This isn't a curriculum just for beginning students. There are 7 levels available. The Early Curriculum includes 3 beginner levels, which is 3 years of lessons. This level is aimed at 4-10 year olds. Parents can choose to have a monthly subscription for $10.95 a month or purchase each level at one time for a cost of $89.95. Each level includes the software, theory sheets and lesson plans.
The next level up after the 3 beginning levels is geared for ages 10 and up. There are 4 years of lessons, two of which are designed to help the student with training their ears. Year 1 is priced at $109.95 and years 2 and 3, which are the ear training levels are priced at $59.95 each. The final year, Year 4, is MusIQ Challenger Game and the cost is $69.95.
Multi-level Curriculum: Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000 and an Internet connection
You will also need a MIDI keyboard which can be connected to your computer. Adventus has them for sale on their website.
I decided to start Rachel, my 8 year old at the very beginning, level 1, lesson 1 of the Early Curriculum Software. The set-up was pretty simple once we realized that the keyboard we bought was the issue and not the software. Trying to make an anxious 8 year old wait to play a new keyboard was not fun. But it did build her excitement.
The lessons are interactive, obviously since you are using the MIDI capabilities. This keeps kids engaged. I feel like the lessons move at just the right pace for the beginning student. There isn't too much information to overwhelm the student. I was present for each lesson my daughter did because I was reviewing the software, but she was able to sign in on her own and complete the lesson without much help from me.
At first I thought Rachel might find the lessons a bit cheesy. I wasn't sure how she'd respond to a talking cartoon Beethoven, but she was glued to the screen. She listened very intently as she learned about bird notes which are high notes and whale notes which are the low notes. The last thing I wanted was for her to feel overwhelmed on her first music lesson ever. Like I said, the lessons get more complex but at a gradual and digestible pace. Before long, she was learning about sharps and flats.
If you are considering piano lessons for your children, I urge you to try at least one month of Adventus. A good friend of mine teaches piano at a cost of $70 a month. I am sure she is a fabulous teacher, but with 3 kids all wanting to learn piano, lessons are not doable. The other great thing about having your piano lessons right at home is that your children can do their lessons when it is convenient for all of you. You can capitalize on your child's desire to learn by allowing them to do a lesson every few days or sooner. I don't know about you, but private piano lessons 2-3 times a week would make me go broke.