Music classes online with Great Bend Monkeyandmom review

Online Music Classes with Great Bend Center for Music HighKey Kids™

Music is uplifting and a necessary outlet for emotions at every age. But many communities don’t have access to quality music lessons. That’s where online music classes might be a good option for families worldwide.

I’ve already written about why I introduced music into our regular curriculum, and why I think I’ve made a mistake by not doing it earlier, in this article about our guitar lessons.

This is a sponsored post. I was given the product to review and I might have been compensated for my time. I would never endorse or recommend programs we wouldn’t use ourselves. Read more about it in my Disclosure.

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Music for Expression and Community with Online Music Classes

One of the oldest ways of expression for individuals and communities has always been art (both visual arts and music). Music is a great way to communicate, entertain, and establish meaningful connections with your community.

We all know about the healing properties of music, especially for emotions that don’t always find an outlet for expression.

I feel that music is the most accessible way of relaxation and expression and I was intrigued by the online music classes offered by Great Bend Center for Music-HighKey Kids™ .

What I’ve experienced during their sessions left the impression of belonging to a bigger, worldwide community, and it’s been a great feeling.

I just loved seeing how the community spirit and collaboration grew brick by brick, class after class. Their wonderful instructor has patience with everyone from the 4-year-old who didn’t remember ukulele strings to the grandpa that had some practical questions.

To try Great Bend Center for Music, you can see their free classes geared to kids PreK to 3rd grade.

SoundScholars ProgramGraphic

About Great Bend Center for Music- HighKey Kids™

Your whole family can start on a lifelong journey with music and its benefits with Great Bend Center for Music-HighKey Kids™.

Great Bend Center for Music is a non-profit exploring research-based ways that people — especially in rural communities — can use music to build community.

Their belief is that making music together builds the connections that nourish self-esteem, leadership, and a sense of belonging

Great Bend Center for Music’s youth music program, HighKey Kids™, is a great example of this mission.

Classes are affordable, supportive, and they empower kids to explore their interests and innate musical talents with a wide variety of classes.


HighKey Kids™ Classes choices

Kids can choose from musical and digital audio skills grounded in general musicianship. Here are some options:

  • Video Game Music 🎮
  • Songwriting 🎼
  • Podcasting & Beatmaking 🎧
  • Ukulele 🎸
  • Piano/Keyboard 🎹
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They hold weekly classes which last about 45-minutes to over 1 hour. The goal is to:

  • Accommodate students of all levels
  • Prepare kids for a broad range of musical exploration over a lifetime
  • Introduce the latest digital tools and apps
  • Foster both independent and collaborative studies

Special a la carte (one-time) classes are also offered during each term for a bite-sized way to introduce kids to a lifetime of musical opportunities! 

Not all kids who receive music training will become musicians. But every child who does will see improvements in cognition and emotional growth that are permanent whether they continue their musical activities for six weeks or six decades. 

How HighKey Kids™ Works

We’ve been trying out two of the HighKey Kids™ classes: Ukulele and Digital Audio Production.

Both classes are taught by Andy Jarema, an excellent teacher whom I can’t praise enough.

What I’ve seen during these classes impressed me deeply. Both classes gave me a feeling of belonging and community spirit.

Each class is well planned and set up as a series of presentations on-screen and their objectives are clear.

I love how each lesson starts with a song, easing the students in the music learning mood.


The homework is well-thought-out so that everyone can contribute and work together to create a music project.

Each class will have multiple parts to it: introduction, objectives, music history and interesting facts, music theory and instruction, homework review, help sections, and even mini-contests.

The classes meet weekly for 10 weeks and I loved seeing how Andy manages to cover so much ground in such a relaxed manner.

I also liked seeing how he offered to spend extra time after class to help whoever had problems advancing.

About Andy Jarema – the teacher

Andy Jarema is an experienced teacher with over 20 years of experience who can easily relate to his students.

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I have to admit I’ve never met a teacher who was able to manage such a variety of students. His teaching skills, music knowledge, and complete involvement make the classes run smoothly even if the participants are from various backgrounds and of mixed ages.

