I am always looking for new ways to get music education in our homeschool day. My kids have all tried various instruments with different settings and teachers, and a lot of mixed results. For the online setting we've done online piano lessons, guitar courses, and YouTube lessons for the ukulele. Those are great options, but none of them really helped my kids get far (they would fizzle out after a while). They didn't have that live and personal element or connection with a teacher that I think is so helpful when learning an instrument. With Practice Monkeys my son Alex was able to start learning a new instrument, the violin, all from the comfort of our own home, and he was able to interact with a teacher through live classes with the Family Subscription to Live Violin Classes.
|Practice Monkeys has a real live teacher, Sarah Van Kleeck|
As soon as we knew we would receive the Family Subscription to Live Violin Classes our first step was obtaining a violin, and making sure we had a good way to attend the live classes (a computer, or phone with a camera works great). We have a great music studio that our oldest daughter takes her violin lessons through, so we went there to rent a violin, and he was all set to go!
|Picking up his violin to start online lessons!|
As soon as we walked in the door he was itching to try it out. He didn't waste anytime taking it out of the case and with his sister's help (she plays violin) he was able to get acquainted with it very quickly. She set it up for him to try out before we jumped right into the first video lesson.
Thankfully the place where we rented his violin from had nice people to help us figure out what size he needed...
But if you don't have that kind of help when buying a violin, Practice Monkeys has a video to help you get started with all the setup too!
We started out hooking our laptop up to the big TV for those beginning videos, but for the live lessons he was usually in front of just the laptop so he could have the camera on him.
|Alex during a Live Level 1 class|
Practice was encouraged 6 times a week, 4 times with Practice Monkeys, and 2 times for fun. We would attend or do the recorded classes as much as we could during the week, and then he would have a fun song practice. Alex would just do his own thing or we would put on some violin music and he would just try to play along and experiment.
He picked up most of the 10 essential skills for level 1 pretty quickly, and it was finally time for him to move on. To move up in Practice Monkeys the student does an assessment with the teacher, Sarah Van Kleeck, one-on-one. We had to schedule a test time with her, and get on the computer with the camera on Alex as usual. She asked him to show her each skill, and he confidently went through each one. He passed up to level 2. It was a great victory.
|After passing his level 1 assessment he was so proud of himself.|
Overall, I think this is a great way to do music lessons, and a great program. Especially if you're looking to go outside of the house less, and you don't mind the interaction through the computer. I'm always looking for ways to stay home! Also, Sarah is so good with the children. She is so friendly and inviting that I found it hard to resist sitting down and just having a chat with her while Alex was doing his live class.
She has a great offer for review crew blog readers right now if you want to try out this great learning opportunity in your home to learn the violin. This deal expires February 1, 2019.
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