What Is the Best Age to Begin Piano Lessons?

It’s never too late to start learning piano, but there’s a golden opportunity to take advantage of a child’s amazing learning abilities if lessons are begun early!

Parents who give their children the gift of a musical education start them out on a path that will enrich their lives in so many ways. Studying music develops discipline, hand-eye coordination, intelligence, and creates a skill that can bring happiness to both the performer and to all who listen. According to a recent article in the LA Times, 6-year-olds who received keyboard instruction had more brain growth and better fine motor skills than their peers. Piano lessons are such a great thing, why not get started as soon as possible?



It is true that you can find videos on YouTube of three-year-olds playing Mozart, but that doesn’t mean that a three-year-old who likes plunking on the piano keys should be signed up for lessons. Children under the age of five who show an interest in the piano should be allowed to explore and learn on their own time table. They probably won’t respond well to an adult-imposed learning structure. Instead, parents of children under age five should be doing things to cultivate a general interest in music. Singing, dancing, listening to recorded music, and enrolling in a good preschool music program will allow a child to have fun exploring music and prepare for studying an instrument when the time is right.



The best time to start piano lessons will be different for every child, but most will be ready between the ages of 5 1/2 to 8 years old. Here is a short checklist of things a child needs to get a good start as a piano student:



A child who is taking piano lessons should be comfortable placing five fingers on five adjacent white keys. For some five-year-olds, that’s a big stretch! Before beginning piano lessons, make sure your child’s hands have grown enough to be comfortable using a keyboard.



A child who is taking piano lessons needs to be able to move individual fingers. A good test of this is to try Hoffman Academy’s Lesson Number 1, “Hot Cross Buns.” (It’s free!) A child who can use three different fingers on three black keys to play “Hot Cross Buns” is ready for lessons.  A child who can only play by picking out the tune with one finger is probably not ready.



At any age, motivation is an important factor of readiness. If a child does not want to take piano lessons then the parent should instead spend time cultivating interest in music.



Piano students who use a book based method may do better if they begin at age seven or eight, after they are beginning to read words with more fluency. Students who begin with an ear-based method, such as the Suzuki Method or the Hoffman Method, can start earlier at age five or six.



No! Of course not. Piano students can start lessons after age eight and all the way up to adult. The advantages that younger children have, such as more supple hands and the ability to easily acquire complex brain skills, can be made up for in older children and adults by independence, patience, self-control, and an internal desire to learn that younger children may not have.

So what is the best age to begin piano lessons? For anyone who meets all the requirements of hand size, finger independence, and desire, the answer is, as soon as possible! Take advantage of the opportunity to immerse your child’s mind in the language of music. If those prime years of opportunity have already passed, it is never too late for any child or adult with a real desire to learn. Studying music at any age is good for body, mind, and spirit, and something to enjoy for a lifetime.

Happy playing,
Joseph Hoffman


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121 Responses to What Is the Best Age to Begin Piano Lessons?

  1. I am almost 15 and have been playing piano for over a year now. I’m doing my first piano exam soon, but I feel like I’m really behind. I love music so much and it is my dream to go to a music Conservatorium, but I don’t know if I can get to higher grades… because they
    wouldn’t accept me.

    • Like we say in the article, it is never too late to start learning piano. Perseverance and tenacity are crucial: a late starter who works hard can often outperform a child who started young but only ever put in minimum effort. Keep up the hard work and happy playing!

    • Learning piano can be a very intimidating investment in both time and money, so I can understand the hesitation your parents might have about jumping in. But I am also glad to hear that you are interested in learning piano. If you have a keyboard at home you can practice and learn by watching our Free Online Video Lessons. This could possibly be a way for you to learn the basics without having to invest any money. I hope this helps. I wish you luck on your musical ventures!

    • Well, an inexpensive place to start would be to buy a cheap $99 used digital piano. That way you can turn the volume down and/or listen over headphones. Perhaps once your parents realize you’re serious about the instruments, they’d be more willing to jump in.

  2. Hi
    i am 17 years old and i would very much like to learn how to play piano professionally if that is a possibility. i have played violin for 5 years and clarinet for 7 years. is there a possibility for me to do piano professionally ?

    • Hello Simra,

      How wonderful to hear of your passion for music in all different forms! It is difficult to say definitively without having worked with you in person, but I can say that any career in music will be a difficult road, even with the best foundation. A music mentor of mine once said, “If you would be happy doing anything else for a living, do that; but if you will only be happy doing music, go for it.” Music is a wonderful hobby, side interest, and opportunity for socializing and service; but if you want to actually play professionally, you need to know that it will be a challenge. Go into it with your eyes wide open. I have been very blessed to be able to succeed in a musical career and provide for my family, but it hasn’t been easy.

      I am not sure if you have already been playing piano alongside the violin and clarinet, but since you have already been learning to play two instruments you clearly know the extra practice time that is necessary in order to make meaningful progress. And if you have not yet begun learning piano, perseverance and tenacity are crucial: a late starter who works hard can often outperform a child who started young but only ever put in minimum effort.

      I wish you luck in all your musical endeavors. Happy Playing!
      Mr. Hoffman

  3. Hello. My daughter really wants to learn piano. She is 12 ( nearly 13! ) and I’m worried as she grows up she will lose interest. However, she insists that I get her lessons. I’m glad she wants to play an instrument but worried it may be a waste. what should I do? Thanks in advance.

    • Keep in mind that you’re asking a piano teacher whether I think your daughter who is begging for lessons should do piano lessons. Of course, my biased answer is YES! OK, now for my serious answer. This is a personal decision that only you can make, based on what you know about your daughter and her individual needs, balanced with the needs of your family. There are so many factors to consider. Piano lessons can be an enormous benefit in someone’s life–too many benefits to list here (but you can read about them in our blog!). On the other hand, there are some financial and time considerations, too. Just remember that if you purchase a quality instrument, they tend to hold value very well (some pianos have even been known to go up in value!), and you can likely recoup most of your expense down the road if you end up needing to sell a piano. If you are worried about the expense of a private teacher, you can also help with that by getting started with online tutorials, like the lessons we offer at Hoffman Academy! If she shows a strong continued interest, then you could upgrade to a live professional teacher. Remember that I’m biased, but if it were me in your shoes, and my daughter wasn’t already stretched too thin with too many other activities, I would definitely try to support her in giving piano lessons a try!

