17 November 2021

Practice Monkeys Guitar Review

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

My son has been playing the guitar off and on for the last six years. He ran into a stump and needed a new direction with his playing. My son has been enrolled in the Practice Monkeys and their Guitar program. We received 3 months of classes.

Practice Monkeys uses the Suzuki Method in all of its programs. This method was created by Shinichi Suzuki. In a nutshell, you learn by ear-training, you learn at an accelerated pace with the Twinkle variations with your classical guitar. This technique will make it easy to explore and learn other genres in the future. It is also self-paced to meet your student’s needs. This is me paraphrasing the method greatly.

Sarah Van Kleeck is the creator of Practice Monkeys which is an online music program. Along with the Suzuki Method and other resources she created are used. No prior music instruction is needed for the student or parent. Another feature is that the pricing is for the family and not an individual student. This is an online subscription program per month.

Once you are signed up you will schedule an assessment/placement for the program. You will be assigned according to your level. You meet 4 days a week Monday through Thursday for 15 minute live classes online at a set time. If you aren’t able to make every class the sessions are recorded. It is recommended that you spend 15-20 minutes after your class of practice. You can go back and view previous classes if needed also. Your instructor will demonstrate techniques, go over the music, you can ask questions, and get instruction that will help you as an individual with your instruments. The classes are small and the teacher can address issues like your instrument is out of tune and such.

In the program, you will have one on one assessment which is an affordable additional cost. There is a download PDF assessment form on the website. This will let you see all the skills they need to accomplish to make sure your student is ready and has met all the skills before moving forward. Your instructor will also let you know if they see that your student is ready for an assessment.

Practice Monkeys offers several instrument courses plus a self-defense program:

Violin ages 3 & up

Cello ages 3 & up

Piano Ages 3 & up


Self Defense ages 5 & up (Brazilian Jui-Jitsu wrestling)

Your “dashboard” is called the Treehouse. This area will give you access to everything you need for Practice Monkeys. It is very easy to navigate the website.  You can access your PDFs for your program. I downloaded what we needed and put it in a 3 ring binder for my son. It also gives you access to your level to access the live classes, schedule an assessment, and additional videos outside of your regular “live & recorded classes. These videos give you more instructions on your instrument and lots of helpful tips. Emails are sent out weekly for any information on classes, schedule changes, website issues, and encouragement.

Information is on the website for required material and recommended material. You will find helpful information on instruments too. This is a complete program from the comfort of your home.

Practice Monkeys Guitar

The Guitar is designed for ages 8 and up, some younger kids 6 & 7 can join if the parent is involved in aiding the student. This uses a classical guitar with teachers who are certified in the Suzuki method. There are 12 levels for guitar.

In my son’s 3 ring binder it has a practice sheet that you can check off your assignments on your practice sheets and a skill and habit checklist.

An illustration of the parts of a guitar,  PIMA and finger numbers used within the sessions, and your assignments with the chords.

A Parent Guidebook that will give you an overview of the program, parental involvement, and other information to assist you as the parent.

My son learned to play an acoustical guitar which means it has steel strings (classical guitar has nylon strings). Several years ago we signed him up for private instruction and he also learned to read music. Due to the cost, we could only go so far with the instruction. Over the last few years, he has just been going over his books and finding things online to practice. He was getting a bit bored with this method. When Practice Monkeys came available he was pretty excited to try something new.

After the account was set up we got him signed up for his first assessment for placement went great and he was placed appropriately for him not being familiar with the Suzuki method. Together we went over the website and his 3 ring binder. We both looked over the Parent Handbook. He has been faithful in getting on the live classes and watching the videos when he couldn’t do the live lessons. He practices in the day and after classes.

I had to go back to work in the evenings recently. His classes are in the evening when I’m at work. He is my steadfast and independent child. I wasn’t worried because he communicates with me well and I just don’t have any issues with him. I knew he was getting online for his classes and practicing and doing everything required.

Long story short when the next assessment came up I just signed him up for it without communicating with him first-which usually wouldn’t be a problem. I told him the date of the assessment and a few minutes before his assessment he had a meltdown and I got online with Mrs. Van Kleeck myself! I was embarrassed and felt a bit foolish. This is really unlike my son. Well, I got him on after a few tears and 5 minutes or more of Mrs. Van Kleeck patiently waiting. My son felt he wasn’t understanding the Suzuki method and wasn’t doing it correctly. He was a bit mad at me and thought he wasn’t ready for an assessment.  Mrs. Van Kleeck was absolutely amazing with my son. She went over things and spent a decent amount of time with him. She sent him a Suzuki Guitar Volume 1 book, classical guitar strings, and set up to meet with him weekly with one on one instruction at no cost.

Where I dropped the ball was not obtaining the Suzuki Guitar Volume 1 book. I somehow didn’t think we would need it for the course. The book and his meeting with Mrs. Van Kleeck have built up his confidence and understanding of the program. He still does his live classes in the evenings too. He has enjoyed practicing his guitar again.

Practice Monkeys is a pretty amazing program and Sarah Van Kleeck has gone above and beyond to assist my son with his lessons. I can’t express how thankful I am with words.

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You can try a free trial class. Other Homeschool Review Crew are using different courses with Practice Monkeys. Find out their experience by clicking on the graphic below.


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