Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Guitar 360 Method Review

My son took guitar lessons awhile back and we got to the point of him being able to read the chords and get a good overall grasp of playing the guitar. Then we exhausted our funds for keeping him in lessons. I hated it as he was doing really good and enjoyed his lessons and was starting to play songs. He still has been faithful practicing daily with his guitar. It just wasn’t the same for him reading out of a book for guitar lessons.
When I showed him Guitar 360 Method and their Semester 1 Bundle he asked me to beg to review it. We also received 5 weeks of Absolute Beginner bonus content.  
Intended age would probably be around 12 and up.
The instructor is Kritz Simonfalvi. He was raised in Budapest, Hungary and started playing classical guitar at the age of 6 and quit shortly afterwards. Despite his natural ability and showing lots of promise with the guitar he was bored and didn’t feel challenged. He states, “He never fully understood his guitar.” He likes to say that Musical Confidence, Freedom and Creativity is how he describes Guitar 360 Method.
It wasn’t until his late teens that he learned how to fully grasp more with his guitar. He began touring with bands, recording in studios, and creating his own music. In 2009 he began teaching guitar using a unique approach. He is based out of Dallas, TX now.
 Most guitar lessons are taught linear and you learn the basics moving forward without going back over the foundation of guitar playing. Sort of like a straight line taking one step at a time. You learn the basic parts of the guitar, chords and move on and never make those basic steps “natural.” This is how my son learned in his lessons.

Guitar 360 Method is taught non-linear in a method called Cycical Pedagogy. I’ll try to explain the method the best I can! Think of it as a circle and training your muscles. You learn the parts of the guitar on the neck. Left and right hand basics, chords, scale. With that knowledge you can start to harmonize it together. All the while you are learning music theory, and ear training to recognize the different chords. You learn techniques to apply to your guitar playing. You practice those concepts throughout until you have them engrained as a natural response as your muscles have been trained to do it naturally. It all goes back in a circle to make you a more well rounded musician. Hopefully, that makes sense and I didn’t lose you there! If so then Kritz explains it much better!

The Semester 1 Bundle is 13 weeks of lessons. This is an online course done with videos. It isn’t a subscription. You don’t need to have any prior knowledge of playing the guitar to do this course. It’s very versatile regardless of your ability if you know the guitar or don't have any prior experience. Guitar 360 Method has 3 weeks for “Start Playing Your Guitar” course or if you are just needing to freshen up or continue beyond the basics you can start in The Semester 1 Bundle.
This is the library that you will click into the area you need
First off navigating the site is easy once you log in you have a library which gives your options of where you begin:
Start Playing your Guitar
2 separate Bonus Songs
Semester 1
You have the ability to jump around. Once you are done with a lesson you just check it off as completed. Just because you check it off as completed doesn’t mean that you can’t go back over the lesson again.

If you by chance have to stop in the middle of a lesson there is a bar that shows you a bar of your progress. There will be instruction on how to navigate the course with video instruction.
Also its color coded for Goal, Quiz, Ear training, and Practice.
Another thing my son liked was that Kritz was using both the acoustical and electric guitar throughout the lessons.
You have PDF to print out on the tablature. Which my son was really glad to have the printables so he can practice off line. It kind of surprised me after months of his lessons being out of a book. He told me, “It made it easy to practice a small portion on certain chords I needed more practice on or to hone those chords better.”
Start Playing your Guitar:
Start Playing Your Guitar you can sign up for free. This is a 3 week course that teaches you the basic parts of the guitar, basic of left and right hand, how to tune your guitar, warm up exercises, strumming practices, chords, and even songs. They also have two free Bonus Songs.
My son told me, “I really like how he talked about the left hand approach and dropping the thumb down except for some exception.” He was taught to leave the thumb at the top of the neck. He really felt the difference with his ability to play. He assumed his hands just aren’t that large. It made a huge difference.
Bonus Songs:
Are adapted to use all the parts on a guitar and cut out a few sections to make it flow with one guitar. Kritz does a nice job breaking down the song in easy to follow steps with his hands and showing the tablature often. He walks you through the song building up your confidence having a song under your belt!
Semester 1

At the beginning of each week you have a “Goal.” I like to think of this as an overview of what you are learning for the week. He also goes over and reviews previous weeks throughout each week.

Practice is applying what you have learned so far with the guitar.
Ear Training segments help train you to hear and distinguish the chords to make musical decisions and to interact with playing your guitar. That way you can learn to hear the notes and not just using your physical muscles while playing. The lessons start out with  scales and builds up step by step throughout the semester.