  4. My 5 yr old daughter has been playing since she was 4 and shows much potential. She practices frequently and is sight reading notes in C position very well. There are days where she has even practiced for 1 hour (at the age or 5!). She takes weekly 30 min lessons.

    1) What can I do at this age to prepare her for a level of playing that is at a pre-professional age by age 10 or so?

    2) At what age do you recommend proficient students begin to increase their weekly lesson time and daily practice time to become pre-professional?

    • How wonderful that your daughter is showing such a keen interest at this young age! Please let me stress that there any many paths to playing highly proficiently (I know a very advanced pianist who didn’t start lessons until she was 10), and thus it is not really possible to map things out with much certainty. There are however, a few general guidelines I’d love to share. I believe the important thing at this young age is to keep the excitement, love for music, and motivation level high. I have sadly witnessed some situations where a parent pushed too hard at a young age, which ended up causing the child to resist and resent piano altogether.

      How to keep motivation high? I think it’s important to have a wonderful, nurturing teacher who understands how to motivate and inspire a young child. It sounds like you may have already found this special teacher. Research has shown that at this early age having a quality teacher that inspires and makes piano a delight is probably more important than a teacher that pushes skill development. Having said that, the teacher must have the training and background to provide a great foundation and to ensure that your child does not develop incorrect habits. Someone with a degree in piano performance with a nurturing spirit is what I would look for in your case. If your child continues to show a special passion for piano, then sometime between the ages of 8 and 12, you could consider finding a “master teacher” for your child: someone who has a proven track record of teaching to a full professional level. I encourage you to make this a mutual decision with your child because this will probably involve a big increase in commitment for you and your child. Depending on the teacher, practice time will probably be a minimum of anywhere between 1 and 2 hours a day. For a child who is excited and motivated, this will be a welcome new challenge. By the time I was a junior in high school, I happily practiced 3 to 4 hours a day without any prompting from my parents–I just loved it.

      A great book that I highly recommend on nurturing talent to a professional level is The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. I wish you success and joy as you watch, guide and nurture your child’s passions and talents.

  5. Great post!
    I took some piano lessons when I was young, and always wanted to get back to the piano…
    Took me years, but finally I did it :)

  6. Hello!
    My 5 and 4 months old has been learning piano since she was 4 and 10 months, she now plays with 5 fingers and definitely shows an aptitude for it. I have been insisting on daily practice (only 10 to 20 minutes but daily). Needless to say, on top of school and everything else, it is still a lot to ask from a 5 year old. She has started saying that she does not want to do piano anymore (although appears proud of it in conversations with other people). Is it normal? Any advice on what to do?
    Many thanks in advance

    • This actually sounds very familiar to me! My own son (now 10) started lessons with me when he was 4 1/2, but when he was 5 he lost his motivation for a time and started resisting the daily practice routine. Practice was always somewhere between tedious and miserable, so after discussing with my wife, we decided to allow him to take a break from piano. We stopped requiring daily practice, and although he would still occasionally sit to play something for fun, there was nothing formal going on, and we didn’t put any pressure on or bring up piano to him much at all. This turned out to be a great choice for us, because after about 4 months he personally showed a desire to start lessons again. We made a deal that if he wanted to do lessons, he would be expected to practice every day with a positive attitude. He agreed, and he has been doing lessons and practicing 5 days a week ever since, with a willing and pleasant attitude (OK, 98% of the time!). Sacrificing those 4 months definitely paid off in the long run, though it felt almost catastrophic at the time to quit piano!

      Now, I’m not saying that this is the right choice for you necessarily. It’s a very personal decision that has to be made individually. But I would say that I have seen at this young age that sometimes a break can be very helpful. I think it would be especially useful if during the break, you were to take up practicing and perhaps even formal lessons yourself. I have seen some amazing results when parents “walk the talk” and actually get on the instrument themselves and practice. When a child sees their parent practice, it sends a strong message that music practice is a desirable activity that is freely chosen and enjoyable. It makes music a part of your “family culture”. Whether you take a break or not, I encourage you to read my article on making practice fun with ideas for practice games and keeping things positive. Good luck, and I hope this helps! Please let us know how it turns out!

      • Thank you so much! This is extremely helpful. I had actually started piano lessons myself a year before my daughter (a complete novice!) and easily understand why she finds daily practice demanding. In fact I think she has persevered so far only because I have been playing… She has had her first “concert” over the weekend and did extremely well, I hope it will boost her determination. If nothing works, I will have to contemplate a break.

        Thank you again for your considered response.

        All the very best,


  7. […] What Is the Best Age to Begin Piano Lessons? – Hoffman Academy – It’s never too late to start learning piano, but there’s a golden opportunity to take advantage of a child’s amazing learning abilities if lessons are begun early! […]

  8. Hello
    I have question on behalf of our son. He started playing piano at the age of 11-12, had a slow start for a year or two, but took fire a little less than two years ago and is now putting in 1-2 hours of practice per day and plays some more demanding, classical pieces. He has some aspiring thoughts of studying and continuing to professional levels. We keep hearing of those that started out as small pre-school kids and having famous teachers from scratch.
    Is it too late and he’d better sticking to being a hobby pianist?

    • That is a difficult question to answer, first of all because I haven’t personally worked with your son but also because it is simply not very effective to judge a child’s prospects based only on their age and experience. The child’s natural aptitude play a roll, as does his family schedule, dynamics, and expectations. Most important of all is his perseverance and tenacity: a late starter who works hard can often outperform a child who started young but only ever put in minimum effort.

      This is especially true when you’re considering music as a profession. Any career in music will be a difficult road, even with the best foundation. A music mentor of mine once said, “If you would be happy doing anything else for a living, do that; but if you will only be happy doing music, go for it.” Music is a wonderful hobby, side interest, and opportunity for socializing and service; but if you want to actually play professionally, you need to know that it will be a challenge. Go into it with your eyes wide open. I have been very blessed to be able to succeed in a musical career and provide for my family, but it hasn’t been easy.

      That being said, your son is at an exciting age. Piano may be a new discovery that will change his life, but it may also be a fun passion that will fade as other opportunities present themselves. Where there is a sincere interest, I would never discourage someone from studying piano. As a parent, my recommendation would be that you let him continue to self-motivate and just watch what happens for a year or so. Be encouraging and supportive. Be realistic about the importance of hard work being essential to success, but let him find his own way froward in his dreams, which will probably evolve over time.

