3/26/13

{Crew Review} Adventus: MusIQ Homeschool

Adventus Logo

As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I get the opportunity to try programs that I would never have known existed.  This time, my family got to try a piano and music learning software from Adventus.  We received downloads that are part of the MusIQ Homeschool bundle.

We received download links with one year access to the following programs:

  1. Children’s Music Journey Vols 1, 2 and 3.
  2. Ear Training Coach Vols 1+2 and 3+4
  3. Piano Suite Premier

We also received downloadable PDF Files for Home School Lesson Plans for Children’s Music Journey and Piano Suite (These plans are available only in physical form.) Adventus also provided additional resources for parents and teachers using the MusIQ programs through this link:  MusIQ Library

Supergirl is enjoying Children’s Music Journey Vol 1 (CMJ1) while Turtlegirl has been exploring music with Piano Suite Premier (PS).   Both Tailorbear and Boobear have more music experience.  Boobear has been improving her sight reading and playing by ear by using Ear Training Coach Vol 1 (ETC1).  Tailorbear has mostly used the ETC1 but has explored some of PS especially the Composer Room.

Here’s A Quick Tour of Children’s Music Journey:

CMJ can be used with children as young as 4!  The recommended age range is ages 4-10.  Children ages 8-10 may want to start with Vol 2 or Vol 3 instead of Vol 1.  Older children will move through Vol 1 faster.

Inside CMJ you will find:

  • Interactive Lessons: There are 95 Lessons taught by 18 different composers.  These are fun. 
  • The Practice Room: Miss Melody runs the practice room.  It is here that the students practice the concepts taught in the lesson
  • Games Room: Just as the name implies, this is where you find the games to reinforce the lesson material. Only the games for the concepts you’ve learned will be unlocked.
  • Improv Room: Learn to play with other musicians.  Choose a song and play along! 
  • Library:  You can listen to music you’ve recorded in the improv room, listen to other music or learn a new song.

When a student first logs in the only room available is the Lesson Room.  Once the lesson is completed, the practice room becomes available.  Once one practice section has been completed, all the rooms become available.  When the student is ready for the next lesson, click the NEXT LEVEL button (not visible in the video below).

 

Here is an Overview of Piano Suite:

Piano Suite Premier states it is for students 8 and up including adults.  I think it works better if students are little older so I would recommend it for ages 10 and up.

Here’s a description of Piano Suite courtesy of Turtlegirl:

  • Theory Thinker: The heart of the lessons in PS is the Theory Thinker. This is where you cover notes and measures, basic music theory.
  • Piano Player: This is where students practice songs that are in their level. Some songs have multiple levels.
  • Composers Corner: This is a place where you can be creative and compose your own music to play.
  • Games: These are activities that allow you to practice certain skills in a fun environment.
  • History Happens: This is a section where you can pick a letter, and then an artist/composer that falls in that category. You can then read a detailed summary of that artist/composer. There are over 150. (My Favorite Part!)
  • Library: This is where you can learn over 500 different songs.

 

  Some Notes:

  • When ‘playing’ the song or playing with the metronome, the program will turn the page before you are finished. [Piano Suite]
  • There is an obvious difference between the different levels of Piano Suite.  This is a good thing.
  • The program does not appear to have a way to switch between users so when one girl finishes, she has to completely exit the program and then the next daughter has to reboot the program to log in.  This aspect frustrates me.
  • I found Children’s Music Journey to be somewhat Intuitive. However, I did not find Piano Suite as easy to understand or as intuitive.

Thoughts from Turtlegirl:

[Piano Suite]I can’t play with the metronome when I don’t know the notes, so I really liked that I could turn the metronome off when using the Piano Player section. I also liked that you could pick to practice with either right or left hand only, or both hands together. Being a history buff, I really loved the History Happens section. I liked that I could find a lot of musicians and bands that I had heard of to find out more, and I could find others that were new to me.

Turtlegirl Using PianoSuitePremier

 Thoughts from Tailorbear:

[Ear Training Coach} I have a lot of trouble memorizing several notes/rhythm twice. Luckily, there is a repeat button so that I can listen to it until I have memorized it. This also means I can measure my progress. How many times I need to hit the “repeat” button.   The composer room of Piano Suite is really cool.  I wish I could have used the pedal though with my song I am working on.  I liked that I could play my song and have it record the notes.  I’m still playing with Piano Suite to find a level that is not too easy or too hard.  My skills are all over the place.

Thoughts from Supergirl:

I like it.  It is fun.  I visit Miss Melody, it’s like a school.  She teaches me things like high and low and C’s. I like Beethoven best.  I like games.  Sometimes the games frustrated me a little so I had to keep practicing. My favorite games are the high/low and C’s.  [Mom note:  I love this program for her.  Though she struggles with using her left hand this program encourages her to develop an appreciation for music and to find her own way of making music.]

Supergirl using Children's Music Journey

Thoughts from BooBear:

I used the ear training mostly as that has sight reading practice and sight reading is my weakest area. I found it very helpful, and annoying, that they had a metronome there. It helps me to not sit to long in one spot when sight reading. It was annoying because in general the metronome is not my most favorite thing in the world. I also enjoyed the interval practice as I need to know my intervals for choir.

Required Photo "Cover" image for MusIQ Homeschool

You must have a midi capable keyboard and you must have an internet connection to use the Adventus programs.  MusIQ Homeschool is available for a monthly subscription for $10.95.  This package appears to include the theory game that we did not receive but does not include the lesson plans that we did receive.  Lesson plans and more purchasing options including a bundle that does not include the theory game but does include a keyboard and lesson plans are available here.

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others have to say about Adventus and their music learning programs.

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All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

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