Little Musician was largely designed with infants and toddlers in mind. You can start using Little Musician as early as 4-6 months, but many parents are also using it on much older children.
However, like with Little Reader, the suitability depends not so much on the age, but on the level of familiarity the child already has with the musical concepts being taught.
We have seen children from very different age groups enjoying Little Musician. In fact, even adults who were previously unfamiliar with music concepts appear to be benefiting from it!
Many people have negative associations with TVs and computer screens, especially concerning children, but the reasons are mostly not applicable anymore with today's technology.
Old-style TV sets and computer monitors (big chunky ones, known as CRT or cathode ray tube monitors) produced significant amounts of radiation and had low refresh rates which cause eye-strain for some people who gaze at the screen for hours. The situation is much improved with today's LCD monitors, which have higher refresh rates.
TVs in general also get a bad reputation because, for example, the American Academy of Pediatrics advise that babies below 2 should not watch TV. However, the reason has nothing to do with the TV itself, but with the CONTENT shown. Programs like those on the Cartoon Network have rapidly changing images which bombard children with stimulation, and watching such programming for a long time may desensitize them to other stimulation, which may even lead to attention deficit disorder.
With Little Musician, the lessons last just a few minutes each day and the content is especially designed to teach music concepts in small chunks at a time.
Even if your baby/toddler is not able to talk or sing just yet, you should still sing out to your child and encourage her to sing along as best as she can. Listening to a 'live' voice is much more effective than just listening to recorded audio that's played out through computer speakers.
Of course, it would be preferable that your singing is in tune. However, your singing is very likely to be better than you think it is, and the advantage of 'live' singing probably outweighs any pitch inaccuracies that you might have. When in doubt, sing, and sing shamelessly! Who knows, you may even improve your singing the more you do it! At the very least, you are giving your child the message that singing is a natural thing that is nothing to be shy or embarrassed about.
The Little Musician curriculum is available in English, with pronunciations recorded with an American (US) accent. You can create your own Knowledge lessons or voice and word sets using any language you'd like to teach, OR you can download additional content in different languages from the BrillKids Library.
Full editing features and Library downloads can be accessed with PRO KEY for LITTLE MUSICIAN.
No. Little Musician is not a substitute for music classes, especially where learning a musical instrument is concerned.
However, we expect that Little Musician will likely make it easier for your child to learn an instrument since many of the musical concepts that are required in learning to play any instrument will already be familiar to your child. Having a better-developed ear for music and note recognition will certainly also help with any instrument your child may choose to learn in the future.
And lastly, Little Musician may also serve to give your child a much wider understanding of music in areas which may not be covered in the most music classes.
We like music classes that encourage singing in addition to the learning of music instruments. Classes which use solfège will most likely do that.
Group classes may also have an advantage over private classes if they incorporate group activities like ensemble playing or group singing, or give your child opportunities to perform in front of the other students.
If the course involves exams and grades, we would recommend you find out how much time is spent on practicing set pieces with the goal focused on doing well in the exams, and how much time is spent more on understanding and enjoying the instrument or enjoying music. If the course is more exam-centric, then consider whether this may help to diminish (or even completely kill) your child's enjoyment of music and playing the instrument.
There are many ways that Little Musician is unconventional, especially when compared to classical music training. For example:
Other things you may also wish to note:
Those of you with older or slower computers may experience problems with some of the lessons playing back smoothly, in particular, the Rhythm lessons or song presets which play out voice audio in real time. These lessons require a lot of computer power which older computers may not have.
The sound quality of the instruments you hear also depends on the quality of your computer's sound card. Computers with old or low-budget sound cards may reproduce instrument sounds (such as those played during the children songs) that sound unrealistic or 'computerized'.
Your license allows you to install our software on ONE computer at any one time. When activating your license key, your activation record will be registered in your BrillKids member account. If you change computers, simply access your member account online and remove the activation record to free up a spare slot.
Note that you can remove your activation record to free up an activation slot - this is especially useful when you change or upgrade your computers. You can also do this when you need to reformat your hardware.
You may remove your activation record for a total of 2 times. Beyond this, we will need to verify your identity to make sure that your license key has not been compromised.
Gregory Blankenbehler, M.A. Mus.
"The Little Musician software program by BrillKids is the closest thing I have seen yet to an easily-accessible early music education of the kind that gave us musical geniuses like Mozart and Bach..." Read full review
Graduate in Vocal Performance
"As a musician, and an early learning advocate, I whole-heartedly give Little Musician 5 stars. It's essentially my dream product for my kids. They love it, and so do I." Read full review
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