Thursday, March 21, 2013

Adventus MusIQ Homeschool Review

     For years I've wanted my children to be able to learn to play the keyboard / piano but we could never afford it, or fit it into our circumstances.  So as you can imagine, I was totally ecstatic when offered a chance to receive and review a subscription to Adventus, and very specifically their MusIQ Homeschool - Childrens Music Journey 1.   

{ About the Product }

     The Children's Music Journey Software Volume 1 { and a subsequent 2 other volumes plus additional levels, 7 in total } come as software downloads.  One simply installs the software onto your computer, plugs in their midi keyboard, and loads the software to use.  It's very much a plug and play.  

     The first 3 volumes are fully narrated and animated with famous composers from the past.  The program is highly visual and auditory, and this quickly engages childrens attention.  It will take your child from the very beginning of music instruction to playing with both hands.  

     In Volume One there are 25 week-by-week lessons.  Each lesson is scheduled to take approximately one week to complete.  A student may move through the lessons at a faster rate if desired.  Each lesson is introduced and taught via a famous composer.  Then every 5 lessons they swap in a new composer.  The lessons can easily be replayed if you need to hear or see any of them again.  Each lesson also systematically introduces and teaches a new key skill for the piano/keyboard.  The program is specifically designed for children 4 - 10 years old.  It is also very age appropriate, highly interactive and comprehensive.  

In Children's Music Journey 1 learn about:

  • High and low notes
  • Middle C
  • Rhythm patterns
  • Sequencing, descending / ascending
  • Double Notes
  • Holding Notes
  • 5 Great Composers
  • 50 Great Compositions 
  • Finger Numbers
  • Stepping Stones
  • Musical Alphabet
  • Keyboard Letter Names
  • Half Notes, Whole Notes
  • Composing and Improvising

     If you are interested in viewing what other lessons the program covers in Children's Music Journey 2 and 3 just visit the Early Curriculum page.

    After each of the main lessons be sure to go to the Practice Room where you will meet your practice room teacher Miss Melody.  There are 25 practice lessons that correspond to the main lessons.  Here you will practice what was taught in the main lesson, and once again if you need to do part or the whole practice again this program accommodates that.  While there you will also have some music history as well. To advance to the next level one must complete a main lesson and have practice room attendance.  

     Then we have the Games Room.  A favorite at our house.  Depending upon the level there will be several different games to choose from which help to concrete the theory that has been taught.

     Lastly but not least, there is the Library.  A handy place to go to practice key skills that have been taught, and where you can practice playing practice pieces and later in the course nursery rhymes. 

     The program also teaches music history, theory, rhythm, technique, and allows for composition and improvisation as well.

      For the MIDI keyboard you will need a computer that can run Windows 7 / Vista / XP / 2000 and an internet connection.

     Additionally they provide lesson plans { sold separately } in the form of Session walk throughs, Practice Guides, and worksheets as well.

     Lesson plans { sold separately } come as a pdf.  Simply use it to guide you through each lesson.  The printed pdf lesson plans are divided up accordingly:

1.  Session - with a succinct walk through including times it should take to complete each task.
2.  A Practice Guide
3.  Worksheets

     Now while they have these available one could still very easily fulfill all the requirements of the program without the lesson plans.  Just make sure you do each lesson, at least one time in the practice room for each level, play some games, visit the library and you'll be all good to progress on through.  

     The lesson plans are very good to have on hand if you want to know what skills are being taught though.

{ What we received }

     We recieved a full subscription and access to all their music programs, lesson plans { sold separately }, and worksheets.  As soon as I got the notification in my email I downloaded the software for Children's Music Journey 1 and installed it.  There was so much excitement in the house, we were finally going to learn something.  Everyone was lining up to check it out.  Even though we owned a midi keyboard no one knew how to play it.  So we couldn't use their upper graded programs, but their Children's Music Journey 1 sure got a full on work out.  It allowed every family member to have their own personal login and avatar.  The computer remembers where each child is up to.  I have a large family so at one point I had 7 of us trying it out.  

{ How we used it }

     Each time one of us wanted to do a lesson we'd simply log in and begin.  The computer always remembered what lesson we were up to.  I set it as a rule that for each level everyone had to do the main lesson, the practice lesson, at least one game, and something from the Library.  Some times I had them do the whole lesson / practice room again until I heard competency.

     I just put all the paper work into a folder.  Then I used post it tabs with our names on them on the lessons we were up to.  Now having done this, I don't think it's entirely needed.  The computer program does an awesome job of getting you through the lessons and keeping track of it all.

