Lesson 4

Finding C, D, & E on the Piano

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  • Nathan

    I’ve played guitar for a while now and decided I wanted to learn the piano. All of the early lessons are pretty simple for me and I want to move on but I also want things to really sink in. Im using some other resources, Books and other websites. How should I gauge when its time to move on to another lesson?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      That’s a great question, especially for someone like you with a music theory foundation! We would expect a beginning student to cover 2-3 new lessons per week, but if you’re going for review you will probably be able to move through them much more quickly. Reviewing our early lessons is a great idea, but you may want to speed up the video playback so you don’t have to spend as much time on familiar concepts. I also realize that, since you sound like an older student, some of our early repertoire pieces will not be as interesting to you. If so, I recommend you visit GMajorMusicTheory, where you can find free sheet music for a wide variety of songs, sorted by level of difficulty. When reviewing Units 1-2, look for music at a Prep A level; Units 3-4 correspond to Prep B, Units 5-6 to Level 1A, and Units 7-8 to Level 1B.

      Back to your specific question, here are two blog posts I hope you will find helpful:
      When to Move on to the Next Lesson
      Where to Begin with Hoffman Academy

      I hope that helps! Feel free to let us know if you have further questions along the way. Good luck and happy playing!

  • cadence ni

    Merry Christmas!

    love,Cadence, Kady Ni

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thank you! Happy New Year! 🙂

  • AYA

    Dear sir:
    i really like your piano lessons, they are great just like you. i want to thank you for your great effort.
    i have a question, what is the relation between those letters (A,B,C … G) with the musical alphabet like (DO, RE, ME …) ? are they the same or what ?
    i ‘d like to thank you again 🙂

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thanks! I’m so glad you’re enjoying our lessons. You’ve asked a great question. The letters A, B, C, etc. represent exact notes on the piano and sound tones. The Solfege Do, Re, Mi, etc. represent the relationships between the notes. They refer to different letters based on the key signature you are playing in. For instance, if your song is in the key of F, Do will be F. We’ve posted an article that goes into this subject in much more depth here: What is Solfege? I hope that helps!

  • Peter

    Mr.Hoffman, these are amazing. Your lessons are quite impressive. Is `4 an okay age to start piano?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I generally aim to start students around 5 1/2 years old, but I’ve found that certain developmental milestones are more important than age. Consider these questions: Can the child comfortably rest their hand on five adjacent white keys? Can the child play keys with each individual finger of both hands (rather than “pecking” with multiple fingers bunched together or always using one same finger)? Is the child interested and excited to learn piano? If these indicators are present, a 4-year-old would probably do great starting lessons! If they are not, even an older child might have trouble. Here are two blog posts that you may find useful:

      What is the Best Age to Begin Piano Lessons?
      10 Things to Do Before Your Child Starts Piano Lessons

      I hope that helps! Good luck and happy playing.

  • hairong

    I know animals that start with c and d and e. This is the c list. Caecilian
    This is the d list.Dog, raccoon Nyctereutes procyonoides
    Dolphin, bottle-nose Tursiops truncatus
    Dolphin, common Delphinus delphis
    striped Dolphin .This is the e list.

    Eagle owl (unidentified)

    Bubo sp.

    Elephant, asian Elephas maximus bengalensis
    Eleven-banded armadillo (unidentified) Cabassous sp.
    Elk, Wapiti Cervus canadensis
    Emerald green tree boa

    Eagle owl (unidentified)

    Bubo sp.

    Elephant, asian Elephas maximus bengalensis
    Eleven-banded armadillo (unidentified) Cabassous sp.
    Elk, Wapiti Cervus canadensis
    Emerald green tree boa


  • Joanna Grier

    I used to take lessons with this guy who talked too fast, but your lessons have nothing wrong in them!

  • Ryan

    Dear Mr. Hoffman… (I’m 44 and feel like I am school again! ha ha). This is awesome and I have learned a lot. After 44 years of putting everyone’s needs before mine, I have suddenly decided to start having some fun with my life. I’ve always been passionate about music and have been wanting to learn for many years now but been too busy. I’ve ordered my keyboard and it should be here next week. As the member of a band (I’m the photographer!), I feel it’s time to learn an instrument and join in the fun. I’m really having a blast! Thanks for your time and effort.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You’re welcome! I’m delighted to hear about your new musical adventure. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or comments along the way. Good luck and happy playing!

