I have to confess that I didn’t enjoy those Saturdays spent with my teacher, who was a charming elderly lady, especially during the latter years. I tapped and tapped and tapped on the bathroom door, pretending to play the keyboard, when either of my parents was taking a bath.
But where do I find a teacher who gives more than just piano lessons and is geared towards developing a musical child? I came across The Hoffman Academy as my husband and I were trying to decide whether we should already enrol our 6-year-old in piano lessons.
I was intrigued because the video lessons are available online for free and you can just use those and be fine. I said “our” because after all those years of piano lessons, I still had a lot of a-ha moments as my daughter and I learned together. Since these are video lessons, you can fit it into your schedule easily. You can also watch the lessons again and again and again if you have to. A student, whether a child or an adult, learns at his own pace, which is something that I highly value. New lessons refer back to old lessons, so the student actually sees how lessons and musical concept are related to each other. A parent without a musical background might feel doubtful about her child’s progress. My husband and I both have a bit of background in piano, though he is definitely more musical that I am, and we love how the lessons are presented.
Whether you are a busy working mom, a work-at-home mom, or a stay-at-home mom, you are sure to find parenting and learning inspiration on our pages and parent education workshops to empower you to be your child’s first and best teacher.
Positive Discipline for Toddlers and Preschoolers (August 6, QC)Positive and discipline are two words that are not often used together. Literature-Based Learning: Using Picture Books As Stepping Stones To Learning (August 6, 2016)Learn how to use picture books as stepping stones to learning (and bonding!) in your homeschool or after-school activities at home. I will continue those students in lessons using a mixture of materials including the piano series and other resources that are appropriate for your child’s interests and ability.
Know that I place a lot of emphasis on children reading notation and understanding basic theory. Believing it is important we create and compose our own music, your child will assignments and opportunities to be a composer. I have to admit that it was slightly stressful, worrying about how we would squeeze even more out of our budget, but it is important to us for our children to be able to pursue their interests if it is at all feasible for us to assist them.
It’s a subscription program that provides instant access to online piano lessons that you follow at your own pace. Lessons are taught by the personable Willie Myette, a musician and clinician, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. The lessons are self paced.  Move as slowly or as quickly as you need to and the program will save your place. Book 1: Six units teach concepts such as major pentatonic scale, quarter notes and rests, using chords in improvisation, and other introductory lessons. Book 2:Broken chords, syncopated rhythms, triads, and style markings are some of the topics covered in this level. Book 3:The final book involves more complicated lessons on things like arpeggios, chord progression, using the pedals, and melodic phrases.
You can add up to five students to your account and each account will save the place where that individual student stopped their lesson so that they can just pick back up where they left off.
As mentioned above, my daughter is a beginner, so we started with the very first book, CorePiano. She was very focused on the instruction and carefully performed each task while watching Willie on the screen.
I think that HomeSchoolPiano is a fabulous option for many families who cannot afford private lessons or who would prefer to work at home. The one downside to using this is that if no one in your family is knowledgeable about playing piano, you cannot get direct feedback.
This is a one time payment of $299 which provides you an unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students. Now if you are like me, the initial outset of costs is high, but when you see that it buys you lifetime access and then compare with the cost of private lessons, you will quickly see that this actually quite the steal.
Dusty is a work at home, homeschooling mother of four and has been married to the love of her life, a Southern gentleman, for 10 years. As I work with young children everyday, I have the privilege of watching them develop cognitively and musically.


