Back in 2003 when I went to my very first MTNA conference (SLC, UT) I discovered MiniMusic. At the time, Paula Manwaring, creator of Minimusic was selling the program on her own. I was really impressed with what I saw and decided to invest in the program. What I liked best about Minimusic (besides the program itself) was that it was something I could purchase and use it how I saw fit. I didn’t need to certify to use it, I didn’t have to give a percentage of my income to anyone and I can add other activities to it if I wanted to.
Minimusic is now available through Kjos. Since Kjos has picked up MiniMusic it has been given an updated look! I reviewed Minimusic briefly back in 2011 but wanted to review it again in more detail.
First, Minimusic is a children’s music theory course which teaches pre-reading music theory for young children. The Minimusic website suggests children 5-7, but I have used it with children 4 years old with no problems. Minimusic is designed to teach in small groups. I have used it with as little as 2 students. It can also be adapted for a larger class setting.
There are 32 lesson plans all laid out for you. Lessons include hands on activities, (some crafts), worksheets, fun interactive stories, and games. A lesson typically lasts an hour but I like to have “extra” activities in place just in case we go through a lesson too quickly. You can also get away with doing a 45 min. lesson if you have a small class (2-3) unless you have students in your class that REALLY enjoy coloring. One of my students this year loves to color so anytime we go to the workbook it’s hard to get her to move on from it.
Concepts taught in Minimusic are:
- Note and Rest Values
- Counting and Rhythm
- Basic Music Symbols
- Music Alphabet
- Direction of Reading
- Basic Pitch Recognition
- Black Piano Key Groups
- White Piano Key Names
- Intervals up to a 5th
- Recognition of 23 Instruments and Their Family
When students finish the Minimusic program, they are ready to start any instrument of their choosing! They are off to a great start because their basic theory knowledge is already there.
The Teacher Kit is pretty amazing. When Kjos started selling it they improved the quality of all the products. The program is totally the same, everything – the workbooks, cards, etc… are just nicer quality. A couple conferences ago, I was able to see firsthand in the Kjos booth the updated Minimusic kit with the new look. I loved the updated look so much so that I decided to purchase another set. I knew that I would get good use out of it regardless if I had Minimusic classes or not. That is one of the great things about the teacher kit is it comes with everything you can use with your regular students too! I can’t tell you how many times I have used the items in this kit during private lessons, group lessons and camps. It has come in very handy! Matter of fact, I have even held pre-piano camps using the Minimusic program. It works out VERY well!
The teacher kit includes: A Student Workbook, Cloth Keyboard and Transparencies; Flash Cards (instrument, note value, rhythm, musical alphabet, intervals, keys); Music Symbol and Instrument Bingo Games; Bingo Chips; Pitch Puppets; CD with songs and instrument sounds.
You can see more samples of the kit here.
If you are looking for a solid program you can use with beginners before they begin lessons, I highly encourage you to take a look at Minimusic! You can purchase the teachers kit here.
Now for some amazing news! Kjos is giving away a Minimusic teacher kit to a VERY lucky teacher. The teacher kit values at $200.00. If you would like to enter to win a Minimusic teachers kit, comment below what you currently do with young children and your favorite activity or game you like to use with them. (Whether in a group or private setting). Deadline to enter is Sunday, February 15, 2015; 10:00pm (AZ MST) GIVEAWAY HAS EXPIRED.