  • Gwen

    I love Hoffman academy it’s fun , funny and not to hard i like

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      That’s great! Thanks for sharing.

  • cellchook

    Hello there
    I live in the Turks and Turkey, I want to study because I love the piano , I went to school for it but it must be my bad luck did not appreciate a very bad teacher düştüm.öyle that I worked so hard , I force my homework would give 1 assignment would give me 3 homework götürürdüm.b I resolve myself two days work was giving to solving a week and I would take him , but did not care as though man with me … I’m sorry I do not do guilt , but in my country, education unfortunately so, you can help me I would love it respectfully

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      It’s wonderful that you have a love of piano and a desire to study it! If you need any particular help, feel free to email our team at Support@HoffmanAcademy.com and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. Good luck and happy playing!

  • Praveen

    Is there a reason why a different color was used for E compared to C, and D?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Great question! There’s no special reason – in fact, though it’s hard to tell, all three letters are different colors. All the C’s are red, the D’s are orange, and the E’s are blue. Thanks for asking! – Mr. Hoffman

  • Laurie

    I haven’t had time to search you website yet but is there a list with the video lengths for each lesson?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      My lessons are generally between 5-15 minutes long, but I’m afraid we don’t have a list of video lengths; I apologize for the inconvenience. – Mr. Hoffman

  • Tania

    Thank you so much for the time you took to make these videos and making it available for free! I also home school my children and they love the fun lessons. I always wanted to learn to play the piano properly…and now l can do this with them. You are a great teacher and we are forever grateful that you are willing to share your expertise with us. May God bless you. Best wishes from Cape Town, South Africa

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thank you so much for sharing your family’s experience! I’m delighted to be your piano teacher. 🙂 – Mr. Hoffman

      • emma

        My little girl loves the puppet shows at the end is there any way you could make them longer?

  • Jk

    Thank for lessens mister Hoffman

  • Jeremiah

    This is awesome!!

  • catherine

    I’m a pensioner and am going to learn alongside my great grandchild. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Liz

    I’m a homeschool mom, and I have always wanted to learn to play piano! I LOVE this site! My 9 year old has always been really amazing when playing on the pianos at church, but I could never afford to get him lessons. This site and a free keyboard later and he’s on his way! And so am I! it’s so exciting!
    Thanks you so much for this–it’s awesome! I could already read music from my days in choir and band as a kid, but I had no idea how to find middle C or even get started. What a wonderful site you have created here! Thank you! Thank you!

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You are very welcome! I’m so glad to hear that this has been a blessing to your family. Best of luck to you and your son! – Mr. Hoffman

  • Michel

    do you have lessons for adults?…these lessons seem to be for children only

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      While our site is geared to kids, we have heard from hundreds of adults around the world who have found great success with our program. Though our lessons start out at a very basic level (on the expectation that our students are complete beginners), you have the ability to progress at your own pace and even skip ahead if you already have some piano experience. The songs we use are mostly traditional folk songs from a variety of cultures; the simplest are fun and even silly, but as we move forward I think you will find many of them interesting and even beautiful. I hope you will give our program a try.

      • kelly

        I’m learning along side my kids. I don’t mind the child-centered approach one bit. Love the video lessons, and thank you for keeping them free for ALL to learn!!

  • Camille


    Lesson 4 seems to be very important it helps to identify a strong point on the piano and dictates the strength of the melody. CDE are my initials…. thanks for the lesson!!! luv NYC!!!

  • Rizwan

    Really helpful…..
    Innumerable ‘thanks’ to Mr Hoffman…..

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You are very welcome! I’m glad you are finding my lessons helpful. – Mr. Hoffman

  • Alejandro

    Thanks so much for this lesson!! All I knew before watching your videos is that low notes were on the left side.

  • Isabella Anastasia

    Tanks so much Mr. Hoffman, me and my sister are having so much fun learning th piano!