Quizzes start in week 6. Some of the quizzes have videos and have a link to answer questions as multiply choice questions. Some weeks don’t have any quizzes while other weeks have 2 quizzes.
This is the layout you will see when you are in a week.
Throughout the entire lessons of Goal, Ear Training, Practice, and Quizzes each week is filled with varies lessons teaching you tips and trick. All the different chords, music theory, and varies applications. All the lessons are taught clearly and easy to follow. The videos vary in length but aren’t too long.

Kritz Simonfalvi is your teacher throughout the course and explains the lessons step by step

The lessons start out basic and build upon one another
You get to do lots of practice and review throughout

 My son liked when he showed the chords throughout the lessons and not just trying to guess where the fingers should be.
Another feature is a comment section after each lesson. This can be used to ask question. Either Kritz or one of the students can chime in. We didn’t use this feature but, it’s nice to know that it is there if needed.
 How did I use Guitar 360 Method in my homeschool?
Since my almost 13 year old son has some experience playing since he was 11 I let him choose where is was most comfortable. Like I mentioned my son can read the chords and has a fairly solid foundation overall. To my surprise he breezed over the Start Playing your Guitar section. I honestly didn’t expect him to want to start there. He told me, “I struggled with a few basic concepts and I was curious to see if he taught it to where I could grasp the concept better or have something that would help me improve myself.” Like I mentioned previously the thumb placement was a huge help for him.
My son's confidence playing the guitar has really increased and he loves playing his guitar
Even our cat enjoyed watching Guitar 360 Method

He wanted to do lessons daily. He wanted to jump around at first throughout the weeks. When I asked him why he is going from a lesson week 2, 5 to 10 at first? He said, “I wanted to touch on a few areas at first that I already knew and thought I needed improvement in.”  Then he made his way back to Week 1. My son didn’t do this in a way I would have but it worked for him. When he got through the lessons that he touched on at first he went over it again. I like that he can go over the lessons again. I think it really build up his confidence.” 
My son printed out several of the PDFs throughout the course. 

My son was surprised that he is able to learn ear training. He never imaged he would learn this skill.
My son’s says “I feel a lot more confident while playing my guitar and it makes learning at home much better and fulfilling. The lessons are fun to do. Kritz is easy to follow and understand.” “I never imagined I would be able to learn ear training. I can tell the difference of some of the chords. I still have a long way to go but, I know that I can do it and that it will take time and practice.” 

I think this mom will leave it at that as my sons words say that Guitar 360 Method is working and well liked by my son. I hope that Guitar 360 Method will create a Semester 2 for the guitar. In 2019 more courses -Keys 360 Method and Drums 360 Method are coming. I know my son would love to learn the drums!
Right now Guitar 360 Method is offering a 20% of coupon. Use HOMESCHOOL20 Coupon Code at checkout.

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guitar360method/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/onelessrock
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krisz_guitar360method/

Musical Confidence, Freedom and Creativity find out how 49 other Homeschool Review Crew think about Guitar 360 Method by clicking on the banner below.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

(in)courage Devotional Bible Review and a Giveaway

The CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible is an invitation for all women to find their stories within the tapestry of the greatest Story ever told—God’s Story of Redemption. Featuring devotions by over one hundred writers of the (in)courage community, the CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible provides resources for women to explore the Bible, dive deep into Scripture, record their own stories, and find themselves among friends. Readers will experience Scripture in new ways in the company of women willing to “go first” with everyday stories that bear witness to God’s grace to find beauty in brokenness and hope in the hard. (in)courage is a vibrant online community, reaching thousands of women every day, welcoming them just the way they are, offering a space to breathe, loving support, and resources for meaningful connection.

Features include:
  • 312 Devotions by 122 (in)courage community writers
  • 10 distinct thematic Reading Plans
  • 66 Book Introductions connecting each book of the Bible to the whole biblical narrative
  • Stories of courage from 50 women of the Bible
  • Journaling space
  • Topical index
  • Two-column text
  • Theme verses
  • Specialized presentation page
The CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

My Thoughts:

So many Bibles to choose from today that you can easily find one for your style and needs. The CSB (in)courgage Bible is gorgeous. CSB stands for Christian Standard Bible translation. 

This is a woman’s Bible with the pastel colors and pretty borders throughout. It really looks elegant looking with pastel colors.

This particular Bible is a hardback cloth Bible in a pretty tweed greenish color. Included is two ribbon bookmarks. The font is your typical size around 9 point.

