In January 2017, our favorite online piano program, Hoffman Academy, updated and launched Hoffman Academy 2.0 which has several new features on their website that will make learning music much more effective and fun. Today, I’m honored to test it out with my kids, write a review, and hold a GIVEAWAY for you to try it out as well. By the end of this post, I am sure you will be super excited about this awesome piano program.
If you have never heard about this awesome and FREE online piano program but want to know more, you can read my first review right HERE.
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* Disclosure: I was asked to review free of charge from the Hoffman Academy. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.
Don’t miss the GIVEAWAY is located at the end of this post!
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Why do We LOVE the Hoffman Academy?
1. Not Boring at all
The Hoffman Academy did an amazing job making fun piano lesson videos for little kids. There are stories to tell, new instruments to use, objects to show, and the best part is all the cute finger puppets to play with. These finger puppets became my kid’s superstars and they are excited to see these puppets every time.
Also, there are different music elements to learn and to practice in each lesson. For example, after we learn a new song, the next lesson will usually teach the music theory behind it and include some sight reading and other activities. It’s a comprehensive and engaging music program that is not boring at all.
2. Short and Sweet Piano Class Videos
Each FREE video has is the right length (about 10-15 minutes longs) with a good balance of old and new information, practice time, and a fun little Easter egg at the end. Throughout each video, my kids stay engaged because of the good balance between teaching and fun. Every minute, including the fun activities, focuses on teaching the skill/principle of that lesson, so there is no confusion or wasted time. It’s great even for little kids.
3. Very Clear and Simple Instruction
In each video, Mr. Hoffman explains principles in a very simple, clear way that my kids can understand. I still have to ask my kids questions about the content to make sure they understand it and use my way to explain it to my kids when they have questions. Even if you don’t know anything about piano, you will still easily understand the instruction of each lesson and be able to help your kids. And again, all the videos are created in a professional manner and are high-quality. Each lesson is well-organized, often with clear demonstrations from Mr. Hoffman himself. We are so lucky to be able to access it for FREE.
4. It is FREE!
Of course, this is what probably first attract everyone – it was for me, at least! I didn’t need to spend much money, time, or effort finding a great piano program with materials for my kids in which even I can be involved. The Hoffman Academy has done almost EVERYTHING for parents. The only thing that I need is to have a piano at home, a computer with internet and speakers, and maybe some paper. Then, I just need to follow along and enjoy learning music with my kids.
5. Feel Connected with the Program
The Hoffman Academy headquarters are located in Portland, U.S.A. That means my kids’ piano teacher is far away from us which is something that I have never experienced before because I always met with my piano teacher each week for my lessons. I was worried about how my kids would feel about learning from a teacher they have never met, but my kids love Mr. Hoffman and really want to meet him someday. I have been very impressed with how connected we feel with the teacher and program.
One of the reasons we feel so connected is we got to see his face and his teaching whenever we want, so, for us, we can have piano class twice a week. Not only that, there are also regular updates on their Facebook page, through email newsletters, and on their blog. We can find out about recent events, new updates, and even helpful articles with tips and methods to support us as parents. More than ever, the internet truly lets us have a closer relationship with people far away.
What are the New Features?
These new features are ONLY available through the premium membership, but the membership is surprisingly affordable. Hoffman Academy’s main objective is to provide a low-cost way for more people to learn the piano, so their membership fees are not that high. Also, you can get a full refund within the first 30 days. Feel free to check out prices HERE.
The 3 New Features are:
Easy-to-manage accounts for Each Student in your Household
Interactive Learning games on Site
Daily practice Instructions
#1 Easy-to-manage ACCOUNTS for Each Student in your Household
Before Hoffman Academy 2.0, we could login/out from the site, but the account didn’t have any actual function. Now, I can set up accounts for all of my kids. It is so much easier to check my account settings and orders, and to upload the materials and mp3 files in the same place.
When you press Lessons from the top manual to start, the site will automatically ask you which student(s) is doing the lesson, and it will record their progress individually for me. It’s very handy for those who have multiple kids who are different ages and in different lessons. I don’t have to remember all their lessons and progress on my own because the site does it for me.
I don’t know about other online piano programs, but Hoffman Academy sure does a great job of organizing lessons and student’s progress for us. That’s pretty impressive!
#2 Interactive Learning GAMES on Site
Who doesn’t love games? Games are one of the best ways to enhance learning by making it more memorable and fun, so we were super excited to see some music games on the new site.
When you click on Games from the top toolbar, the site will bring you to a page with four games. They are Theory, Rhythm, Staff, and Ear Training. Each category has different levels as well. As the player plays more, the level will go up and the game gets increasingly more difficult.
My 6-year-old loves playing these games even though she has only played the Theory and Ear Training because the other games are not quite ready yet. First, the games are very simple and easy to control using the number of the keyword and the computer mouse, so even my 6-year-old can do it on her own. Also, these games are well-made and of high quality – we especially love the background music of the Mystery Melodies in the Ear Training game. My 6-year-old recognized that the background music is in a minor key right away. In addition, these games are related to what they are learning in the piano program, so my 6-year-old can get some fun repetition practice by playing games.
#3 Daily PRACTICE Instructions
Hoffman Academy 2.0 has provided this unique feature for us — daily practice with instructions. Mr. Hoffman cares about the quality and methods of our daily practices, so we can have more success learning piano from him. It is like a teacher created a program that contains all the best tips and step-by-step instructions for students to practice when they are home.
I remember how much I hated practicing piano, and I’m sure many people feel/felt the same way. I usually sat at the piano and played for about 15 minutes before I was done. I knew that as long as I could perform the whole song with just a few mistakes, my piano teacher would pass the song and move on. I never understood the technique of practice since my piano teachers never really taught me about that. They would usually mark down the area and the pages that I needed to practice, and tell me to practice until it was perfect. But how? I didn’t think playing certain sections or pages repeatedly without any purpose is an efficient way.
I think the Hoffman Academy daily practice instructions are brilliant. After each lesson, you will receive a practice session for that specific lesson. First, you get an overview of the practice with links to download all the required materials you need for the practice session. Each step is simple with a clear explanation that doesn’t even overwhelm my 6-year-old daughter. After you finish the entire practice session, you will receive points for it as well, and you will know you can move on to the next lesson.
In my case, it is not always possible for my 6-year-old to go through an entire practice session at once because some of the practice sessions are quite long and complex for her. I let my younger children take their time and complete the practices at a pace that keeps their interest. If you don’t complete an entire session, the program will take you back to where you left and continue the practice session from there.
*Click HERE to look at those new features more closely.
How the New Features are Help us Learn
We LOVE all these new features in the Hoffman Academy 2.0. These new features provide more support for my kids’ music education and provide me with more resources to keep music learning at home fun. The new program tracks my kids’ progress individually which can be such a headache for a parent to do on their own. Also, there are so many awesome free piano videos, printable materials, mp3 files, and now interactive games and practice session for each lesson, so I’m able to teach my kids in a more comprehensive way.
See how much we enjoy it!
What are you waiting for? Click HERE to check out the pricing and sign up for your family right now.
An Q&A video from my girl
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