      I hope that helps. Encourage him to do his own personal best, and I’m confident that his music appreciation and skill will grow to meet his own needs. Good luck to you both!

  9. hey, i’m 27 yrs old, and I was always passionate about playing piano but I never had the chance to learn it. Now, I’m willing to start learning it but i met a friend who told me it’s too late. being honest I was kinda annoyed until i saw your website and read some of the above comments. my question is am I still have the chance to learn it or I missed it?
    thanks in advance

    • The simplest answer is that it is never too late to start learning piano! We’ve heard from adults in their 60s, 70s, and even beyond who have started learning piano and found great enjoyment in it. However, your success depends on several important variables. One of the greatest challenges to adult students is finding the time for deliberate, daily practice. Adults have much greater autonomy than children, but they also have significantly more responsibilities, making it hard to find time to practice unless you specifically reserve it. Another challenge is unrealistic expectations: some adult learners begin with a sense that it should be easier for them to learn than for a child, because adults tend to have the experience and education needed to pick things up or figure things out more quickly than children. Not so with music; like a language, real fluency is easier to develop when learned early. That doesn’t mean an adult can’t learn music or a new language – it just means it may take more work and practice. For example, because children who stick with their piano lessons can be amazingly proficient by their late teens, it’s easy for an adult observer to forget just how much time they have put into that skill – often 6+ years. By comparison, even with diligent practice, you may easily be 35 before you reach the same level of fluency.

      However, this is not meant to discourage you! Being aware of the cost before you begin helps protect you from frustration and disappointment down the road…And, speaking of that road: your experience learning piano can bring joy and satisfaction long before you are completely proficient. If you want to learn how to read music and play by ear for your own enjoyment and the chance to share your talent with family and friends – great! That kind of success can begin in your first lesson! No one is ever too old to learn and share something new.

      I hope that helps! We’d love to hear about your experiences and progress if you decide to learn piano, and feel free to let us know if you have questions along the way. Good luck and happy playing!

      • Thank you so much for the awesome answer! it kinda made my day since I was expecting the I lost the chance. of course I ll start learning and I ll let you know how it goes. again thank you so much

  10. Hello, I need the best advice on my case. I have a 10 yr old daughter (only child might I add) that in my eyes is shy, which in her case is normal, I’m a single parent so its safe to say Ive been a parent that has put my job first, now that’s changed, I want her to come out this shell, so I asked her what would you like to do that you would enjoy karate, gymnastics, ect she picked piano lessons. Im open to that however I always felt like music is its on language to learn and my baby gives up easy and shuts down, what would you recommend we do to keep her encouraged, im afraid this could be a waste but I dont want her to feel as if im not taking her serious so just any pointers. I know this might be Thanks

    • It sounds like you are being a wonderful and sensitive mom to your daughter! Giving her the chance to choose her interests is a great start to learning a new skill, but there will always come times when it feels more challenging than usual and both kids and parents may feel like giving up. One way to keep motivation up is to help your daughter feel empowered: help her choose accessible goals and recognize the sense of accomplishment it brings to face a challenge and overcome it. You can find more information in the article we’ve posted about Empowering Your Beginning Pianist. Feel free to contact us again if you have further questions or challenges down the road!

    • I think the teacher makes the difference. My daughter’s first teacher barely spoke English, and she did not enjoy the trial lesson. We now have a younger, hipper teacher, who is very child friendly. Now, my daughter, also 10, loves piano.

    • My name is ms.Valencia and my niece is 3 years old and I will like to know if it will be good for her to take piano lesson at this age I want to keep her mind growing and different areas of opportunities right now she is in dance ballet tap Allison’s dance school and Kingwood..Yes she is 3 but I want to expose her to different opportunity..but i still want her to have fun with it.. so did your school have a class for three year olds?

      • In our live studio, we don’t generally start 3-year-olds in formal piano lessons. Instead, we have a music introduction class for children under 5. We play with different instruments that are easy to use like drums and xylophones. We listen to different types of music and sing lots of songs. You may be able to find a local program like this but if not, there are lots of ways to start introducing your niece to music right at home. Check out this article we’ve posted for lots of ideas: I hope that helps!

  11. My daughter loves to sing and now wants to learn how to play the piano. For my daughters 7th birthday she would like a key board. Do you have any suggestions on what type I should look into?

  12. I started with piano lessons last week at the age of 25 because we never had the money for music lessons and I find it difficult with finger stretching now. It is true that you say its best starting at an early age.

    • You are right, and I’m sorry you are finding it difficult. However, with extra practice and patience, you can still make great progress in your flexibility and finger strength! Keep at it and I’m confident that it will start to feel more comfortable. Good luck and happy playing!

    • Absolutely! While it is true that learning as a child has several advantages, it is definitely possible for an adult to have great success with piano lessons as well. Training your adult fingers will probably take more practice and diligence, but you also have the advantage of autonomy on your side, along with a better understanding that hard things are worth working for. Enjoy the process and feel free to ask lots of questions along the way. Good luck and happy playing!

      • Hi I am 58 years old and I would like to learn playing piano. My question is, is this program designed only for children. what would be your suggestion.

        • It really depends on what you are looking for in a program. Our lessons are definitely geared to children, but we hear from adults and teens all over the world who have also had great success with our lessons. The songs we use early on are simple children’s songs, but in later units we start adding folk and classical numbers that I think you will find enjoyable and lovely. An absolute beginner of any age would benefit from starting right at the beginning with Lesson 1, but if you already have a background in music feel free to contact us so we can help you find a good place to start. I hope that helps! Good luck and happy playing.

  13. Hello, Mr. Hoffman! When I read this article, I doubted my age because I am going to take lessons this summer at the age of 12. Is 12 an age good for playing the piano? Thank you so much!

    • It’s never too old to start learning piano! We have lots of teen and adult students who use our lessons and have had great success. At your age, I’d actually guess that your biggest challenge will be making time for consistent practice, because you’re right on the brink of lots of new opportunities and extra-curricular activities. But, if you are willing to make piano a priority, I’m confident that you will have great success. Good luck and happy playing! – Mr. Hoffman

    • Hello,
      My son is 10 yrs old in the 5th grade and started piano lessons 3 months ago. He Practice 30 minutes a day 5 days a week and he loves it. Next year in 6th grade he will be able to start band but does not want to participate in band.
      My question is since he Loves learning to play the piano should I encourage him toparticipate in band and how do I go about doing so? Also would band help him in anyway playing the piano?