No matter what approach to teaching happens with a young child, these steps are amazingly helpful and accurate in telling a parent if his or her child is ready for piano lessons. I’m embarrassed to say that all I have to show for all those years is that I can read and play notes automatically. I only kept at it because, gulp, I felt guilty that my parents bought my piano after incessant badgering from me.
With a piano and an eager child, the next step was to find a teacher who fits the ideal in my head. However, there are also complete supplemental materials for different piano skill levels for only $20 for each unit. We especially love the lesson on music composition because it makes the student aware of the different components of music early on. This is important to me because I feel that an ear for music adds enjoyment to learning music instead of just reading notes. Hoffman Academy encourages parents to send their kids’ videos, and through it, the Hoffmans have seen that students do manage to have excellent posture, hand position, etc. Because the program is flexible and easily available, we have this tendency to postpone piano time. We have a four year old who has, from a very early age, been drawn to music and while we tried a few in-home lessons early on it wasn’t quite clicking. My name is Mariel, homeschooling mom of three, a Kindermusik educator, a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, and editor of The Learning Basket.
Now children ages 3-5 in the Hays, Kansas area can get this early boost of music learning, fine motor skills, and learning readiness. Each lesson contains five different activities to help young children stay engaged and to reinforce the concepts of that lesson. Let me know and we will start with an evaluation of your child’s abilities and needs. Our budget is very tight in the extracurricular department and she was already taking monthly art lessons and weekly ballet classes.
Then we were blessed to be allowed the opportunity to review HomeSchoolPiano and my worries were whisked away!
Using a six step cycle including technique, rhythm, ear training, reading music, song, and improvisation, it presents a thorough well rounded instructional curriculum that meets all nine requirements of the National Association for Musical Education. His accomplishments are many and HomeSchoolPiano is only one of several endeavors that he leads. The varying notes of the piano, the five finger scale, how to properly sit at the piano, what the pedals do, playing with your hands together, and more is taught. This is an integral part of learning how to play an instrument and compose your own pieces.
I propped up our laptop on the couch next to the piano and started up the videos for her when it was lesson time. She was incredibly proud of herself each time she learned something new and would practice her new skill over and over (and over!) again for as long as she was allowed. I certainly know how tiring the shuttling from activity to activity can be, especially if you have several children. We plan on utilizing this on a regular basis and then still looking into acquiring private lessons in another year or so.
This also gives you unlimited life-time access to the site and all bonuses for up to 5 students. It is also designed to be used for all ages so you’re entire family (up to five people) can use the subscription!
I’m happy to be introducing my daughter to piano, even though I can’t play at all!
I watch very young children go from banging random beats on a drum gradually learn to follow a steady beat and then finally be able to hold a steady beat through the duration of an entire song.
In the world of music, cognitive development is very evident for children of different ages. How a child responds is going to tell the teacher, mom, or dad whether his or her child is ready to take piano lessons. Now, if I have a group of 4 and 5 year old children, we can progress to learning to play “Hot Cross Buns” on the 3 black notes. And even when my lack of musical skills became apparent, I felt that I just had to keep going to my piano teacher!
Hoffman, as we fondly call the pianist-founder of the website, has become our piano teacher.


However, some parents might feel unsure of the effectiveness of the program because the face-to-face interaction is not there. But it hasn’t taken away the joy that my daughter gets every time we do have a lesson.
I’m encouraged to look into this approach and the $20 per unit cost is an additional and much appreciated motivator. Through the three book Wunderkeys series, a child goes from being a beginner with no prior piano or music experience and finishes with solid keyboard awareness, an understanding of rhythmic notation, and the ability to play simple pieces with both hands. These are math skills children use in kindergarten. Not only will they be familiar with these important mathematical concepts, but their first experience with math will be one that is both enjoyable and approachable, in which they were made to feel successful. Willie is an enthusiastic instructor who teaches clearly and in a manner that children can understand, yet adults will appreciate as well. I watch 3 year old children struggle with playing one hand at a time on a xylophone finally learn to handle alternating hands on two different notes. They will use their left hand to play the low notes (low left) and their right hand to play the high notes (high right). They totally love the feeling of success they have when they learn to play this simple song. She eagerly asks for it and loves playing with the practice mp3 songs and answering the activity sheets. The lesson fees will be adjusted according to an agreed upon plan for the number of weeks x $18. This past spring, she started requesting the lessons again so my husband and I decided that we would figure things out so that she could begin in the fall.  My sister in law had a piano that she gifted us, so all we needed to do was find a teacher. Usually both three and four year old children have very little trouble with this (aside from their inability to differentiate between left and right, but we can work through that). Zombie!) is something that even my little boy (who sits in with his sister sometimes) has not forgotten! Even though she only knows a few notes at this point, she will happily clunk them out trying to assuage her baby brother. All of their eyes light up and they can hardly wait for their turn to be able to play on the keyboard. Frequently if I have a standing keyboard or piano I will have the children line up behind me so they can mirror me with their left and right hands before they go to the piano. I stick with the sets of 3 black notes first so that I don’t overload them with too much information at one time. I begin to focus on fingering if I have the children doing piano activities for more than one week or if I am teaching individual lessons.
Little do they realize that they are about to take one of their first placement examinations. Now of course, this is where songs like the “Hokey Pokey”, “Mother Gooney Bird” and my own “Walking to the Left” help children learn the difference between their left and right hands. Children between the ages of 4 and 5 but still cannot read will definitely benefit from some group or even one on one time, but the lessons will happen at a slower pace. She also thought Willie was very funny and she’d often giggle at how animated he became during some of the lessons. I love telling preschool teachers to watch as children between 3 and 4 years old go to the piano. Sometimes we just have to work sitting down calling one child up at a time to come and play the keyboard. They will place finger number 2 (tall man) on the first black note (C#) and finger number 3 (middle finger) on the second black note (D#).
And may I say that even though the pace is slower, there is nothing like an early introduction to the keyboard. I already know that the 4 year old children are going to be able to respond to my directions much better than the 3 year old children.
After we have completed this test I can usually find at least 2 or 3 children who are ready to begin working on simple exercises at the piano.



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