Getting Started

What Can I Learn In One Year of Piano Lessons?

By Hoffman Academy Team
How Much Piano Will You Learn in One Year?

Discover what to learn about the piano in one year of lessons and set some beginner piano goals for yourself.

I know you have questions about piano lessons, and I’m sure you’re wondering how much you’ll really learn after learning and practicing for one year. I get this question more often than you might think – from parents and students alike. I love to watch people’s faces when I answer: What you’ll learn in one year of piano lessons will amaze you. It’s absolutely true! Most students start piano lessons with no musical experience whatsoever, but by the end of one year they’re playing music in all 12 major and minor keys! They can read notes and are using their ear to re-create music they’ve heard as well as creating their own music. These students are coming into their own as expressive pianists who can tell stories through music. They’re doing much more than playing the notes on a page – they’re developing true musicianship. How do you get from the first lesson to the end of year one? What are the steps you’ll take? To better explain, I’ve put together some milestones for the first year. These are the kinds of achievements you can expect while learning piano with a structured program like ours.

Day 1 Milestone

Some traditional piano methods don’t have students playing memorable songs until after a few lessons, but as a teacher, I deeply believe that students should be making music right away. That’s why you’re playing your first song on day one! You’ll not only begin learning how to read music, but you will also begin training your ear so that you can play music on the piano that you’ve heard! 

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1 Month Milestones

By one month, you know how to play several songs with either hand. You can read, write, and dictate simple rhythms, and you’re improvising and composing your own songs! Traditional piano methods often don’t teach improvisation, dictation, or composition. It’s not uncommon for many students to learn these skills later in their music-learning journey, but I think that learning these skills early-on is essential and can be really fun!

3 Month Milestones

Congratulations! You can play songs using both hands simultaneously, with one hand playing chords and the other hand playing the melody. That is a big accomplishment, so I recommend celebrating with ice cream! The Hoffman Method is the only piano method I know of that gets students playing with both hands together so quickly. 

6 Month Milestones

By now you’ve probably completed Unit 3. You know how to sight read simple music on the staff, you can play in 6 different keys, and you can transpose up and down the keyboard. This is a major accomplishment, because most music students don’t learn transposing unless they major in music in college. For me, these skills are part of mastering the art of music, and mastery makes music FUN!

1-2 Year Milestones

At this point you’re hard at work finishing songs in Units 6-8. You can play in and transpose to all 12 major and minor keys. Not only that, you’ve learned to play music beautifully and with musicality, which means that you play your songs with nuance: softer, slower, faster, etc… and you can use music to tell stories and express feelings. This is the difference between “plunky” playing and songs that sound like… well… songs! You’ve also begun to play more complicated songs in which each hand has gained more independence, not just playing chords in one hand and the melody in the other, but beginning to learn counterpoint and different harmonies!

Future Unit Milestones

It’s important to remember that these accomplishments don’t happen overnight. The key is to practice consistently – I like to tell my students that a little focused practice everyday can go a long way. Piano practice doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it should be fun! 

More advanced songs, more technical expertise, more of what makes you a musician lies ahead. After year two and with consistent practice, a Hoffman Academy Premium student will have ALL the basics down and the foundation to get to any level they want to achieve! 

Are you interested in unlocking your potential as a pianist and having fun creating music? Ready to get started on your piano-learning journey? Click here to try Hoffman Academy today!

A Program That Will Grow With You

I’m continually improving our teaching method, and my team and I are always adding new lessons. To go along with the lessons we are also creating new practice sessions and new learning games. The Hoffman Academy team is working hard every day to make our website the best, most joyful place to learn piano. There is nothing more rewarding to me as a teacher than watching my students grow, and I’m going to be growing right along with you! Your success is my highest goal. I hope you’ll take full advantage of the program I’ve put together to maximize your progress and fun!

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