      • I think I would need a little more information to give you a good answer. If he participated in band, what kind of participation would that entail? Are you hoping he will learn a new instrument? And, if so, which one? Is he interested in learning another instrument besides piano and, if so, would he try to develop both or would he be setting piano aside for a time? I hope I can help.

  14. My son is 5 years old and her meets the hand size requirements and finger independence.. need to church him on the first lesson hit cross buns..! I have a question on the size of keyboard for him… I currently have Casio ctk 551with 61 keys.. can I go ahead with the current one or any other smaller ones with shaker size keys are suggested.. coz finger placement and fingering practice is very important and I need your advice on this..!!

    • Starting on your Casio CTK is just fine. It may be a bit of a stretch right now, but it’s better for a beginner to play on regular-size keys whenever possible so their muscles will learn to recognize and respond to the right size and distances. Good luck to you both! – Mr. Hoffman

  15. Hi Mr. Hoffman. My son took suzuki violin for 2 years at age 4.The practice battles and disinterest forced us to quit.Then my son just started playing around with his uncle’s keyboard and showed great interest so we got him one. He was able to replicate many beginner pieces by just listening to them.So we got him a teacher but its not suzuki anymore so he’s learning to read.But practice is still a problem. Do you think I should continue with lessons if he’s not motivated to practice? I am afraid it will backfire and turn him off learning music. Thank you.

    • It’s difficult to give advice on such an important question as to whether or not to continue with lessons without knowing more information. In a nutshell, I think motivation needs to be addressed very deliberately by any parent. It’s OK if a child doesn’t naturally love practicing, but there needs to at least be some sense that there is a desirable goal that we are working toward. I’ve talked to kids who like to play piano, and they don’t want to quit, but they also don’t particularly like practicing either. They practice because there is a long term goal and a basic desire to make music. If your child even has a small desire to play (even if there is no strong desire to practice), then it is possible to establish a daily habit of practicing, with lots of parental support and help to keep practicing fun and effective. Our support section on our website has dozens of articles that may be of help in making practice fun for young kids; for example:

      A Parent’s Role in Practice

      How to Make Practice Fun
      Avoiding Practice Time Power Struggles
      How to Stick With It

      I hope that helps! – Mr. Hoffman

  16. Hi, I’m in India and I started my ~6 year old on piano lessons 2 months ago.
    1.She was initially interested in learning new songs and learnt 2-3 nursery songs but now that she feels that the new ones (eg: ones with chords) cannot be learnt, and is unwilling to try after few attempts. Instead she keeps playing the ones she’s able to play / the ones she likes over and over (eg: jingle bells). How do I instill confidence and get her interested again (I’ve been trying your practice chart and it worked for a month – the same with short term rewards).
    2.Is it a better idea now to get her into an Early Children’s Music Learning program rather than directly into piano as the method her piano teacher uses is more traditional (I would’ve loved if it was something similar to yours! :) ). Is 6 yrs too late for such programs? is it better to continue the piano classes?
    Also, I now realise doing both your program and her piano teacher’s traditional method in parallel won’t be easy :)

    • The description of the alternative early learning course I’m looking at is below (against her existing piano lessons – btw, I’m also registered for your course) is: Course is designed to nurtures a child’s cognitive, emotional, social, language, and physical development. The focus of the course will be to explore the joy of music making in a fun, positive, and affirming environment. Sound, rhythm, singing, drumming, and musical story-telling will be used to introduce coordination, listening, leadership, creativity, group-awareness, and self-awareness among young children.

      The children will be first introduced to basic musical concepts – and teachers will use this course as a foundation for the child’s further development of music, choice of instrument, reading of music and overall music growth. An Instrument Merry-go-Round held towards the end of the course will help, children identify and instrument most suitable to them.

      • If a child is not wanting to move on to new challenges, it may be a sign that she is in a phase where she needs to do more review, which can help build confidence. Remember that reviewing is also a form of learning, as it helps the learning to go deeper. Plus coordination continues to develop with review. If the motivation to try new things isn’t there, trying to force it is usually a negative experience. Take a step back and relax, and remember that 6 years old is young. It may be best to relax the expectations a little. Set very small, bite-size goals. 10 minutes a day of joyful practice is better than 25 minutes a day of struggle or conflict. Here are a few articles from our Support pages that may help you:

        What Do You Do If You Get Stuck?
        Balancing Challenge and Skill
        Avoiding Practice Time Power Struggles

        When it comes to putting your daughter in the music development class you describe, I’m afraid it will be tough for me to give a fair answer, knowing so little about it. I would recommend sitting down with your daughter and talking to her about her interests in music and get her input – does she particularly want to learn piano, or is she more interested in singing or learning other instruments? It may help to take a break from piano and let her re-charge her motivation. In general, I wouldn’t think 6 years old is too old for such a program, but if it means that your daughter is in a class full of toddlers and preschoolers, she may not be comfortable or have as much fun doing it.

        I hope that helps! Good luck. – Mr. Hoffman

  17. Hello… My son starts to learn piano when he was 9 for about 8 months but then he stop…… and now he starts again on age 12, would it be easier for my son to become a professional pianist than another children that starts at 12 without any experience before?
    Thank You…..

    • That is a difficult question to answer, not only because I haven’t personally worked with your son but also because it is simply not very effective to judge a child’s prospects based only on their age and experience with piano. The child’s interest and natural aptitude play a roll, as does his family schedule, dynamics, and expectations. Most important of all is his perseverance and tenacity: a late starter who works hard can often outperform a child who started young but only ever put in minimum effort.

      This is especially true when you’re considering music as a profession. Any career in music will be a difficult road, even with the best foundation. A music mentor of mine once said, “If you would be happy doing anything else for a living, do that; but if you will only be happy doing music, go for it.” Music is a wonderful hobby, side interest, and opportunity for socializing and service; but if you want to actually play professionally, you need to know that it will be a challenge. Go into it with your eyes wide open. I have been very blessed to be able to succeed in a musical career and provide for my family, but it hasn’t been easy. …But I wouldn’t have been happy doing anything else!

