Ask Sebastian

Hoffman Academy’s advice column for piano playing kids

If you’re a kid with a question about learning piano, Sebastian is here to help! He’s a Hoffman Academy student just like you, and he’s the founding member of our Kids Club. He definitely knows what he’s talking about!

Fill in the form below to ask Sebastian ANYTHING you’d like to know about learning piano. Then, watch for his response in the Ask Sebastian Mailbox on this page.

Please note: This is NOT a customer support form. This is a piano playing advice column for kids. For queries and technical assistance, click the Help button on the corner of your screen or contact

sebastians treehouse
letter to sebastian

the Ask sebastian Mailbox

Read our latest Ask Sebastian letters below!

Dear Sebastian,

I started playing the piano when I was five and now I’m eight. I like to figure out how to play my favorite songs on the piano by myself. I play around with notes until I figure it out because it’s more fun that way even if it takes a long time. Here’s the problem - my dad and my piano teacher both say I need to play what’s on the page when I practice instead of doing what I actually want. I don’t get it! Both ways I’m playing the piano, right? Can you help me figure out what to say to my dad so I can practice the way I want?

Thanks, Cole in California

Hi Cole,

I’m exactly like you! I like to spend time figuring out how to play the songs that I love – especially songs from movies I’ve seen. And! My dad bugs me about practice when I’m playing what I want and not exactly what’s part of my actual practice stuff, too! I started doing my regular piano practice each day and then after that’s done I spend all the time I want playing what I want. Somehow my dad doesn’t bug me about it because he knows I already did my regular practice. Try that! Do you regular practice and make sure your dad knows it. Then maybe you can play whatever you want!


Dear Sebastian,

I have never played in a recital. I was supposed to play in a recital last year but my little sister was sick that day and so my mom was busy with that and I missed the recital. I was a little sad but not very sad because I was actually really nervous and that’s why I am writing to you now. What do I do about how nervous I feel about playing in front of people in a recital? My teacher and my mom both say not to worry about it and they say things like “you’ll do great” - I’m just not sure I believe them because they aren’t the ones who have to play the piano! I wish I felt better about this.

Jenna in Pennsylvania

Hi Jenna,

My first recital made me feel exactly how you feel. NERVOUS. I tried and tried to figure out exactly what I was nervous about because I’m not too afraid to talk in front of people and I really love to play the piano so a recital seemed like it should be easy. The one thing I don’t like doing is messing up and I was definitely afraid of messing up at the recital. I tried to practice and practice so I could play without mistakes and that made me feel a lot better. At the recital I tried to play without thinking about how worried I was about mistakes and it worked! It helped me to think about the recital as no big deal because I had practiced playing those songs so many times. Maybe this will help with your recital?