The pages are laid out in a two column format. At the bottom of each page is a section for notes or journaling which is lined.  A little different lay out than what I’m use to. There isn’t much room in the margins. I’m not sure what I think of the note area being at the bottom yet.

At the beginning of the Bible there is a unique feature that I have only seen in a handful of Bible. I think these two things make this a great Bible for a new believer or someone who is searching. Either way a seasoned Believer will be blessed by the many features throughout the Bible. I really like how they have a section about: “How to Read the Bible” I get asked that question often. They focus on simple steps that are realistic and much needed when reading the word.

The next page gives a beautiful two page spread on “God’s Story of Redemption.” It covers creation, separation, expectation, salvation, transformation, and consummation which have scripture references in each section.

There is a book introduction which is your typical introduction that you find in Bibles. It does have one distinct feature that it has a helps you see how the book is important today.

“Women of Courage” highlights 50 stories of women in the Bible. You can find all them in the back of the Bible in an index. The stories are broken up with 10 attributes of particular women: Beautiful Brokenness, Togetherness, Grace, Leadership, Friendship, Hope, Hospitality, Gratitude, Second Chances, and Bravery. Under each attribute they highlight 5 women. Each page that is colored is related to a particular theme that is mentioned above.

There are also 52 “Reflective Devotions” which are intended to be read at the begin reading at the beginning of each week.  I don’t like that the text is in a pastel color and that the font is smaller. I found this harder to read.  

Another unique feature that I like is the 10 different reading plans based off the themes or attributes. Each theme varies from 5 to 7 weeks.

A few things that I don’t like is that it doesn’t have maps is in the back. I don’t know why Bibles are deleting this feature in so many Bibles now. There isn’t a concordance either.

Overall, this is a beautiful Bible that has some unique. Find out more here.

You can click on the banner below and win a (in)courage Devotional Bible.

 I received a free copy of this product from FrontGate Blogger Network in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Child Proof Parenting by Faith Not Formula by Julie Lowe Book Review

As a freedom-over-formula parenting book for parents of all ages, Child Proof provides biblical insight and encouragement for readers who want to parent by faith. As an experienced counselor of children and families and an adoptive and foster mom applying the CCEF model of biblical change, Julie Lowe uses Scripture and biblical wisdom to teach parents how to know their children and specifically love them with the love of Christ.

Every family is unique, which is why Child Proof explores the need for parents to cultivate personal and intimate care for their children as modeled in God’s individual, personal, and fatherly care to his children. This parenting book lays a foundation of parenting by faith and progresses by teaching parents how they can know their own children well and parent accordingly. By discussing particular issues parents might have in family life, Lowe demonstrates how parenting formulas aren’t the answer, and parenting with biblical wisdom is best for a proactive rather than reactive approach to parenting. 

Through Lowe’s personal and professional experience, parents as well as those helping parents—pastors, counselors and counseling students, youth workers, and churches—will discover gospel-centered application rather than formulas for the ideal family, equipping parents to be experts at knowing their own children so they can know Scripture and live it out personally in their homes.

My Thoughts:

Parenting does not come with a handbook and even if it did it wouldn’t work. Each family is unique and each child is different. I know even with my two kids one is by adoption with special needs and one is by birth. What works for my son is not what works for my daughter. 

Regardless, of all the differences in my kids I want to raise my kids with God in the forefront of it all. I was drawn in from the introduction when she says, “The theme of this book-parenting by faith and wisdom, not by formula” Parenting is not easy and not one solution fits every child or parent.

One chapter that spoke to me was Chapter 9: Parenting a Child with Disabilities. We worry so much about how kids are going to deal with the disability and forget that God equipped that child with the ability to deal with the situation. Our family was equipped to deal with our daughter the day we signed the dotted line to finalize the adoption. We never dreamed of her having disabilities or of the road that she has taken us down. It has drawn us closer to God and kept us on our knees praying.

Chapter 11: “When Your Child Says I’m Bored” I dread those words and the author hit it right on. They want to do some mindless entertainment like the tablets or movie. She has some great advice how to not only deal with that dreaded statement but, some wise words to get ourselves involved with our kids and to teach them skills of serving others. Not only that but, what about the act of stillness. It’s okay to do nothing and it is a great time to spend with God. So much more in this chapter that I have been using in my house because of the words I read.

This is a heartfelt parenting book that is realistic and practical that any parent can do. It looks at each child as an individual and not grouping all kids together.

I received a free copy of this product from New Growth Press in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.


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