Getting Started

Learn How to Play Piano with Hoffman Academy

By Claire Robertson
Learn How to Play Piano with Hoffman Academy and Begin for Free.

Learn how to play piano with our free resources and Premium features

At Hoffman Academy, we believe that playing the piano is for anybody and everybody! Learning how to play piano provides a lifelong opportunity for growth and creativity – and with the power of our online program, piano lessons are more accessible than ever before. Hoffman Academy’s free popular and classical song tutorials will have beginners of all ages playing beautiful music in about 20 minutes a lesson. Our entire library of video lessons can be accessed from our web app or from YouTube, enabling you to learn and play piano in the comfort of your own home.

In this article, we’ll cover some tips that make learning the piano easy for anybody to try. We will share some of Hoffman Academy’s resources, including links to our free scales download, our articles on major and minor chords and chord charts, and links to our library of popular song tutorials. For those of you ready to take your piano lessons to the next level, you can try Premium today to access our printable sheet music and more! 

Ready for your first lesson? Mr. Hoffman is here to get you started:

How hard is it to learn piano?

Learning piano takes patience and practice, the same as with learning any new skill. When you learn to play the piano, your brain creates new connections that improve your coordination, listening, and thinking. Playing the piano develops new physical abilities as students practice the fine motor skills required to play the keys in certain combinations. Learning to read piano music also exercises the part of the brain involved in language processing. In fact, a study at the University of Bath showed improvements in audio and visual processing for piano students who played piano just an hour a week. 

With Hoffman Academy’s online lesson videos, we add fun to the equation while you learn to play. In each lesson, you’ll learn a new song and how to play it musically. Our video tutorials focus on two main goals: have fun and make musical progress! Because our students consistently learn new skills at the same time they’re learning songs to perform, our video lessons increase confidence and keep them motivated. We’ll also help you get started on your learning journey with our resource Where To Begin with Hoffman Academy, which covers how to pace yourself as you work through the lessons and includes an optional placement test.

How long does it realistically take to learn piano?

Well, that would depend on your goal! Becoming a concert pianist requires a 10+ years journey to prepare for study at conservatory and graduate school. However, you can learn songs like Hot Cross Buns in a 15 minute lesson! Somewhere in between those two extremes are goals like, “I’d like to play in a band with my friends” or “I’d like to play my favorite movie themes.” 

With an online method and regular practice schedule, within one year you would be able to play the chords and arpeggios for your favorite pop song. Within two years you could expect to easily play pieces like the original first movement of Für Elise. You could achieve these goals with around two 15-20 minute lessons a week and regular practice of around 20 minutes a day. 

With our tutorials and videos you’ll be able to play pieces you enjoy at every step along this journey. We have super-easy tutorials for familiar pop and classical tunes that you can play in your first week of piano. As your piano skills improve, you can revisit songs you like at increasing levels of difficulty with our more advanced tutorials.

What are your piano goals? You can give our Practice Calculator a try to see how long it might take you to reach them!

How to play piano for beginners

As a beginner, we encourage you to build good habits and focus on note accuracy, rhythms, and good posture as you play. This seems like a lot to juggle, but don’t worry. We’ll do it one step at a time.

Learning to play the piano also involves learning music theory so you can read sheet music, training your ear so you can hear and understand melodies, and practicing physical coordination so that the action of pressing down a key becomes easy. To help keep these good habits top of mind, we created free resources like our Ultimate Piano Learning Essentials Packet for beginner pianists.

To help players improve their piano posture, we created a Top Ten Tips Reference Sheet to place by your piano. Playing with good piano posture is key to establishing a technique that makes it effortless to play. For a beginner pianist struggling with rhythms, try our Rhythm Words Guide for an intuitive approach to rhythm. The Learning And Teaching Resources section of our online Store is full of free and paid resources like these to improve piano playing.

Learn how to play piano with both hands

Even pianists who have been practicing for a long time can find it challenging to put both hands together on some tricky pieces of music! Playing with both hands at the same time takes intentional practice with hands separately so that your hands become independent of one another. We also recommend breaking the piece you are learning into smaller parts before you put it all back together. You can read additional strategies to develop independent hand motion in this article, How To Play With Both Hands for Beginning Pianists.

Learn how to play piano chords

A piano chord happens any time you play at least two notes at the same time – and at Hoffman Academy, we start playing chords in the very first unit! Chords help create harmonies and are the building blocks of the pop and classical music we enjoy. Our online lessons cover major, minor, and diminished chords in the context of familiar songs so that you are learning how to make chords while you learn how to play.  

As you check out our Popular Song Tutorials and start wanting to add chords to your favorite tunes, you can supplement your learning with our free downloadable All Major and Minor Triads reference sheet. To help you name and identify the chords you play, our resource Reading Chord Symbols will walk you through understanding how chords function in songs. Ready for all 144 chords for your pop and jazz songs? Our Ultimate Piano Chord Chart will take your playing to the next level.

Learn how to play piano scales

Scales are the building blocks of Western music, and we start teaching the fundamentals of scales early at Hoffman Academy. Our methodical approach to teaching major and minor scales will give you confidence in your piano skills.

Our free downloads Learning All Major Scales – Piano Scale Guide and The Ultimate Guide To All Minor Scales offer an outstanding resource as you learn to play piano. These guides cover the finger patterns for every major and minor scale. They share the building blocks you need to know as a musician. We also offer an entire library of articles dedicated to learning to play each scale, from the proper finger patterns and chords to songs to try out!  

Learn how to play a piano song

At Hoffman Academy, we’ve got tutorials and tips to help you learn how to play a song on the piano! If you love pop music, start out with our super easy tutorial for Firework. If classical music makes you smile, start with La Primavera – Spring! – a super-easy piano tutorial! For more piano songs tutorials to explore, check out our article on how to learn beginner songs that includes 14 pieces to play.

Whichever song you’ve picked from our library, you can use the following tips to prepare your mind and body to learn how to play that particular song. Start by listening to the song, and then sing along while clapping your hands to the rhythm. You can also sing along and move your hands up when the notes go up, and down when the notes go down. This helps us connect the melody rising and falling to our body’s motion and improves our mind-body connection. Once you are familiar with the song in this way, watch the video tutorial, and Mr. Hoffman will guide you through learning to play the song.

Learn how to play piano with YouTube videos

In our increasingly connected age, it’s becoming more and more common to start your learning journey for a new language or a musical instrument through online videos! Search #piano on a platform like TikTok or Instagram, and you’ll see a whirlwind of 3-4 minute pop and classical piano pieces online, and video tutorials are everywhere you look. This article from the Guardian even credits the growth in social media pianists and online tutorials with creating a brand new Piano Fever! You can learn how to play the piano with Hoffman Academy online from the comfort of your own home using our web app or through our YouTube channel.

As part of our goal to make learning the piano through a proven method affordable, Hoffman Academy regularly adds new pop and classical songs and Unit Lessons to our YouTube Channel. Our library of free videos offer tutorials that will help you with practicing piano and learning new concepts as you grow as a pianist. In our channel, you can also find videos devoted to special topics, like diatonic chords and chromatic scales, alongside our Unit lessons that offer a methodical and creative approach to learning piano. Like and Subscribe to our channel to get updates when we publish new content, and visit our Hoffman Academy Store to purchase sheet music, printables, and more! Our carefully crafted curriculum helps you learn how to play piano, taking you on a musical journey from beginner to confident musician!  

Ready to play piano, have fun, and make musical progress? Sign up for Premium to access our custom practice plans, printable sheet music, and more! 


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