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Category: Resources & Reviews

How Was the Piano Invented?

Have you ever thought about how amazing a piano is? It can play loud, it can play soft, it has a huge range from low notes to high notes, and pianos are fantastic for playing with everything from a symphony orchestra to a jazz ensemble, or even just solo! And have you taken a look… Continue Reading

Sharpen Music Theory Skills at is a great online resource for music learners. It provides a series of short lessons that go over both basic and advanced principles of music theory. You’ll also find customizable practice activities, and even some fun tools like a staff paper generator and a virtual keyboard you can play with your mouse clicker. It’s… Continue Reading

Piano Maestro iPad App

If you have an iPad and you’re looking for an app that will help your kids practice their sight-reading skills, check out Piano Maestro. I’ve been using at home with my two boys and we love it. Piano Maestro basically turns sight-reading into a video game. Music notes scroll across the screen, and if the… Continue Reading

Music Mind Games Make Music Learning Fun

In my Hoffman Academy video lessons, you might have seen me use a staff chart with colored dots for notes. I’d like to tell you where I got that chart, and where you can get the same materials plus many other great resources for music learning in your home, studio, or classroom. The staff chart… Continue Reading

Book Review: The Inner Game of Tennis

Buy The Inner Game of Tennis on Amazon You may be wondering why I’d recommend a book about tennis to parents and teachers of piano students. The fact is, this book isn’t just about tennis. The Inner Game of Tennis, by W. Timothy Gallwey, offers a breakthrough in thinking about human performance that can apply… Continue Reading

Make Your Own Music with Finale NotePad

Want to encourage your budding composer? Let me tell you about some free software that lets you create and print great-looking sheet music. Finale NotePad is music notation software that’s basic and easy to use, perfect for a beginning composer. You can download the program for free at Composing With Notepad When you open… Continue Reading

Mr. Hoffman Reviews the ONE Smart Piano

Looking for a great digital piano? Check out my video review of The ONE Smart Piano. This digital piano plugs right into your tablet, has its own app packed with piano learning tools, and comes integrated with the first 100 Hoffman Academy piano lessons! And, as a very special offer, just for visiting this blog… Continue Reading

Book Review: Suzuki’s “Nurtured by Love”

For over half a century, children throughout the world have been learning music through the Suzuki method. Suzuki’s “Nurtured by Love” gives a glimpse into the mind and heart of this humble man who came to found a world-wide movement in music instruction. Through fascinating stories from his own life, Suzuki shares his gentle philosophy… Continue Reading

Review: The Talent Code

It is so amazing how much a person can learn to do. How do Olympic skaters learn to fly on the ice, acing moves that would probably put the rest of us in the hospital if we even tried them? What about great musicians? Painters? Artists? Where did they come from? How did they get… Continue Reading

Eight Great Music Learning Webpages

This week I’d like to share some great ways to practice music skills online. If your piano student needs something to do during holiday break time, try these interactive music learning websites. Here is a simple, yet effective online game/drill for practicing reading notes: If you are getting bored of flashcards, try this out!… Continue Reading