      I hope that helps. Encourage him to set aside comparisons and instead focus on doing his own personal best, and I’m confident that his music appreciation and skill will grow. Good luck and happy playing! – Mr. Hoffman

  18. Mr. Hoffman,
    I just came across your webpage. I am one of those adults that wished I had continued with taking piano lessons as a child. I took lessons as a 10 year old, back in the mid 70’s for only one year. At that point, my sister died in a tragic accident and then my desire for playing the piano pained me because my bestfriend/sister was suddenly gone. She and I enjoyed playing piano together. We were very close as we were born the same year, her in Jan 65 and me in Nov 65. Not continuing my piano lessons as a child is my biggest regret in life. I do have a full size piano & a keyboard that all four of my children enjoy playing on, but I only have one child that is showing sincere interest in taking piano lessons. My time is limited with four children each with their own interest but my 7 year old really wants to take piano lessons even with her 3rd year of ballet. I ‘ve been looking into what piano courses would be best for her and I have decided to start her in your program. I am certain this is a good start. I love all the information on your webpage, thank you so much. My daughter is so excited to start. She and I will both begin lessons together. This is a lifelong dream of mine to finally fulfill that void of music enjoyment by taking the time out to do something I am so passionate about. I can not wait to get started, thank you for sharing your beautiful talent and much needed information on playing the piano. There is much content to your webpage, so I will need to figure out just where to begin. It’s nice that you have a comment section as well and you take the time to reply. Any advice on us taking the lessons together at the same time? Hana B

    • I’m sorry for your loss and hope that rediscovering piano will be a wonderful, healing experience for you. If your daughter is a beginner, I would recommend starting with Unit 1 and aim to complete 2-3 new lessons each week, using the remaining daily lesson time for review, finger exercises, improvisation, etc. If she has had some exposure to music already, you may want to move through the first unit or two of lessons more quickly until you find a place where she is challenged. As you spend time at the piano together, I believe you will find a great deal of your previous knowledge come back to you and I encourage you to help each other improve – kids often love having a chance to be “the teacher,” and she will enjoy seeing you learn as well. Try watching the video at the piano together, then taking turns practicing. Check out the article on having multiple piano students in the home (even though you’re not siblings, much in it can apply to any multiple-student scenario). I also encourage you to sign up for our newsletter so you can get regular updates and more piano parent advice.

      I hope that helps! We’re here to support you and look forward to hearing about your and your daughter’s success. Good luck and happy playing! – Mr. Hoffman

  19. Hi, I just discovered your website! I have a question for you. My son started taking piano lessons shortly after his 15th birthday when he got a weighted keyboard with 88 keys. He has only been playing for 3 months and is obsessed with it. Piano is new to him, although music is not (he has performed as a singer for the past 5 years in musical theater and opera). He has an excellent ear, which at times causes him to “cheat” by preferring trial-and-error over reading the sheet music slowly. Anyhow, his teacher says he plays as if he has been playing for a year at least. He also practices at least 2 hours per day.

    So hear is my question: My son is so obsessed with piano, becoming zoned out when he plays, that he wants to write music and become a composer (very into video game music, rag time, jazz and classical… and loves musical theatre). He loves theory and understands what he is learning. Would the fact that he is starting this late affect his chance in being accepted at a conservatory and possibly following this route? While I don’t want to kill his dreams, I also want to be realistic. I’m sure most students at conservatory level have been playing since they were very young. He is good for the short amount of time he has been playing, but not sure how much further progression he will need to “catch up” to peers who have been playing since they were toddler.

    Can’t wait to check out your website further!

    • Let me say this: Any career in music will be a difficult road, even with the best foundation. A music mentor of mine once said, “If you would be happy doing anything else for a living, do that; but if you will only be happy doing music, go for it.” Music is a wonderful hobby, side interest, and opportunity for socializing and service; but if you want to actually do it for a living, you need to know that it will be a challenge. Go into it with your eyes wide open. I have been very blessed to be able to succeed in a musical career and provide for my family, but it hasn’t been easy. …But I wouldn’t have been happy doing anything else!

      That being said, fifteen is an exciting age. Piano may be a new discovery that will change his life, but it may also be a fun passion that will fade as other opportunities present themselves. Where there is a sincere interest, I would never discourage someone from studying piano. As a parent, my recommendation would be that you let him continue to self-motivate and just watch what happens for a year or so. Be encouraging and supportive. Be realistic about the importance of hard work being essential to success, but let him find his own way froward in his dreams, which will probably evolve over time.

      I hope that helps! Best of luck to you and your son. :) – Mr. Hoffman

      • Thank you for the perspective. I am certainly letting him follow his own creative paths right now. Piano is a new discovery. He attends an arts high school, so he is surrounded by peers who all want to be artists of some sort. He studies theater in school, but appears more passionate about piano (and even more so composing than anything else). Again, thanks for your response. It was very helpful.

  20. Hi,
    I’m a 46 year old woman and just discovered your wonderful website — your lessons are just the right level for me! I’ve always been a little intimidated by music, but now I’m ready to learn — hopefully it’s not too late! Thanks for this wonderful resource!

  21. Hi
    My eldest daughter started piano last year when she was 7. My kids and I go to all the lessons. The teacher wanted my next daughter, who is 6 years old to start this year. She has had three lessons…and I now would like her to wait at least another year before starting piano as I just don’t want it to get complicated at too young an age and have them feel like they are struggling to learn all the while school getting increasingly complex..I don’t want to push it too early. What do you think?

    • On the one hand, I’ve found that school, activities, and scheduling will usually become increasingly complex as children grow, so things are not more likely to quiet down or become less complicated in a year or two. That’s one reason we encourage starting piano lessons at a young age: so when life gets busy they already have a foundation and interest that will motivate them to keep music lessons a priority in their schedule.

      However, as her mom, you are the expert on what your daughter can handle and what she will find motivating vs. overwhelming. I would encourage you to talk to your daughter and decide together what will work for your family situation. If she wants to learn, holding her back might actually mean she loses interest in the future and decides not to learn after all; but if you’re the one pushing her when she just isn’t interested, that could be a sign that she isn’t ready.

      Something else to remember, though, is that if she’s feeling frustrated or overwhelmed after just three lessons, it could be a sign that she’s expecting too much from herself too fast (a common challenge with siblings learning at different levels). If that is the case, talking to your daughter and her teacher about it, plus keeping the practice environment positive at home, could make a big difference and let her move forward right now without her feeling too stressed.

