LESSON 51 Cuckoo: Hands Together

What you'll learn

Learn to tap hands using correct rhythm before trying to play
Play small sections at a time before trying the whole song

Casio Privia

Mr. Hoffman's Top Pick for Digital Piano: Casio Privia PX-150

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22 Responses

  1. I love this song, but find it much harder than lots of other ones that you teach us in later lessons, because my hands have to do different things.

    • This is definitely a challenging song. In the last several months, we have started teaching it a little later in our curriculum with our live students because so many find it to difficult at this point. If you’re having trouble, it’s ok to move on for a few lessons and come back to it a little later. I hope that helps!

  2. Wow this has been the hardest lesson for me so far! But i finally am getting some of it. I saw your christmas video you did. The one where you played I saw Three Ships. I love listening to it! What im wondering is do you know where i could get free sheet music for that song? I would love to be able to play that song! Thanks so much!

  3. I have to say I really thought this would be the most difficult lesson my 7-year old son would have to face. But he was playing the first two measures on his own with both hands before I even started the video. I think the key has been our practice, which unfortunately isn’t always regular. This last week though we’ve been having 10 minutes of practice in the morning before school and 10 minutes of practice in the evening before bed. At each practice I’d have him play the right hand a couple of times and then the left hand a few times until he could get through it. One thing he was having trouble with was getting from measure 4 to measure 5 without a pause so we isolated those 2 measures, and 6 because it flowed into it and he enjoyed playing it. After practicing those measures a few times I’d have him play the whole piece and it would flow much better. I know playing measures 3 and 4 with both hands would have been challenging for him without watching the video. The way Mr. Hoffman starts by tapping hands to the rhythm and then also the isolation of the beats 2 and 3 of the third measure and the 1st beat of the 4th measure was genius. I love this site and I’m so proud of son with how well he’s doing with Piano.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your process! I’m delighted to hear how well your son is progressing and am impressed with your dedication to quality, focused practice. Please tell your son that I’m very happy to be his piano teacher and commend him for his diligence! – Mr. Hoffman

  4. Took me several tries. but I found it much easier by breaking it down and writting down on paper the notes you played, learnt it pretty well like this. Not that you already don’t break things down enough being the excellent teacher you are, I just have my own ways :P

    Right Hand: C–A—–l–C–A–l–b–A–G–l–F
    Left Hand:–F—–C–l–F–C–l–G–C–b–l–A–F

    b = B minor

    Much easier personally to get your 2 hands working together first.

    • That’s great! Learning with traditional methods is important, so you can “speak the same language” as your teachers and peers, but it’s also a very valuable skill to be able to analyze the information given and “translate” it into a representation that works for you. I’m very impressed by your dedication.

      I just want to suggest a small correction: rather than “b = B minor”, please think of it as “b = B flat”. The b in the music is referring specifically to the black key one half step below B, which is B flat. On the other hand, “B minor” refers to a pentascale position or key signature, and implies other things beyond that one note. I hope that makes sense. Keep up the great work! – Mr. Hoffman

  5. mr ;huffman:just start it couple days ago i never had any class,s or instructor in my life what ever i know i learned myself and i ve been playing piano and keyboard since i was 11 years old i am 54 now,mr huffman i can read notes know all the chords i love playing my piano and keyboard and you are my first instructor pls advise me i use to live in united states for 38 years but right now i am in iran taking care of my mother but i would definitely come back so pls advise thank you very much with regards.

    • Thanks for commenting – it is always wonderful to hear from adult students like you! I’m impressed that you’ve accomplished so much, having been entirely self taught, and I hope you find great success with my lessons. As to your question – I would be happy to help, but I don’t quite know what you would like me to advise you on. Would you please clarify? – Mr. Hoffman

  6. When playing a piece of music, should I be looking at the notes or at my hands? Thank you, Mr. Hoffman.

    • Good question, Jonathan. The answer to that depends on what you’re playing. Sight-reading is an important skill to develop, so it’s important to spend some of your practice time focused only on the sheet music of new songs. However, when doing finger power exercises and when polishing a song you already know, it’s a good idea to look at your hands while you work out the fingering and arm movements. You can read more detail on this topic in our Support article, “Can I look at My Hands?” Good luck and happy playing! – Mr. Hoffman

        • I do recommend practicing every day. Doing so develops your muscles, trains your habits, and makes music a priority in your life. Even on days when you are travelling or schedules get mixed up, you can still sing or listen to the songs, tap out rhythms in your lap or on a desk, and teach others what you are learning about music. As often as you can, however, actually sit down at the piano to practice each day. Good luck! – Mr. Hoffman

  7. I really like this lesson, Mr. Hoffman. But it is REALLY hard. I practiced it 31 times so far. Thank you for the lesson.

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