Sunday, March 24, 2013

TOS Review: Adventus

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Whenever my girls have the opportunity to play the piano, they love it!  I would love for them to take piano lessons.  However, with our schedule and budget, private piano lessons are not an option for our family.  So, when given the opportunity to review the award-winning, multi-level music and piano curriculum by Adventus, I was beyond excited!  

The Adventus' MusIQ Homeschool curriculum is specifically designed for homeschoolers, ages 4 to 18The seven-year curriculum includes over twenty levels for beginner to advanced intermediate piano students. 

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We received a one year MusIQ HomeSchool Subscription, which includes unlimited, full-feature access to all the MusIQ HomeSchool software titles via e-mail.  The monthly subscription is $10.95 per month.  Lesson Plans and a MIDI keyboard can be purchased separately. 

 

What's included in the MusIQ HomeSchool Subscription?

- Children’s Music Journey Volume 1
- Children’s Music Journey Volume 2
- Children’s Music Journey Volume 3
- Beginner Level 1 Lesson Plans
- Piano Suite Premier
- Ear Training Coach 1&2
- Ear Training Coach 3&4

So, you can teach up to five children how to play piano for only $10.95 per month because all of the levels are included in the MusIQ HomeSchool Subscription!

What's needed in order to begin the MusIQ HomeSchool Subscription?
  •  A MIDI piano keyboard (a digital keyboard that connects to your computer via a USB cable or a ‘MIDI to USB’ adapter).
  • A computer with access to the Internet with the following system requirements:
Early Curriculum

 Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000 or Macintosh OSX
 
Multi-level Curriculum

Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000

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Izzie, 6 years old, has no formal piano experience.  Therefore, she began with the Early Curriculum: Children's Music Journey, designed for ages 4-10.  The Children's Music Journey contains three volumes, each incorporating a "teach, practice, apply" methodology by having the student actively participate in lessons, activities and games.

 
What's included in the Early Curriculum: Children's Music Journey?
  • 95 Interactive Lessons taught by 18 famous composers (Beethoven, Bach, Joplin, Mendelssohn, Villa-Lobos, Satie, Dvorak, Mozart, Beach, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Chopin, Scarlatti, Haydn, Bartok, Chaminade, Debussy, & Schumann).
  • 95 Practice Sessions with ‘Miss Melody’ the friendly practice room teacher.
  • 150 Learn-to-Play Songs and famous pieces.
  • 30 Games to reinforce theory and make learning fun.
  • Composing and Improvising with dozens of instruments, sounds, beats, and pre-loaded arrangements from classical to rock ‘n roll.

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 Izzie started her music adventure with Children's Music Journey, Volume 1.  


    There are a total of 20 sessions, each containing multiple activity sheets.  In addition, there are review sheets and assessments.

Concepts included in the Children's Music Journey, Volume 1
  •  Musical Alphabet 
  • Quarter, half and whole notes 
  • Sharps 
  • Flats and naturals 
  • Half rests 
  • Notation of standard C position 
  • Intervals of 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th 
  • Songs with chords in the left hand and melody in the right hand 
  • Tapping notated rhythms hands together with rests and ties 
  • Development of repertoire 
  • Composing 
  • Improvising 
  • History

Be sure to watch the below video to experience a quick overview of Children's Music Journey, Volume 1.

 



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During the review period, Izzie completed lessons, four days a week for approximately 30 minutes.  One lesson takes 45-60 minutes to complete or can be divided into two 25-30 minute sessions.  It is suggested to complete 1-2 lessons per week, while practicing the learned concepts 4-5 times a week for 20 minutes. 

As a homeschooling mom, without any formal piano lessons, I felt very confident in assisting Izzie because of the well-planned lesson plans.  I would highly recommend investing in the lesson plans.
   
After printing out the lesson plans, I placed them in a 3-ring binder.

Children's Music Journey, Volume 1: Lesson Plans

The lesson plan for each session is nicely organized, stating exactly what to do and the approximate time to spend on each section.  The lesson plans are extremely helpful. 

Children's Music Journey, Volume 1: Lesson Plan

 In addition, each section contains a practice guide, which highlights the purpose of the session and a quick reference of what the student should complete during the session.  I would imagine this could be used as a guideline for the parent, who is not using the lesson plans. 
 
Children's Music Journey, Volume 1: Practice Guide


 On the Main Menu, there are five areas for the student to explore.

Children's Music Journey, Volume 1: Main Menu

1.  Lesson Room, where each lesson begins.  There are many famous composers throughout the program that introduce the topics.  

Children's Music Journey, Volume 1: Lesson Room with Mr. Beethoven







2.  Practice Room with Miss Melody.  After the student completes the lesson, he or she can get additional guided practice with Miss Melody. 




3.  Game Room, which includes 10 educational and entertaining games.  The games are not all available at the beginning; instead, each game is introduced after specific concepts have been taught.

Children's Music Journey, Volume 1: Game Room




4.  The Improv Room is where each student can write and record their own music!  There are numerous instruments and background music to choose from.  Izzie had the best time creating her own songs!   

Children's Music Journey, Volume 1: Improv Room




5.  The Library is the resource area.  The student can choose to listen to teacher's songs, learn new songs, and redo any part of previous lessons for additional practice.  In addition, the library contains all songs that your student has created from the Improv Room.  Izzie really enjoyed listening to all her masterpieces!

Children's Music Journey, Volume 1: Library

After the completed session, Izzie enjoyed completing the activity worksheets.

Children's Music Journey, Volume 1: Activity Worksheets

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What I liked: 
  • Very affordable compared to traditional piano lessons.  It's very beneficial if you have multiple children at different levels because all seven levels are included!  
  • The well-planned Lesson Plans made my experience much more pleasurable! I would highly recommend purchasing the lesson plans. 
  • The animated versions of the famous composers were fabulous!   Izzie really enjoyed the instant feedback, especially when she played the correct notes!
  • After a 30 second introduction in Lesson 1, the program required input from Izzie every 3-10 seconds.  I absolutely love the fact Izzie is actively engaged from the beginning to the end of each lesson. 
  •  The numerous educational and entertaining games that not only kept Izzie's attention, but also reviewed the learned concepts.  
  • The Improv Room was Izzie's favorite!  She really enjoyed creating her own music! 

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  In conclusion, I would highly recommend the MusIQ HomeSchool Subscription from Adventus for any beginner to advanced intermediate piano students, aged 4-18.  

If you would like your child to try out the software, I encourage you to take advantage of the FREE 7-day trial.  

Sail over to read what other Crew Mates had to say about their experience with Adventus.

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