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Pipsqueak's Island Adventure Review by Rebecca Ray

Brandon and Megan Wollaston
Piano Preschool

We love music in our house. My older children always participated in preschool music programs and those have led into guitar lessons and enjoyment of all different kinds of music. I have wanted to provide a similar background in music for my younger two children, but as a busy mom with four children, I was struggling to make time for the musical education that I wanted my younger two to have. When I had the opportunity to review Pipsqueak’s Island Adventure, I knew it might be the perfect opportunity to give my little two some exposure to some new forms of musical play.

My island adventure arrived in an adorable and sturdy hard coated cardboard, and my five year old immediately claimed it as her “school” suitcase. Inside the box was a nice metal and plastic covered harmonica, 2 finger castanets, a dancing scarf, two egg shakers, a treasure map, a CD, a DVD, a passport (music book) and a large paper postcard with a face cutout to use for photos. This box retails for $49.99 and is aimed at children three and up.

The instructions are easy for the parent. All you have to do is to pop in the DVD, keep the adventure case handy for using the included musical instruments and finding the missing treasure on the DVD. After the adventure CD, your child can take his passport over to the piano, and follow along the workbook pages to playing his first song.

There are many musical concepts involved in the DVD and program. These include treble clef, bass clef, left/right hand, patterns in sets of two and threes, finding middle C, the grand staff, staccato, legato, rhythm, and finger numbers. According to their promotional materials, your preschool child is learning about three months of musical education in just one adventure box.

I can attest that this is a fun way to learn music. The video is interactive. The children are absorbing music theory and ideas in a much quicker way than either of my two older children did.  We can easily repeat activities and concepts as we watch the video and the children want to pull the case out and play with it. The songs are pleasant and my five and six year old both have fun with it.

As a home educating parent, I wish that the DVD were split into weekly segments with an assigned work. The DVD is an approximately 30 minute adventure, made with the intent that your child plays through it and listened to it over and over again. A weekly lesson plan attached or weekly segments of activities to focus on with the DVD would definitely help me get more from this DVD. Still, the video is cute and the instruments and songs are very fun, so the children are spending plenty of time playing with it and singing the songs as they play other games around the house.

-Product review by Rebecca Ray, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, September, 2016