     I also ended up making a home made tick off list to keep track of everybody.  There were a few of us using it and I needed to keep a physical record of where we were up to so that I could see who should be offered music lesson time.  :o)  I included the date, the lesson we were doing, and columns to tick off when we had done the lesson, practice, games, and library.  Totally not necessary for smaller families, but this is what I did for mine.

     Chloe is currently at lesson 19.  "I love making my own music.  I also love the games even though some of them are hard."  Chloe is now up to learning how to play with both hands and I am very impressed that she is already up to that in only a matter of a few short weeks.

Children's Music Journey 1 numbers the fingers 1 - 5.
{ They drop the numbers on the hand pictures from CMJ 2 onwards }

Phebe is currently at lesson 17.  Apparently, "It's awesome because of the games."  Either way, I am so happy with their enthusiasm and progress.

Just plug and play, play all day.  This is Phebe practicing her rhythms with Miss Melody in the Practice Room.

Hannah - almost 4 and currently at lesson 10.  She loves to play the keyboard as much as the other girls.  She hasn't had any music background at all but now she can find Middle C quick as a wink and pick out high and low notes too.

An explanation of low notes and middle C.

     I am personally up to CMJ 2 - with lesson 36.  For the first time in my life I am actually making genuine music progress and I am really enjoying it.  As an adult doing the Children's Music Journey there have been some moments when I hoped it would go quicker, but overall I have learnt so much and am very happy that I started at the very beginning.  

{ What I thought }

     After more than 15 years homeschooling a miracle has happened.  Yep, that's how I'm classifying it.  A real miracle, and I am being very serious.  Maybe not the divine type, but a miracle non the less.   My children started music lessons that actually teach for real.  I have always wanted to add music to our homeschooling journey but every time I tried it was beyond our reach either financially, or family circumstances.  

     I { LOVE } that it individually teaches the children and they can work through it at their own pace.  Going faster or slower depending upon effort and competency.   I don't have to wait for a real life teacher to take us to the next level.  We can just jump there when we are ready.

     I also LOVE } the price.  When my subscription runs out I'm just going to purchase what we need to continue.   Adventus has truly put learning to play the keyboard / piano in the hands of every homeschooler that wants to learn how to play.

{ How much does it cost?}

    You will be very happy to hear that there are several different purchasing paths for the Children's Music Journey.   

     If you already own a Midi Keyboard and you want to start your Children's Music Journey today you can always start with a monthly subscription for $10.95.   

     If you want to purchase the product outright with CD's as well then these other purchasing paths might work out better for you.

Year 1 Quick Start Bundle for $199.95.  This includes a keyboard:

  • Children's Music Journey Volume 1
  • Beginner Level 1 Lesson Plans
  • Midi piano keyboard

If you already own a midi keyboard one can purchase each product separately.

Year 1 for $89.95.

  • Children's Music Journey Volume 1
  • Beginner Level 1 Lesson Plans

Year 2 for $89.95.

  • Children's Music Journey Volume 2
  • Beginner Level 2 Lesson Plans

Year 3 for $89.95.

  • Children's Music Journey Volume 3
  • Beginner Level 3 Lesson Plans

     Maybe you don't want the Lesson Plans - all good there too.  Just download the individual software titles at $ 69.95 each and save even more.

     Or bundle them all up and get the entire Children's Music Journey 1, 2, and 3 including Lesson Plans and a Midi Keyboard for $309.95.

What if you still want a bundle but not the Midi keyboard?  No problem, check this out:

In every scenario - bargain~!!

{ FREE Samples }

     Still wondering if it would work for you?  Well, I've got some great news~!!  Adventus also offers a 7 day FREE trial.  Go get your Midi keyboard out, dust it off, and get it set up.  Then click on over to Adventus to try it out.  :o)

     Yes, they also have a generous amount of FREE worksheets available for download as well.  These are totally designed to compliment the software lessons.  Check out their Adventus MusIQ Library blog for those~!!  

      Thanks for visiting, and don't forget to tour Adventus for additional information about these and other products; and check out some other awesome reviews as well.


  1. 3 girls just like me! :) Excellent review!

  2. Really great review!! We are loving it as well!

  3. I agree about the miracle. I ♥♥♥ this product. Love the photo's of your children ! I want to try to use the adult version but you inspired me to use Children's Music Journey for me. Good idea. I shall.

    Love your review well done

  4. It is a wonderful program! Your girls are so sweet.


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