A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hoffman Academy

"No one can be truly accomplished unless she has a thorough knowledge of music, singing, dancing, and the modern languages."  --Pride and Prejudice

Music has been sadly neglected in the educational objectives in this house.  Oh, we've had a guitar and a pair of drumsticks pass through here, but we've never gotten serious about lessons or even exposing the children to an extensive variety of music in any intentional way.  

So when the opportunity to review piano curriculum from Hoffman Academy came up, I jumped at the chance!

Hoffman Academy is video based, and the videos are FREE for anyone to watch.  Mr. Hoffman feels that strongly that finances should not be a barrier to students who want to learn.  That alone makes me want to support their work.  The part you pay for is the Complete Materials, which includes both audio files and ebook lessons to enrich the video lessons.

Fortunately, I have a willing pupil on hand, and the kids were all very excited when the keyboard I purchased arrived.

I downloaded our enrichment lessons while Brianna was getting set up.  Working together, Brianna and I moved very painlessly through the first 4 lessons together the first day.

Not wanting to overwhelm her, I stopped the lessons and just picked out "Happy Birthday" by ear and taught her the beginning of it.  She seems to have an ear for it.

Then I allowed her to play at the piano for as long as she wanted.

The other children enjoyed getting to know the keyboard, too.  (That's Josiah.)  

Hoffman suggests lessons every other day, and Brianna was definitely ready for more on Saturday.  She watched a few more videos and learned another song.  From there, she did lessons and practice as she felt like it.  Fortunately, she felt like it often enough that I haven't had to nag her about it!  (Having taken piano lessons as a kid, I think that speaks volumes.)

Unit One has a retail price of $19, and comes with audio files, student pages, and a parent file.   You download it to your computer to compliment the video instruction on the website.  The videos are pleasant to listen to, and the instructor takes things nice and slow.

Here, Brianna is watching the lesson video on my iPhone, and playing along at the same time.

Once I saw that she was going to stick with it, I got her a stand and a chair for the keyboard, so we could get them out of the school room.  

During our review period (roughly 6 weeks) Brianna completed all of unit one.  I found myself singing Hot Cross Buns or Frog in the Middle after she practiced quite frequently.  She is excited to be playing real songs.  We're about to start Unit 2, and I'm excited to see what she'll be up to next!  

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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  1. I've been teaching my girls piano using this same thing and we love it, too!

    1. Brianna has started the second session. :) I don't have the skill to teach her myself, so it's been great.

  2. Hello. We are just staring Hoffman academy for my 8 and 9 yr old. We are curious how far this program has gotten your children until they may need a real instructor.

    1. Honestly, I'm not sure how to answer that. I feel that Bri could still get a lot more out of Hoffman Academy if she was willing to put in the effort. She has since started attending classroom school for high school, and is in band, so she's getting "real" instructor, but she spends a lot of time just playing around with the keyboard, as well. There's an app or vid series that she like to try to play WITH, which is good for her to learn appropriate timing.

      Best wishes to you and your kids as you start out with Hoffman!