Andy acts as a veritable host, managing to keep everyone connected and involved even if the discussion sometimes seems to digress. He does this in a natural, gentle way that encourages kids to contribute.

I’ve seen shy kids (who prefer communicating through Zoom reactions) get involved in answering questions and participating actively in these lessons.

It’s been clear to me that Andy has wonderful teaching abilities when I’ve seen him engage gifted kids and clumsy adults at the same time, bridging the gaps between generations and communities.

Andy is capable of managing children (and grown-ups) who have different levels of music instruction. He is great at capturing everyone’s attention through his instruction, keeping everyone involved, and encouraging everyone to participate.

I loved that he always asks for feedback and I was amazed at how quickly he can adapt, showing great flexibility to accommodate even children with special needs or preferences.

This amazing teacher constantly encourages his students, takes feedback, answers questions, and listens patiently. I wish I had at least half the patience that he has while teaching.

Ukulele class

The ukulele class is geared to all ages! In fact, it’s been great seeing 4-year-olds collaborate with their parents and grandparents to create wonderful family moments while learning.

I think this is a brilliant idea that can bring together a family that lives in different parts of the world and I would love to try this out with M’s grandparents and uncle who live in Asia.

Seeing cousins help each other when they didn’t understand something or were confused about recording homework has been precious.


The classes are very well planned out but extremely flexible to accommodate everyone, regardless of their level.

I loved how everyone pitched in with advice, tips, and tricks and the discussion just flowed naturally between the participants and the teacher. For example, when someone complained how difficult it felt to play an instrument while singing at the same time, the teacher related to this by telling an anecdote about his own recording which took multiple video takes despite his music experience.

Digital Audio Production

The digital audio production class is geared to kids in grades 4th to 12th.

I’ve seen how a beautiful group of boys (of different ages, with obviously different preferences and backgrounds) worked together under the guidance of Andy to create a digital song.

They learned about the history of the first audio recording device and listened to a song recorded in 2017 on this machine, the last machine of its kind in the world.

It’s been a highly educational class and I feel that I’ve learned a lot by following along.

The class went along analyzing the song, the various types of sounds, and the technical explanations necessary in creating a song.

I loved seeing the interactions between kids and how they were trying to figure out the answers to the questions together, by collaborating.

Andy’s style of teaching is the best when learning. He isn’t teaching by providing the information directly but by arousing curiosity and questions then allowing for explorations in finding the right answer. I am sure that all his students will never forget what they’ve learned in this way.

In one short hour, kids learned about: history, music appreciation, collaboration, music building, music instruction.

I love how Andy’s lessons aren’t only about learning theory but also about appreciating music. In digital audio production, he encourages kids to speak about their feelings. How a certain string of piano notes made them feel and what they associate the sound with. Kids that were obviously musically gifted were clearly feeling the sting of notes deeply and I think this helped the other kids see a bit deeper into the magic of sounds.

Why I loved it so much

I’ve never experienced such a rich online learning environment before and I will gladly recommend Great Music Bend Music Center to everyone. Here’s what I liked best about this program:

❤️The teacher is amazing. It’s rare seeing such a dedicated and knowledgeable teacher managing to involve and bring together such a variety of students.

❤️ Great Bend Music Center takes online music classes to a whole new level, going beyond music learning. It creates a community sense, helping individuals grow together and lifting each other up.

❤️ The classes easily accommodate a variety of learners and ages, from music inclined kids to kids with special needs.

❤️ Kids (and adults) learn in a very friendly and open environment where everyone is encouraged to share and contribute.

❤️ The information presented in the class is interesting and engaging. I learned a lot of new information about music that I didn’t know before.

❤️ I found the music instruction is presented in a clear and step-by-step manner. It’s important that everyone understands what they need to do, especially in a collaborative project. I loved how Andy offered after class help to whoever seemed to struggle.

For those of you that would like to see inside or prefer to watch a video, can find my YouTube presentation of Great Music Bend Music Center below:

Over to You

Would you try online music classes that focus on community and music appreciation? Do you think they could help homeschoolers? Please let me know in the comments below.

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