65.
 


Several other homeschool families have been using this software program from Adventus, so I encourage you to go see how their experiences were rated by clicking the banner below:


 


















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