Saturday, July 6, 2019

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Preschool Prodigies Review - Amazing Music Lessons for Kids!

I have been looking for music lessons for my kids for some time, so when I discovered Preschool Prodigies I was both super excited and a little anxious--could they really be as amazing as they seem?!

This article contains affiliate links.

I think it is important to start with what I want in music lessons for my kids. I have been looking for something that...

* fosters a love of music

* teaches how to play an instrument
* teaches how to read sheet music
* introduces a variety of fun songs
* trains my preschoolers in basic music theory

And, in addition to all that, I want the lessons to be fun, engaging, and playful so that my kids are excited about music lessons. It would be especially cool if the curriculum included material for both my preschoolers and my other kids.

I know it's a tall order...that's why I've been looking for so long!

The amazing thing is...Preschool Prodigies really does do all of that! And more!!

* The love of music is built in: the preschool lessons are based on a set of C Major bells. Just opening the bell box made my preschoolers giddy! Every lesson feels like a party, and the kids ask for Music Time every day!

* The kids learn how to use the bells to play both songs they already know and new songs while simultaneously learning how to read sheet music! The video instructions use a multi-sensory approach that makes reading sheet music very natural--the kids play their bells, see and hear the instructions, and hear and feel the music! As I've used the lessons with my kids I keep thinking, Mr. Rob has both a fantastic musical background AND a strong understanding of brain-based learning and educational theory. I even enjoy the videos!    

* The variety of songs is fantastic! They teach everything from basics like Mary Had a Little Lamb and simplified Beethoven's 5th to modern classics like Baby Shark to completely original songs I've never heard anywhere else (like The Campfire Song, Sweet Beets, and Hello C)! They even have more than 20 classic holiday songs that they teach your kids how to play!

Here's a peek at one of the holiday videos:

* The music theory in Preschool Prodigies is incredible. There is no other way to say it! The educator in me is truly amazed at the amount of research-based methodology that feels like play for the preschooler! During just the first chapter of lessons kids are introduced to three notes, pitch, chords, solfege, quarter notes, rests, long and short notes, and more! But it never feels boring--my kids were captivated by colors, shapes, music, their own bell-playing, singing along, counting, clapping, and more. The videos are very interactive. There is so much wrapped up in every lesson that I was completely blown away. I even invited my older daughter (who already has some piano experience) to join us because I thought she would benefit from the music theory. She had a great time! (It's funny--I don't usually gauge lessons by how much fun my kids had, but I think that it's important to point out that they are really enjoying it AND learning music basics! I love this quote from their website: "Imagine a world where we all understand music as easily as we understand color." The Preschool Prodigies lessons are totally creating that!!

Everything I was looking for in music lessons is part of Preschool Prodigies. I would have been thrilled if that was it, but there is so much more. I am super excited to try out all of these aspects:

* There are "playtime" lessons for toddlers who might not be ready to actually play the bells yet!
* There are "Performance Prodigies" videos that teach performance songs!
* There is an elementary music curriculum with even more advanced music theory for older kids!
* There is a recorder curriculum that teaches how to play the recorder!
* There are plans to introduce ukulele, percussion, and piano lessons in the next few years! Actually, I believe the ukulele lessons will begin to go up this fall. This is actually a great reason to look into the lifetime membership because it includes everything they will add in the future!
* There is a Facebook group to support parents and teachers using Preschool Prodigies. I joined this group and really love how involved and responsive the Preschool Prodigies team is. They are actually a family-owned business, and the owners are in the group answering questions and giving you updates on new curriculum!
* There are online games that reinforce theory concepts!
* There are also workbooks to reinforce concepts from each lesson!

If you teach in a classroom or group setting, there are also lesson plans and support just for teachers. They have suggestions on ways to set up a music class in different formats, depending on your needs.

Plus, the format is really user friendly! From the main entry page you can choose which curriculum you want:

And then once you're inside a curriculum the lessons have the video at the top and parent/teacher information under it. Here's an example from the first lesson:

Preschool Prodigies is constantly introducing new lessons on DVD (in case you don't want your kids online) and apps for your phone. They have the lessons on the app so they're more mobile. They also have a bells app that I really love--the app loads a set of bells on my phone that you can play by tapping them! Here's a picture:

It is perfect if you want to try out the lessons before buying a set of bells or (in my case) if you have a 14-month old that really wants to play with the bells but would most likely destroy them within 30 seconds! He LOVES playing them on my phone!

When the baby takes his nap, all my other kids gather for a daily Music Time. We watch a video from the Preschool Prodigies series and play the bells. When we finish introducing all the notes in the staff, I'm going to let my older kids start the Primary Prodigies (elementary level) series, but I want them to "meet" all the notes in the *extremely* memorable format that the preschool lessons are in first. They already can point out the notes on the treble staff that we've covered and name them!  I'll post another update and let you know how it is working for us again at that point!

This is a picture of my 3-year old about to start a lesson...I LOVE this is her biggest, "I am SUPER excited!!" smile! 💖

Logistically, Preschool Prodigies has different purchasing options for every need you can imagine! You can buy a monthly subscription to the lessons, a yearly subscription, or even a lifetime membership! They are having a huge 4th of July sale right now, so if you're tempted by the lifetime membership, this is a really great time to do it!

I have just been 110% delighted with both Preschool Prodigies and the people who are creating the music lessons and other resources in their curricula...and I'm seriously telling everyone about it! I was going to include a pros and cons list for you, but the pros took me this whole article to list and I literally cannot find any cons! The program is every bit as amazing as it seems, and we will continue using it both for our homeschooling needs and to share with our friends.

Disclosure: This review is sponsored by Preschool Prodigies. Like always, I only recommend products I absolutely love and am happy to use! 

Happy Educating,

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

I may share at any of these parties!

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