      I hope that helps! Good luck to you and your daughters. – Mr. Hoffman

  22. Very helpful and interesting information!I am trying to decide what is the best for my 6 year old daughter ,she really wants to learn to play the piano but I am not sure that this the right time for her. She has completed one year of music-Orff type programm and I am wondering if she should follow an Orff programm this year or to start piano, or maybe both of them wouldn’t heart her?thank you !

    • There are a lot of wonderful things about integrated programs like the Orff method. On the other hand, when a child is motivated toward an instrument, that’s one of the key factors for a good time to begin studying it. Here are my thoughts on what makes piano an especially valuable course of study early on in a child’s musical education: Is Piano the Best First Instrument?

      I hope that helps! Good luck to you and your daughter. – Mr. Hoffman

  23. I’m 14 and I really want to learn how to play piano. I am taking a elective class in school but they only are teaching the simple letters ABCDEFG. Sometimes my right hand is uncomfortable keeping all 5 fingers on all 5 keys. Also my fingers press on both keys instead of one because I can’t consontrate. It does take me a while to learn something small but once I get it I can play it fast and fluent. Do you think it is too late to take piano lessons. Thx

    • I think you are certainly not too old to learn piano, and it’s great that you’re taking a class! It sounds to me like your struggle might be related to pushing yourself too quickly. In a class situation, sometimes there’s a temptation to compare ourselves with others, so if someone else is picking things up easily (especially if they already have some experience with piano), we become anxious to “keep up.” This can cause the very problems you’re describing.

      – Tension: When we’re nervous or anxious, we ‘re more prone to tension. When you have trouble keeping all five fingers on five adjacent keys, it’s usually because there is too much tension in your hands. Try reviewing our lesson on Piano Posture and practice keeping your hands in a relaxed, curved shape as you play.
      – Taking it too fast: It may sound strange, but when it comes to learning piano, *slow is fast*. The fastest way to master something is to start very, very slowly and then working our way up to regular speed. If we take the time to make sure the right fingers are playing the right keys each time, then when we eventually play it “fast and fluent,” it will still be correct.
      – Losing concentration: It’s distracting and discouraging if we try to push ourselves too quickly through the basics. Concentration, like all other skills, can be improved with practice, but it takes time and effort. Set realistic goals for yourself and focusing on reaching them a little at a time.

      Good luck in your class. With hard work and patience, I’m sure you’ll do a great job. – Mr. Hoffman

  24. Hello, my daughter is only 3 and I’ve noticed she has an interest in piano. She loves her piano toys and I would love to get her started on lessons. I read somewhere that before starting lessons, you should purchase a piano. This is something I can not afford to do especially if she later decides she doesn’t want to play. However I have seen child size grand pianos that are affordable. What do you think about these pianos to use for practice for the first couple of years?

    • I love that you are seeking ways to get your child interested in music from an early age! That is wonderful. I think it boils down to what kind of experience you are hoping to have. I don’t think there is any harm in purchasing this kind of “child size piano”, but honestly, I feel skeptical about the quality. From the reviews I have read, it seems like there is no way to tune a piano like this, and it’s tone quality is probably not very good. You might be able to spark just as much interest with simpler instruments like drums, shakers, and glockenspiel or metallophone. If you really want a keyboard instrument, but you don’t want to invest in a full acoustic piano, I encourage you to go straight for a digital piano with 88 weighted keys as soon as your budget would allow. Kids love experimenting with the various instrument tones and then it can be an instrument they can grow into. I hope this helps! – Mr. Hoffman

  25. I’m 14, I played piano from ages 6 to 8 but I had issues with my teacher and gave up. I still play some pieces by ear on my piano, I have no issues with my fingers (playing other instruments has helped this, as well as naturally having long and thin fingers). Is it too late for me to start up again? I’ve always adored the piano and I’d love to be even halfway good at it.

    • It is never too late to develop piano skills, and having already been exposed to finger independence, theory, and ear training will be a great benefit to you. It may be easier for smaller children to develop the muscles and skills necessary for piano, but equal amounts of success can still be achieved by an older student through diligent practice. Best of luck to you! – Mr. Hoffman

  26. Hi
    My daughter’s about to be 12 and never had a proper piano lesson but she has been learning violin since I can remember and can confidently read bass clef as well. She has been teaching herself piano on my mother’s piano and we got a keyboard from my brother at Xmas. Since then she taught herself all kinds of pieces like Für Elise, Moonlight sonata and even some Grade 2 pieces from a book her friend lent her! She’s is very musical and has a strong desire to learn in general, but music is clearly her passion.

    So, is it too late to start proper piano lessons?

    Best wishes.

    • I am delighted to hear how much musical education your daughter has received, even without “proper piano lessons”! It is never too late to begin learning piano, and having already been exposed to theory and ear training will be a great benefit to her. While it may be easier for smaller children to develop the muscles and skills necessary for piano, equal amounts of success can still be achieved by an older student through diligent practice. It’s difficult to predict how a given child will progress in piano (especially so for me to give an opinion on a student I haven’t personally worked with), but based on her interest and exposure I would guess that she will make great progress. Good luck to you both! – Mr. Hoffman

  27. Hi Mr Hoffman,
    I have my daughter is soon to be 11, she just just did her rcm exam level 7,but not too well, barely passed her level 7 exam, but she has to work on the theory. She is so behind about to understand the theory, her piano teacher is more focus on the practical not pay much attention to the theory until she needs to do her theory exam.How ever her teacher demanded more time to work with her, which we agreed for that, we try everything we can to make it work. My question to you when she learned piano lessons she needed to learn theory as same time as a practical ? I am worry about she needs a lot of time to catch up. I don’t have any music background to judge the teacher or my daughter. Please me some options of your advices. Thanks

    • It’s true that both learning the theory behind the music and developing practical skills are essential to a complete piano education. The Hoffman Method incorporates a significant amount of theory from the very beginning, but if your daughter is around RCM level 7, I doubt that the lessons we currently have posted online will give her what she needs. Our Units 1-5 cover most Prepratory/Primer and Level 1 material. Sorry I can’t be more help, but I wish you and your daughter good luck! – Mr. Hoffman

  28. Hi, I would like to start piano classes for my 5 and half year daughter. Which method is better to start with: Yamaha, Suzuki? Or others?
    Thank you

    • I’m afraid you’re asking someone who is biased: I would recommend the Hoffman Method. :) Honestly, when I became a piano teacher, I struggled with choosing between the available methods because each has its own pros and cons. That is what led me to develop a method that I feel delivers high quality musical education while developing the character and musicality of the student. 5 years old is usually a great time to begin and, regardless of your daughter’s reading level, you are likely to have success with any of the Hoffman, Suzuki, or Yamaha methods as all three begin with a great deal of aural training. Good luck! – Mr. Hoffman

  29. Hello,

    I’m 15 about to be 16. I have had an interest in playing piano for majority of my life, however, I have never received formal instruction. The things that I do know I have taught myself via rote or playing by ear. It is very difficult for me to play two different things with my hands and I can’t do things like type online with all of my fingers. My form with playing is good but I am not coordinated between hands. I also cannot read the sheet notes either. I am a really big fan of Chopin, Claude Debussy, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, and such and have always wanted to play them. Do you think that it is possible for me to be able to play at that level considering that I did not start at a young age? If so what would I need to do to begin playing?

