Do Online Piano Lessons Really Work? {Hoffman Academy Review + FREE Printable Lesson Tracker}
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Do Online Piano Lessons Really Work? {Hoffman Academy Review + FREE Printable Lesson Tracker}

The Hoffman Academy provided me with a free download of the complete materials for Unit 1 so that I could complete this review. However, I have been sharing my love for this program since long before I was offered this opportunity. (See examples here and here.) The honest opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. 

It was obvious from early on that Aiden was a child who really loves music. He enjoys listening to all kinds, singing both songs he has learned and those he makes up, tapping out rhythms on every surface, and recently he has developed a love for written music as well. He can often be found drawing musical notes in his notebook, and then adding words below. He also loves to use a kindle app Matt found that lets him compose music and play it back. So, when I learned about the Hoffman Academy and their free online piano lesson videos, I knew I had to at least check them out! 

I wasn't entirely sure about the idea of online lessons at first, and if I am being completely honest the fact that the lessons were free made me even more skeptical. However, there were two primary reasons I felt compelled to give them a chance. The first was cost, and the second convenience.  

Do Online Piano Lessons Really Work? {Hoffman Academy Review + FREE Printable Lesson Tracker}

Hoffman Academy provides their online video lessons for free. 


For a one-income family on a tight budget, this is an incredible value. I fully believe that piano teachers are worth the cost of lessons, but if lessons cannot be worked into the budget (and for us, they simply could not) then children miss out on the opportunity to learn! We were given a jazz organ by my sister, so we had that instrument readily available to our child, but neither my husband or I could teach him to play it. Matt can pick out songs by ear, and he plays a pretty awesome version of A Might Fortress Is Our God, but other than that we are both pretty clueless. So, for us, all that was missing was a teacher, and these lessons solve that need in a way that works for our family! 

I mentioned that  had reservations about the quality of the lessons given the price (free!), but I was immediately impressed by what I found. I have a very normal 5-year-old boy who is not one to sit still for long. When I set up his first lesson, I was amazed by how he sat there so engaged and attentive. Mr. Hoffman is an excellent teacher, including movement and activities in his lessons, and he is a pretty lively guy who is easy to listen to. Plus, he keeps the lessons short! The real surprise, for me was when Aiden started demonstrating what he was learning right away. I will talk a little bit more about that below, but I don't want to forget my second reason for trying these lessons. Because it isn't all about cost!

Do Online Piano Lessons Really Work? {Hoffman Academy Review + FREE Printable Lesson Tracker}

Hoffman Academy piano lessons are incredibly convenient, and can be done anywhere with access to a piano and an internet connection. 


As you can see from the photos above, for some lessons you don't even need to be near your piano! While we are a homeschool family who has a pretty flexible schedule, the truth is that we often still feel overbooked. Aiden's taekwondo lessons take up a significant amount of time in the evenings, and during the days we often have other things going on. One of the things we love about homeschool is the ability to be flexible and this is by far the most flexible option for piano lessons I have seen! Another benefit of the online format of this program is that students have the option to easily repeat lessons when needed. This has been a great help for us.

After the very first lesson, I could see that my child was really learning. 


I think it was lesson 4 when I realized he was already better at piano than me. Sure, I was watching the lessons with him and learning a little bit as well. But he could apply it a whole lot faster! There is definitely something to be said for beginning things like this early. We are now halfway through Unit One, and I am just blown away by how Aiden is learning and enjoying this! I am not going to pretend there aren't days when I have to convince him to practice, but even if we have a tough day he is still always asking for more by later in the week. (Later on in this post I am sharing a download that helped us in being consistent with lessons and practice in a big way!)

Do Online Piano Lessons Really Work? {Hoffman Academy Review + FREE Printable Lesson Tracker}

In addition to their online lessons, Hoffman Academy provides (optional) additional resources as an incredibly reasonable price. 


I did not jump into purchasing the additional resources right away with these lessons, and Aiden was learning quickly without them! I was very pleased with the video lessons, and kept going back and forth about the additional resources... did we really need them? Well, when I first downloaded the Unit 1 files, I knew we would be using them for sure. There are printables for each lesson, as well as mp3 files for both listening and practicing. While I don't think we missed anything by not using the print resources in the beginning, I can't deny how valuable they are now that we are using them. Aiden was an instant fan of having his own heartbeat mat for dictating rhythms, and having the practice in writing music correctly is valuable as well.  The website explains their pricing in this way: 
Every video lesson on our website is free. No purchase required at any time.
To get even more out of your learning, the Complete Materials for each Unit of 20 Lessons (includes activity pages, sheet music, practice instructions, and MP3 files) costs $19. That’s less than $1 per lesson!

Hoffman Academy Piano Lessons are effective, enjoyable and are clearly working for us!


I honestly could go on and on about this program. As I mentioned at the start, we were hooked on it long before I had the opportunity to do this review! I can't say that they will completely replace lessons with a live instructor for our family. Right now it is too soon to tell. If Aiden continues to show a love for piano, we may look in to lessons locally for him down the road. However, I wouldn't be surprised if we find that these online lessons are everything we need to give him a solid foundation. I also love the support for parents you can find on their blog, and how wonderful their customer service is. I would recommend them without hesitation, and my friends can tell you that I do just that!

Do Online Piano Lessons Really Work? {Hoffman Academy Review + FREE Printable Lesson Tracker}

Printable Piano Lesson Activity Tracker for Unit 1 {A freebie for my readers!}


While the convenience of online lessons speaks for itself, there is a (small) downside to this... it requires that the parent be consistent in making sure lessons and practicing take place regularly. It took me a while to find my footing in this area. In the end, I decided I needed some sort of activity tracker to make sure we were keeping things moving. I created one that I am excited to share with you for free today! I hope it helps you as you explore these amazing lessons and start working through Unit 1! An added bonus for homeschool families is that it is the perfect way to show progress in this area in a portfolio. You can download the activity tracker by clicking the preview below!
Download this file

Hoffman Academy Coupon Code


I am excited to be able to offer my readers a 20% discount off of any individual order from the Hoffman Academy Store. Just use the code MYREFLECTION20 when you check out! You will want to take advantage of this code before it expires! 

Ready to get started? Check out the About page on the Hoffman Academy website for great information!

If you have any questions about our experiences with the Hoffman Academy, please feel free to reach out to me in the comments below or on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! And be sure to let me know if you try them out and what you think!  

Do Online Piano Lessons Really Work? {Hoffman Academy Review + FREE Printable Lesson Tracker}

Find the Hoffman Academy on social media for more great resources!

6 comments

  1. We love Hoffman Academy! We've kind of gotten out of it with a major move, but this encourages me to get back to it. It really is a great program!

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  2. I've always wondered whether or not these things worked. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  3. what a great idea - i had piano lessons the old-fashioned way when i was a little girl....

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  4. Interesting concept! I've never heard of it before! I suppose it depends on the individual attention span of each child. 😉

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  5. This is awesome Branson, I need to look into this some more! It would be great for the kids!
    God is GREAT!
    -Heather

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