Singing for Musical Development

Music holds a unique place in the human brain. Howard Gardner, the psychologist who created the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, named music as one of eight distinct kinds of intelligence. But far from being confined to just one region of the brain, music appears to have a special way of putting the brain in high […]

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Finding Music Your Child Will Love to Learn

An important part of becoming an independent musician is learning how to find music to learn on your own. Choosing something you will enjoy learning and enjoy performing will keep your enthusiasm up and your skills growing long after formal lessons are over. Here’s how to get your child started on choosing their own music. […]

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Piano Care

How to care for your piano

An acoustic piano is a wonderful thing to have in your home. Take good care of it, and it will be a beautiful part of your family’s life for decades to come. Pianos need attention and respect in order to stay in top condition. Here’s what you should know about caring for your piano: Childproofing […]

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Summer Time Practice Tips

Summer has just begun, bringing with it a break from school for most children. Whether you get a summer vacation or whether your break comes at other times in the year, it can be a challenge to keep up a piano practice routine when other schedules change. With the right attitude and motivation, however, a […]

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Using the Practice Album

Each Hoffman Academy unit comes with both a Listening Album and a Practice Album. So why do we need two different sets of recordings for each unit? The Listening Album, which I talked about in a previous post, is a set of recordings for your child to listen to in preparation for learning a song. […]

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Using the Listening Album

Young children have an amazing ability to soak up information like a sponge. For example, a child who grows up in Southern France will be able to speak French with all the special nuances and inflections of the dialect in Southern France. Anyone who didn’t grow up there would be hard put to mimic it […]

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Counting Rhythms

counting rhythms

After your child has developed a good sense of beat and is able to recognize rhythm notation and read simple rhythms, at last it’s time to learn to count. I compare this progression to the natural way a child learns their native language. First they hear the language and learn to speak it, then they […]

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Learning to Read Rhythms

Learn to read rhythm

A few months ago I talked about helping kids develop their natural sense of beat, and also shared some activities that let kids listen to and repeat rhythms. After establishing this foundation, kids are ready for the next step, which is learning how to read rhythm notation. Ready for Reading  I feel that the way […]

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Building Rhythm Skills in the Beginning Musician

Rhythm is right at the heart of music. It’s music’s most primal element, the part that makes us want to tap our foot, or get up and dance. For listeners, rhythm is a big part of what makes music enjoyable to hear. For a musician, a good sense of rhythm is essential. Sadly, when I […]

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How to Choose Chords

how to choose chords

Playing a melody on the piano is fun, but it can be even more fun when you add chords! One of the unique things about the piano as an instrument is that you can play many different notes at the same time. Often a pianist plays a melody with one hand, and an accompaniment with […]

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Piano for Children with Disabilities

Learning to play the piano can be a great thing for children with disabilities. It helps build self-esteem, promotes brain development and motor coordination, and gives them a skill that both they and other people can enjoy. If your child has any kind of disability, you’re probably already very familiar with what kind of accommodations […]

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Is It Okay to Take a Break From Piano?

The short answer is yes, it is okay to take a break from piano, but it is important to do it for the right reasons, and to understand the consequences. Most of the time, the best choice is to be consistent with daily piano practicing. Piano students practice every day just like they brush their […]

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