    Dorien Baker

    • I’m so glad you are aspiring to play the piano, and you are certainly not too old to begin! If you are willing to make daily practice a priority, I think you will have great success with our lessons. We will work on all the issues you brought up, and many more. That being said, it’s important to realize that there is no “quick and easy” way to teach yourself to play the classical music you admire. The 100 lessons that are currently available on our website will generally take a beginner about 8-12 months to work through. Even then, you will not necessarily be ready to play Chopin. Learning to play the piano is an amazing adventure, but the level of proficiency you aspire to comes from years of practice. I say this not to discourage you, but to help you have realistic expectations for yourself. The best way to begin is to make the commitment and then make your plan. It helps a lot if there is a fixed time of day reserved for your practice time so it isn’t easily forgotten or scheduled over. Most beginners complete 2-3 new lessons per week using 10-20 minute practice sessions, but you should find your own balance that challenges you without burning you out. Feel free to comment again or contact us if you have other questions! – Mr. Hoffman

  30. Hi. I’m 19 and started getting enrolled in piano lessons when I was 5 up until the age of 9 and then I had to drop it. I did keep playing and learned some guitar and got piano lessons every now and then. But right now I really want to play the piano again. Is it possible for someone my age to ever be able to play, for example, Chopin’s Etudes? I’m looking for classes but I am currently a self-learner. I can figure out simple songs like Fur Elise and all but I really want to play Chopin. Is it still possible?

    • That is a wonderful goal! While I can’t speak for your specific situation without working with you in person, I am inclined to say it’s certainly possible. If you took lessons for years as a child, there is a lot that your body will remember as you begin to consistently practice again. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, though. While there are some neurological and muscular reasons that it is easier for children to learn piano than adults, you also should consider time and motivation: children have fewer responsibilities and commitments than adults, and a parent can establish a schedule and incentives to make piano a priority. An adult like you will need to make time and commit yourself to practice on your own. That takes an extra amount of mental energy along with the physical work of practicing. However, if you are willing to put in the hard work, the rewards will come. Good luck! – Mr. Hoffman

    • Learning piano after a different instrument is just fine, and in many ways even easier than learning it first. You probably already have a grasp of music theory and rhythm, key signatures and time signatures, etc. All of that will be helpful as you start to develop the strength and muscle memory in your fingers to play piano. For recommendations on keyboards, check out our blog post on Choosing a Piano or Keyboard for the Beginning Student. Good luck, and happy playing! – Mr. Hoffman

  31. Dear Sir, my son is 8 years old. Would you please tell me what is the difference between keyboard class and piano class. Which one is better?

    • Absolutely not! While there are certainly added benefits to starting early, it is never too late to start learning to play the piano. – Mr. Hoffman

  32. Hi hoffman,
    I am 25 years old and i am very keen to learn piano. But i have never learnt any instrument nor music before.
    1) So is this a good age to learn piano? Or is it not possible to develop the skill at this age?
    2) As a beginner is it right to start with a digital piano or keyboard ?
    3) My job is pretty hectic, so as a beginner how many hours should i spend to develop piano skills?
    4) also please suggest wich piano or keyboard i should start with !!
    Please reply, thanx in advance

    • It is never too late to start learning piano! There are certainly benefits to starting early, but we have hundreds of older students who have had great success with our lessons. As a beginner, I recommend making time for 15-20 minutes of practice time 6 days a week. As your skills improve or if you want to progress faster, you can increase that amount over time. For your questions about digital pianos, let me refer you to an article in our blog that will give you both information and recommendations: Choosing a Piano or Keyboard for the Beginning Student. I hope that helps! – Mr. Hoffman

  33. I am 21. and i know i should have taken advantage back wheni was younger and had the extra time. but is it still possible for me to learn how to play the piano at my age? Are there other people as late as i am to still learn? i want to make this my career. just dont know where to start. any information will be gladly appreciated and will be forever thankful .thank you

    • It is never too late to begin piano lessons! We have had hundreds of adult students report great success learning to play later in life. Good luck! – Mr. Hoffman

      • Dear Mr. Hoffman,
        Thank you for providing me an opportunity to learn how to play the piano. You and your family and staff are wonderful people to share your joy and expertise with the World. I am 72 yrs old and am up to lesson 102 . It is your knowledge and personality that make my lessons a delight , a joy and a success. Please keep the music flowing and the voice of the world uniting one note at a time.
        God Bless.
        Thank you again.

  34. I am 23 and I have hugh interest to pick up piano classes now. Listening to the sound it produces gives me warmth and really makes me feel the passion. I dont really type with all my fingers but i can type fairly fast, I do realise playing a piano and typing are different things. I barely have any musical knowlegde but have much love for music, is my late start to piano classes and minimal knowledge about the instrument be a reason to not to take up learning piano?

    • Starting to learn the piano later in life can still be a wonderful, rewarding experience – it is never too late to start! While our lessons are geared to kids, we have had hundreds of adult students report great success. I hope you’ll try it. Good luck! – Mr. Hoffman

  35. Hello! I’m very glad I found this page. I’ve set as a goal to learn an instrument for the longest time but I keep postponing it. Now I’m 27 and I was afraid that it was too late to learn how to play piano. I’ve never studied music so I can’t read it either, and my partner who studied music as a child says I’m tone deaf because I can’t clearly compare the notes like other people do and apparently I do a horrible job when I try to reproduce them. Do you think that is something I can ever learn? Thanks a lot!