  • hoasjo

    i love this thx hoffman

  • Leilani

    Wow i love that story. how did you come up with it? And thanks for simplifying where c d and e were on the piano.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! That story has evolved over my many years of teaching live piano lessons, with help and suggestions from some of my students. If you think of other animals or people that you want to live on your piano street, that’s great! – Mr. Hoffman

  • Reah

    Thank you Mr Hoffman! These are really enjoyable lessons

  • Benji

    #hoffman rocks

  • Bencheniah

    My grandson and I are looking forward to many more quality instructional videos.

  • April

    I love how your instructions are so simple and easy for children to learn. Thank you so much.

  • Haydn

    These lessons are as good as gold

  • Haydn

    Mr. Hoffman thanks so much for these lessons they really help out I have already taught my five year old brother hot cross buns, and hoping my mom will print out the materiel’s for him when he is my age I really enjoy them Mr. Hoffman thank you very much

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Joseph Hoffman

      You are welcome! That’s awesome that you are teaching your brother, too! Your friend, Mr. Hoffman

  • Elaine

    Mr. Hoffman! Thank you! You are so easy to understand. I hope it only gets easier!

  • roxanne rivers

    I am trying to play music with my friends. will these lessons eventually teach how to read sheet music?

  • Maraiah

    you are amazing, sir. this is really creative.

  • antonio

    I’m 21 years old and I love these lessons! They are so helpful and they are funny!

  • Frog

    I home school to.

  • lee matthew

    Hello mr Hoffman you don’t know me but I’m your new piano student

  • Luis

    This is a great learning website

  • Debbie Medari

    Thank you so much for making these lessons available. I have four children who are learning with you, and my husband and I are also doing the lessons! You’re a great teacher.

  • Madeline

    thanks for making my live so much easier! god bless!! 😉

  • Sarah

    This is a really great place to start learning the piano. I actually don’t have a piano so I use a keyboard which is almost the same. Thank you!

  • Natasha

    Thank you so much Mr. Hoffman. May god bless you. You are an excellent teacher and the storytelling makes it so easy for myself as well as our two children to retain the information. Thank you so much for offering your expertise for free for families that can’t afford piano lessons.

  • Des

    You’re the best teacher

  • Marguerite

    thank you Mr. Hoffman

    • Aisha

      It’s a good way to teach, because kids can understand it real easy. Thanks Mr.Hoffman

  • madeline

    hi thank u for making these videos and will having a keyboard change anything and is there a type of age u should be learning the piano????? thanks ~~~ madeline

  • Scotty

    This is so fun! I can’t wait until the other part of Alphabet Street.

  • Cyn Su

    You are the first video lesson I watched when I started learning today! I taught my 6 years son how to play Hot cross bun! So easy and cool. Thanks alot!

  • meilu

    i have a key board will this change any things about piano

  • roselani

    i have a 76 key piano , does this change where my D key is at ?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Joseph Hoffman

      Whatever size keyboard you have, D will always be in between the group of 2 black keys. Thanks for watching!

  • anahita

    mr. hoffman i wanted to tell you that i printed out worksheets not downloded by the way im seven

  • Vikas

    That Dog story was really cool mr. hoffman…… No matter whatever is d subject but the way of teaching should be exactly like this……Your lessons r the combination of learning fun and entertainmnt…Nice job sir.. 🙂

  • Caysen

    I am just beginning learning how to play the piano, and these easy to understand lessons are great! I have learned quite a bit!

  • Abel

    Thanks professor Hoffman. This lessons are GREAT!
    I’m 40 years old engineer that came from Cuba about 14 month ago. Learning piano is my new goal. Thanks so much!

  • Zoe

    I like you

  • Zoe

    Is it ok to have a 70 key keyboard?

  • Stephanie

    We are using these lessons for our fine arts in our homeschooling. We are loving these quick and easily understandable lessons. Your explanation using piano street to learn the location of the notes gets the point across in a super cute way. We really feel like we are getting it.

  • safaa

    it`s nice and my children like it.

  • veronica

    I love piano street

  • MJ

    Nice story.

  • arianna

    who ever created this thanks. you made my dream to learn how to play piano come.