Lesson 53

Silver Birch Tree: Adding Chords

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46 Comments

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    ALice

    When will the puppets will appear again

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      The next time you see them will be in lesson 57.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Christiane

    Our family loved the jokes at the end of this lesson!

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thanks! We’re glad you liked them. πŸ™‚

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Daniel

    Is it just me or does this song sound incomplete?

    • Hand-drawn avatar
      Eliza

      I think that at the end of the song, it’s supposed to say “silver birch alone, in the meadow” again?

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Lily

    Sorry i accidentally hit post. To finish what i was saying, can i learn these songs at anytime or should i wait longer? If i should wait longer, how much longer? Thanks i love your lessons

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Hi! You can try the songs in the popular music section whenever you like. For some of them there are even different difficulty levels you can choose from. I hope that helps!

      • Hand-drawn avatar
        Lily

        thankyou. i learned level one fur elise. love it thx

        • Hoffman Academy logo
          Hoffman Academy

          You’re welcome! Keep up the great work! πŸ™‚

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Lily

    Hey, mr.hoffman, in your lessons section under all the units listing there is a special section named popular music. I am in unit 3. When would you recomend me learning one or more of these songs? Can i learn these at any time or is it better to wait till i

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You can try out those songs whenever you like! Some of them even have different difficulty levels you can choose from, so it doesn’t matter where you are in the lessons. Happy playing!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Tabitha

    Mr. Hoffman,
    Can we get a IV chord from a major pentascale? If it is so, should the β€˜mi’ be moved up a half step or a whole step?

    For the minor scale, you have said that β€˜me’ was moved up a whole step because in a minor chord, the middle note is already a half step lower.
    If that is correct, how then do we derive a IV chord for a major pentascale?

    Thanking you,
    Tabitha.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Yes! You can have a IV chord in a major pentascale. As you know, in minor, the “Me” goes up a whole step to “Fa” and the “So” goes up a half step to “Le.” In major, however, the “Mi” goes up a half step to “Fa” and the “So” goes up a whole step to “La.” So, for example, in the C major pentascale, the IV chord would be C-F-A and in C minor, the IV chord would be C-F-Ab. I hope that helps!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Caroline

    You know that one spot on the practice track that you are not playing anything? Well, because the song is a song that sounds sad I put a sad sounding improvisation to it and it sounded beautiful

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Aiden

    Mr Hoffman I find silver birch tree easy even with hands together?. By the way you sound really happy teaching this lesson ?. Nice tree jokes by the way.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thank you! I’m glad you were able to master the song!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Dakota

    this is really hard and its way too fast

    for me and i have small hands πŸ™

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You’re right, this song can definitely be a challenge. If it’s too fast, try practicing it much more slowly at first, until you’ve mastered at at a lower tempo, and then gradually work back up to normal speed. And if your hands are too small to play the chords comfortably, it’s perfectly all right to play just the top two notes in the chord. I hope that helps!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Debbie

    Hi Mr. Hoffman,
    Thank you for your wonderful lessons.
    I have a question on how to get the V7 chord from the main chord. I recall from previous lesson that you should move the lowest key one-half step down and the middle key one-half step up. For D-minor here, you moved the middle key a whole-step up, from F key to G key, and that is a whole-step up (if just move half-step up, it should be the F# key). So are there different rules to get V7 chord for different scales?

    Thank you,
    Debbie

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Hi Debbie!
      That’s a great question! When you start with a major chord, you always move the lowest note a half-step down and the middle note a half-step up to get the V7 chord. But when you start with a minor chord, the middle note goes up a whole step. This is because the middle note for a minor I chord is already a half-step lower than the middle note for the corresponding major chord. (for example, the I chord for D major is D, F#, A but the I chord for D minor is D, F, A). Because of this difference, when you start with a minor chord, you need to move the middle note an extra half-step up to make the V7 chord. I hope that makes sense! Let me know if you’re still having trouble with the concept and I’ll try to explain further.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Megan

    Hi Mr. Hoffman,
    I noticed in the printed materials that lesson 44 is supposed to teach about chords; however, the video lesson does not correspond with the material printed. So during the lesson 53 video it was really difficult for my son to follow along. Was that a change made in later years? Also, any suggestions for how my 5-year old could simplify those chords for Silver Birch-maybe just play the top 2 notes instead?

    Thanks for you time!

    Megan

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Hi Megan! Yes, Mr. Hoffman got excited about making some adjustments and additions in order to improve the skill building in the earlier lessons. The addition of a couple new video lessons, along with the streamlining of the learning flow, required some adjusting and reordering of lessons and lesson numbers in the first three units. We have created this chart to help you figure out how to jump into our new system without missing a beat: Transition Instructions We are currently in the process of creating a new version of our materials for Unit 3. Once this is finished and made available you should be able to re-download the Unit 3 materials in order to have the most updated version, which will match the new video lesson order.

      And as far as simplifying the chords go, you can use Mr. Hoffman’s advice in Lesson 53 and just play the top 2 notes of the IV & V7 chords. If you need to simplify the I chord, you can leave out the middle finger and only play fingers 1 and 5.

      I hope this helps! Good luck and Happy Playing!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Brooke Joppich

    Hi Mr Hoffman I am just wondering if there are any chords for the second part of silver Birch Tree?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      No, there aren’t. This arrangement has both hands play in unison for the second part. Thanks for checking!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Drew

    Do you use iMovie to make your videos?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Some of our videos were edited with Adobe Premiere Elements, and some with Final Cut Pro. I hope that helps!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Katherine

    Mr. Hoffman,
    I just want to drop a note to say thank for your wonderful and amazing piano teaching skills. Your videos and your materials have helped a lot.
    Thanks much!
    Katherine

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thank you! It’s always wonderful to hear that students are enjoying and benefiting from our program. πŸ™‚ – Mr. Hoffman

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    carla

    Hello Mr.Hoffman i am 9 years old and one secret for me and you (i actually did the mellody & the accords together all by myself without you telling me to do it) have a great thanksgiving, carla

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      That is fantastic! I’m impressed that you took the initiative to challenge yourself in your piano practice. Keep up the great work! – Mr. Hoffman

      • Hoffman Academy logo
        Hoffman Academy

        That’s wonderful! Keep up the great work! πŸ™‚

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Moriah

    Hello Mr. Hoffman,
    thank you so much for your lessons! They have helped me so much! I have bought the materials and printed them and I played “Silver Birch Tree” before watching your lesson with the chords. I am 13 and I have done your lessons for over a year now.
    Thanks again, Moriah Howard

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      That is wonderful! Keep up the good work. – Mr. Hoffman

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Teresa

    awesome I got the song…. Thanks Mr. Hoffman.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Marites Grier

    This is a beautiful website… Thank you.