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We’ve recently had the opportunity to review a wonderful set of piano software lessons from Adventus. Our children love music and I’m always on the lookout for great resources to help them.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own.
MusIQ HomeSchool program is a 7 year curriculum for grades K-12. It is made up of Early Curriculum Software & Lesson Plans and Multi-level Curriculum Software & Lesson Plans.
The first 3 levels are Children’s Music Journey Volumes 1 to 3 for children age 4 to 10. The later levels are their Piano Suite Premier, Ear Training Coach 1 & 2, Ear Training Coach 3 & 4 software. We were given the full MusIQ HomeSchool program, but we have mainly been working in the earlier years.
- Children’s Music Journey: Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000 or Mac OSX and an Internet connection.
- Multi-level Curriculum: Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000 and an Internet connection.
- For both programs, you need a USB or MIDI keyboard (with a MIDI to USB adapter)
In Children’s Music Journey Vol. 1 each lesson starts with a 30-second music clip composed by a famous composer who is also their teacher for that lesson.
At the start of each lesson, the composer shares information and thoughts on this piece of music. I love this as it works great with our composer studies!
The teacher then introduces the content for that lesson. Lesson 1 starts with learning what high notes and low notes are. They call the high notes bird notes and the low notes whale notes.
He then asks the children to press a high bird note or low whale note, to see if they understand. Images of birds and whales are placed on the screen for the children to follow. So really the first music notes they are reading are animal pictures, but it works!
They slowly are asked to follow more complex note patterns.
After each lesson, they can go into the practice room to meet with Miss Melody. Miss Melody teaches ear training, theory, hand position and practice of the lessons. Here you can also record your own music.
After working in the practice room the game room is unlocked. In this area, there are 10 games that help reinforce what has been learned in that lesson. My children LOVE this section, my 7-year-old especially loves the rhythm and ear training games.
There is also a library where the child can explore music selections by famous composers.
- Multiple Users
- Choose your own avatar
- Taught by a famous composer
- Miss Melody practice sessions
- Game Room
- Over 200 pieces of classical music
- So much more!!
What did we think?
We have just loved using this software! In fact, because all the children love it so much, it’s hard to fit all the lessons in each day. I just might have to delegate each child specific days they can practice on.
The software was easy to download and installed without any issues. You do need a USB keyboard to use this software OR a MIDI keyboard with a MIDI to USB adapter. We ran into a problem with the keyboard we already owned.
The local store had told us they could get the adapter, but after waiting found out they couldn’t. By that time we didn’t want to take the time to order one online from the USA so hubby bought us a keyboard that had a USB out port on it. It worked great from the first time it was plugged in.
After installing the software you can set up an account for each child to log in with. It’s very easy for them to use, just start the program click on their name and login. The lessons are fun and paced just right.
The program comes with lesson plans and worksheets, but we have been mainly using just the software and letting the children work through the lessons at their own speed. The software is designed to use 1 lesson a week, but depending on the age of our children some have moved through much faster.
Piano Suit Premier
Piano Suite Premier, is a wonderful program for children age 10 and up and adults as well. It has 5 areas to work in. Since my oldest daughter didn’t move through the lower levels fast enough to start with Piano Suite Premier, I decided to try it out. I took a year of keyboard lessons in high school and really haven’t touched one since!
When you start the program you can choose from 500 different songs in genres including classical, country, rock, and jazz. It includes artists from classical composers to more modern selections including Elvis Presley, Bryan Adams, The Beatles and many more.
After choosing a song, you can go to an area to practice it. You can practice on hand at a time or both. It will also show you the album artwork if it’s available and song lyrics. Hey your not going to get me singing!!
The Theory Thinker area has 5 levels and each contains subtopics. As you complete each subtopic a check mark is shown so you can remember what ones you have already done. After you have completed the lesson you go to a piano player to practice what you’ve learned. After this, there are practice exercises you can complete.
The Composer’s Corner is an area to write and record your own music, fun!!
The Game area has 3 games to practice what you have learned.
The History Happens section has a huge amount on information on music and composers. I LOVE this section and it makes a great addition to our composer studies.
What do we think?
I’ve really enjoyed using Piano Suite Premier, that is when I can get the keyboard and computer away from the kids. I’ve found the program easy to use and I love how you can customize just about everything in the program. I know my kids will love this after they have worked their way through the lower levels.
Adventus has many pricing options.
The MusIQ HomeSchool Years 1-3 Bundle (Includes Children’s Music Journeys Vol. 1-3, Level 1 lesson plans and a M-Audio KeyRig 49 MIDI keyboard) is $309.95.
Children’s Musical Journey Year 1 with lesson plans $89.95 Children’s Musical Journey Year 2 with lesson plans $89.95 Children’s Musical Journey Year 3 with lessons plans $89.95
Each Children’s Musical Journey Vol. can also be purchased for $69.95 each for a CD or download without the lesson plans.
The Complete MusIQ Homeschool Bundle containing Children’s Music Journey Vol 1-3, Beginner Level 1 Lesson Plans, Piano suite Premier, Ear Training Coach 1&2, Ear Training Coach 3&4, Level 1 Lesson Plans, and M-Audio KeyRig 49 MIDI keyboard. This kit is $489.95.
They have many MusIQ HomeSchool and kits available in their store to check out. They also offer a MusIQ HomeSchool!