Little Musician Gave My Daughter Perfect Pitch

by Tonya, mother of Owen and Lily

Discovering BrillKids

As a dedicated mother of two, Lily and Owen are my first priority and I have always strived to give them the best start in life that I can. Approximately two and a half years ago, I first heard about infant literacy. I stumbled on the BrillKids website and with the help of Little Reader, both of my children began reading independently by 19 months old. Through the use of Little Math, they developed an overall sense of quantity and a basic understanding of equations. Over time, we used Little Reader to introduce vocabulary in second and third languages as well, which they picked up with ease.

Attempting Music Education

After teaching my children the basics of literacy, math, and foreign language, I realized that music was the next logical step on their early learning journey. All of the studies I read highlighted the significant cognitive benefits of music education; music simply provides specific brain stimulation that cannot be achieved through any other medium. I wanted to give my children the opportunity to learn music, but I was in no way qualified to teach them as I had absolutely zero musical background. I've never played an instrument, cannot read music, and simply didn't know where to begin.

"Having had such fantastic success with Little Reader and Little Math, I was excited and hopeful when BrillKids released the beta version of Little Musician."

Nonetheless, I tried to figure out how to best teach Lily and Owen something I didn't understand myself. I read other parents' posts on the BrillKids forum and tried to adopt their approaches to music education, but they may as well have been speaking a foreign language. I actually had to google "perfect pitch" to learn what it was and why it was valuable for my kids to acquire it. I initially settled on using flashcards, Doman style xylophone training, and an assortment of mediocre DVDs, but none of the methods properly trained my children's ears to develop absolute pitch.

Little Musician Beta Testing

Having had such fantastic success with Little Reader and Little Math, I was excited and hopeful when BrillKids released the much anticipated beta version of Little Musician. If any program could teach my kids music, surely it would be BrillKids, a brand that I had grown to know and trust to educate my children.

Lily and Owen were immediately enthralled with the program from day one. I am so happy to say that Little Musician delivered above and beyond my expectations—Lily now has perfect pitch and Owen is well on the way to following in her footsteps!

What I love about Little Musician:

  • It's Captivating – Little Musician catches Lily and Owen's attention and maintains it for the duration of the lesson. Typically, I have to tell them it's time to stop. They really enjoy the program and typically request more than one full lesson and multiple children's songs in a session.
  • It Appeals to a Wide Age Range – The lessons are presented in a brief, straight forward manner that makes it appealing to a wide audience. I think all individuals can learn from Little Musician, not just the very young. I was surprised to find myself learning right alongside my kids, I guess it's never too late to start!
  • It's Easy – Previously attempting to piece together a comprehensive, effective curriculum by myself without any musical background was, simply put, a disaster. Thankfully, Little Musician includes BrillKids' signature "just-press-play" daily curriculum—no lesson preparation or guesswork required!
  • It Offers Lots of Variety – The lessons incorporate an assortment of topics, from musical instruments to famous composers, solfège, rhythm, and more. This approach provides a general knowledge base that will prepare my children to study any instrument of their choosing when the time comes. I'm confident that they're getting a well-rounded early music education in the comfort of our home.
  • It's Versatile - The program is infinitely expandable and customizable. I can import any MIDI track I want into Lily and Owen's music library, even special requests like the theme song to their favorite cartoons. The music note icons can be personalized as well to reflect their current preferences, along with countless other features and settings. It's mind blowing how many options exist in this program, and it will undoubtedly grow with my kids for years to come. When they finally enroll in music lessons, I can even take the sheet music they are learning and transcribe it into the program for additional reinforcement.
  • It Offers Chord Training & Note Training – Little Musician beautifully blends two time tested approaches to teaching absolute pitch. Rather than choosing one or the other, the material is dually reinforced and children benefit from the best of both worlds.

 

What Lily & Owen Love about Little Musician:

  • Children's Songs – My kids cannot get enough of the children's songs sung in solfège. They even engage in sibling rivalry over whose turn it is to pick the song next! This has been a major part of the program for us and we have memorized many songs just for the fun of it. The children sing their do-re-mi nursery rhymes in the car, in the bath, and they have even begun to attempt expressing other songs they know in solfège.
  • Rainbow Icons – Lily & Owen love the bright, color-coded rainbow icons assigned to each note and piano key in the program. This option also enables us to extend the learning through various creative hands-on games involving color. We've also added matching stickers to our digital piano for continuity.
  • Musical Instruments – Lily especially loves learning about the different kinds of musical instruments featured in Little Musician. For example, she is fascinated by the pipe organ shown in the program and has even requested that I take her to see one in person. I love that learning sparks her curiosity about the world around her and continues to increase her thirst for knowledge.
  • Free Play – Owen particularly enjoys the free play chord option and the free play piano option. Even at 2.5 years old, I've taught him how to click through the chords one by one in order, first piano and then voice, and he takes great satisfaction in doing so. I love that he is getting extra ear training but he thinks of it as a game and plays voluntarily!
  • The Interactivity – My kids love to sing along, dance, advance the software themselves, or clap along in my lap. Little Musician really engages their senses in a fun, self-motivated way.

 

The Results

On average, we used Little Musician 5 days per week, two times per day. Lily and Owen love the children's songs so much that on some days we only listened to 2 or 3 songs if time was in short supply, but other days we listened to as many as 6-8 songs in a session. I believe this was a crucial component of their ear training.

After six months of consistently using Little Musician, Lily demonstrated that she had perfect pitch across all of the white keys on the digital piano. The children's songs in the latest build of Little Musician now include sharps and flats, which will help develop her recognition of the black keys. Owen can now recognize many of the keys and he has also begun to recognize chords, as well.

Additionally, in less than six months Lily figured out how to transpose solfège nursery rhymes. Little Musician first taught her to sing the "Incy Wincy Spider" in C Major and then in F Major. She then understood the concept and began to apply it to other songs, telling me "Mommy, you can play songs lots of ways!" Initially, she spent a significant amount of time at the piano, plunking out the keys until "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" sounded just right in "So Major." I didn't know what she was working on so determinedly at the piano, because at the time I didn't have a full grasp of what transposing music even meant. Since then, she has begun to play by ear on a limited basis.

"I am so happy to say that Little Musician delivered above and beyond my expectations..."

In Reflection

My initial motivation to teach my children music was solely for the academic benefits and overall impact on brain development. What I discovered was that while Little Musician is indeed providing Lily and Owen an invaluable early music education, this exposure has sparked an interest and passion for music in my children that I didn't know existed. It is clear to me that they will be able to more fully enjoy and experience music on a deeper level.

This program has given our family countless joyful memories of singing and dancing in the living room, as we learned together through play. But make no mistake, Little Musician is more than just a digital version of a Mommy n' Me music appreciation class. My kids are learning about instruments, famous composers, sight reading, rhythm, pitch, and more…and it's only the first semester! Little Musician empowers all parents to give their children a comprehensive early music education, regardless of their own level of musical knowledge or talent. Lily and Owen are blossoming musically far more than I would have ever imagined at this age, and for this I owe a debt of gratitude to BrillKids and this awesome software!

Check out more testimonials from Little Musician users

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What Musicians Say

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

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