    • Learning to play the piano later in life is more of a challenge than starting young, but it is really never too late to start! I hope you’ll give it a try and enjoy learning. – Mr. Hoffman

    • I would learn piano much the same at 14 years old as I would at 7. It takes patience and consistent daily practice at any age. I encourage you to try out the lessons on Hoffman Academy and see if it’s a good fit for you! Best, Joseph Hoffman

  36. Hello, My name is Maria and I am 61 years old , I started learning the violin by myself with the book then , when I finished in June I decided to find a teacher for all the technical, I just finished the second book with her, now I want to learn to play the piano and this method it looks easy so, I will give it a try, Thank you, Mr.
    Hoffman. I think is never to late to learn something

  37. Hi ,

    i am interested in putting my daughter in piano lessons & she also have interest in learning piano. Her age is 4 1/2 yrs & we are staying in belgium & in her school they are providing to teach piano to the kids.
    Just wanted to know is it the right age for my daughter to start learning piano.

    Best Regard

    • Hello! Great question. I have found that at 4 1/2 years old some kids may be ready, but some are not. I would suggest that you try Lesson 1 on our website with your daughter. If she handles it well, can stay focused on it, and is successful at learning the song, then she is probably ready! Best,

  38. Hello,
    I just signed my almost 6 year old daughter to piano lessons. It was her wish and I had to comply. Do you think that the fact that no one in our family has ever played any sort of instrument or showed any interest for a music lesson is a problem? She’ll only have her teacher as a guide.

    • Hello and thanks for your question! I believe that with a good teacher, it should be no problem that you, the parent, have no prior musical training. Just try and learn along with your child, so you can be as helpful as possible. Even without musical training, you should still plan to sit with your daughter as she goes through her assignment, to make sure she is doing everything her teacher asked. It would also be very helpful if you could sit in on the lesson. If you have any questions about your daughter’s learning or how you can help as a parent, please ask your teacher for specific guidance. I wish you good luck with your daughter’s new musical journey!

  39. And do you think if I want to learn piano I should go to the music classes or I can learn it with reading the books ?

  40. My son and I really liked your piano lessons. We just bought a digital piano and my son enjoys learning music. You have inspired him, Thank you very much.

  41. Hi Joseph,

    I’m 24 and really keen on learning how to play piano. I don’t know how to play any instrument and I can’t read music.

    Few questions:

    1. I can type really fast on a PC keyboard (120wpm) with perfect accuracy. Will that help me in learning piano faster? I understand that learning to play accurately is more important than speed.

    2. I’ve deep interest in learning the instrument. Is my age and lack of musical knowledge any sort of barrier? I’m intending to fix a schedule to practice everyday. What’s the recommended duration for me to practice everyday?

    3. I’ve Casio CTK-810IN keyboard. Is that enough to learn to play?

    • Hi, To answers your questions: 1) If you can type that fast, you must have good finger dexterity and coordination, and I would see that as a plus. Obviously, there are many significant differences between typing and playing piano, but with practice, you should be able to apply your natural coordination to learning this new musical skill.
      2) Age should be no barrier. If you are willing to practice with focus and patience, 20-25 minutes every day, I think you can make fine progress. As you become more advanced in your skills, you could benefit from gradually increasing your daily practice time.
      3) To develop finger strength for playing on any piano, I recommend practicing on a keyboard with weighted keys, like the Casio Privia. You can read more about my keyboard recommendations here:
      I hope this helps! I wish you the best with your goal to learn piano. -Joseph

      • Thank you very much Joseph for patiently answering my questions. Really appreciate that. Would get back to you if I have any more doubts.

        I really like your efforts and intention on uploading videos for free.

  42. My 6 year old daughter has almost finished Unit 1. I think she’s at a good age for these lessons, esp since Mr. Hoffman has a very nice style that my kids find very appealing.

    We’ve also been doing a program called Little Musician, which we discovered a few months ago. It’s not piano; just solfege and chords, and designed for young children. The kids (my son is 3.5) love it, esp since it provides several nursery rhymes in solfege.

    My younger child seems to be enjoying the synergy between his little music program and watching his sister practice Mr. Hoffman’s songs. They both like to sing the songs from these lessons, and we’ve also enjoyed the downloaded activities. (For $19, they are a great deal.)

  43. Thank you for the lessons. My son is 5 1/2, and he started to play last year. But we stopped for a while and now we want to start again. He is left handed. Does he need to know or do something more than a right handed child? Thank you.

    • Hi Daniela, Thank you for your question! I have taught many left handed children, and I always use the same approach regardless of which hand is dominant. Pianists need to develop coordination in both hands, and using my method, he should be fine. You will notice that I often learn a song first in the right hand, but then I encourage students to try playing melody in the left hand, too, then both hands. Ideally, during practice time, you should be spending roughly equal time between right handed and left handed playing, so both hands develop equally. I hope this helps! Enjoy the lessons! -Joseph Hoffman

  44. I definitely like the way you teach, it interests my kid. We are in lesson 8. And my kid is showing interest to learn more. This is my first time trying online course with my 5 year old kid.
    I am greatly excited.


  45. You are so good at teaching this, specially for kids my son is 6 and loves your lessons. He is just started so he is in lesson #4
    God bless you

  46. Thank-you for the lessons,I have a granddaughter 9 and a grandson who love music and are enjoying the lessons thank u for the parent tips for I am the one teaching,Love to see them grow!

  47. Hello,
    Surely I agree you the benefits of learning music and playing piano and this the reason that motivate me to start music learning for my children ( ages 3 and 4.5 years) although they are very young but they like music and singing, So I think through studying your lessons I can transfer the information to them in simple way and reinforce the similarity information between your lessons and them study in school ( ABC ,numbers, left and right the songs… its.) I think and wish that will increase them`s love of music.
    Really I appreciate you to allow us enable learning this useful data.
    And sure I`m soon will try buy the golden material.

    Really great material, great new version of lessons and great Mr.Hoffmanaca.

    Best regard

  48. I just want to thank you for this comment! It is very encouraging! I am 31 and have had piano lessons on and off throughout my high school years and even 1 semester in college but I then married young and had children. I have a 5 year old who has shown interest in piano and have been teaching her the basics and this website is just so helpful. Teaching her has just awaken my love for piano and would love to pick up again but I felt I was too old and so too late. I think we’ll both be taking formal piano lessons soon ;-) Thank you!

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