Lesson 43

Silver Birch Tree

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136 Comments

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Ben

    Awesome but it’s so sad!!! 😞

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Kurt

    This is a sad song. 🙁 I was wondering if you taught recorder? Its OK if you don’t. I just wanted to ask. Um………………that’s all. Thanks for being such a great teacher!! 😀 You know A LOT about piano and that’s AWESOME!!! Bye 🙂

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You’re right–the song does sound sad. I don’t teach recorder, though, just piano. 🙂

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Adrianne

    I love this song! By the way do posts get deleted? Just wondering.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I’m glad you enjoy the song! Are you asking if we delete comments, or if we ever remove our videos? We do occasionally delete duplicate comments, and if there was something inappropriate in a comment we will edit or delete it. We have also removed or replaced a few videos. For the most part, though, if you leave a comment and it doesn’t show up on the list of comments, that just means we haven’t gotten around to approving or answering it yet.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Daniel

    Hey, Mr. Hoffman.
    During a couple of the videos, I can hear some background noise like either bass-heavy music in another room, or some semi trucks just outside. Is this my imagination?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      There might be a little background noise in the videos.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    grant

    Why do students have to be at least 13 years old to comment???

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      It’s just a regulation we follow that helps keep children safer on the internet.

      • Hand-drawn avatar
        Mikah

        But it checks if it is inappropriate anyways before it gets posted…?

        • Hoffman Academy logo
          Hoffman Academy

          It’s not so much about people posting inappropriate comments, it’s about trying to keep information about children private, and making sure their parents are aware of what they’re doing online. I hope that makes sense.

          • Hand-drawn avatar
            Spencer

            on who’s regulations do you follow

          • Hoffman Academy logo
            Hoffman Academy

            It’s called COPPA, which stands for Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    grant

    I LOVE YOUR LESSONS SO MUCH MR.HOFFMAN YOUR THE BEST PIANO TEACHER EVER! ?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the lessons.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Caroline

    Mr. Hoffman I love your super challenges usually but there is one that put you to the test. Stepping up in Contrary motion well saying the letter names. My brain goes crazy with that one. You say Dinah is hard… Nothing is as hard as Stepping up in Contrary motion well saying the letter names. Keep up the great work

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      That’s true–that challenge is pretty tricky. Congratulations on trying it anyway! I’m confident that you can master it with practice. 🙂

      • Hand-drawn avatar
        Caroline

        I am sure it will. What are the points for???

        • Hoffman Academy logo
          Hoffman Academy

          Right now, the points are just for your own motivation and sense of accomplishment. However, we have some future features planned that will use the points, such as unlocking new profile customization. If you have ideas for fun ways we could use the points, we’d love to hear them!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Emeric

    Why are you always saying « hi and welcom back »

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      It’s just a greeting I like to put at the beginning of my videos. ?

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Liza

    Also, she is finding verse 3 quite hard how do i help even if i am a bit in a muddle..

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Do you mean the third line of the song where both hands are playing the melody? That part can definitely be tricky. A good way to practice that line is to play it with each hand separately several times. Once you’re comfortable playing it with both the right hand and the left hand separately, try playing it very with both hands together. Play it very slowly with hands together a few times and then gradually speed up as you practice until you can play it at normal speed. I hope that helps!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Liza

    Um Mr Hoffman, my daughter is still quite young but her hands cant reach the 5 chord so should she just leave out the chords or try play them because when she plays them, her piano posture goes a bit wrong?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Hi! If your daughter’s hands are two small to play the V7 chord comfortably, you can have her just play the top two notes of the chord. I hope that helps!

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I’m glad you like it! It’s one of my favorites too.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Morgan

    Dear Mr. Hoffman can you PLEASE do a tutorial for the impravosation that you did at the bigininng of this lesson it just makes the song sound 100% better then what we get to play and I find it very unfair that we just get to do simple stuff I started doing Hoffman academy so I could play the piano as good as you please teach us the improvisation that you did PLEASE!!!!! Pretty please with a cherry on the top!!!

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the more advanced version of the song. While we don’t currently have plans to make a tutorial for it, we do have the sheet music and we’d be happy to send it to you if you want it. Just request it through our Contact Us page, and we’ll email it to you. I hope that helps!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Colton

    can you pleas teach how to play that part of the song you didnt show how to play

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      We actually do have sheet music for the more advanced version of the song. If you’d like it, just request it through our Contact Us page and we’ll be happy to email it to you!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Maddison

    Today’s puppet show was really weird if you know what I’m saying ?

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Steve

    What You’ll Learn
    4/4 time signature.
    Review finger numbers.
    Play ‘Silver Birch Tree’ while looking at the notes on the grand staff.

    When reviewing, I noticed that it’s stated above “the grand staff;” however, we are learning “lead sheet” style here, which is only the treble clef with listed chords, and not the “grand staff.” I’m just bringing this to your attention for the purpose of correcting this error.
    Steve

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You’re right! Thank you for pointing that out. Some of those descriptions of what you learn in the lessons are out of date and need to be updated. We’ll work on getting that corrected.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      That is a great question! F major and D minor have the same notes, the same way C major and A minor do. Sometimes it’s hard to tell just by looking at the sheet music which one you’re playing in. The best way to tell is by listening to the song. Songs in major keys tend to sound more bright and happy, and minor keys can sound more sad or haunting. I hope that helps!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Anna Rona

    So sorry to post this here. Just to inquire. I have placed to payments the second one for unit 3 which I made in advance. When I pay on Oct. 23 can I proceed printing materials for unit 4? Thnk you. Units 1 & 2 served as refresher lessons for me. I had beginners’lesssons from years way back and now in my senior year I wanted to do what I missed doing. I love music and I believe age is never a hindrance in pursuing a passion which I feel I have for music. Thnk you so much for creating this online study for piano Lessons. More power and God bless! Anna Duvall.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thank you! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the lessons! Do you have a premium membership, or are you purchasing the materials as individual units? If you have a premium membership, you should be able to access the materials from any unit at any time. When you move on to the next unit, it will automatically update your materials page to let you download materials from that unit. You can also access the materials for any individual practice session at the beginning of the practice session. I hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    daniel

    Hello mr. Hoffman.
    Did you know that there is a Russian folk song with quite simmilar name, melody and text?
    And actually I think that Russian version is the original.
    And also I think that Russian version of the melody is slightly better.(yes there is a difference)
    You can check the melody here: http://music-education.ru/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/vo-pole-bereza-stoyala-noty.jpg
    And listen to the Russian version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvDZQWpJzYU

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You’re right! This song is a slightly different version of that folk song.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Sarah

    is there a way for me to print the sheet music for this song without having to use the premium membership?

    • Hand-drawn avatar
      Sarah

      never mind. I just figured out an idea to make my own copy by hand.

      • Hoffman Academy logo
        Hoffman Academy

        That’s a great idea! 🙂 For this particular song, we do have sheet music available, but making your own sheet music is even better.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Sarah

    fun lesson, but a hard one. and the thing at the end with the chef and the birch was cute. : )

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! And yes, it’s a little tricky, but I’m confident that you can master it!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Marla

    I’m working through the lessons with my daughter. She is making great progress. The order on the printed materials seems to be less consistent then in Units 1 & 2 – I’ve had to hunt for the activity pages. The music for this song is on page 14! I’m hoping we come back to the pages we’ve skipped over. Perhaps this isn’t news to you, but maybe will help another family.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Sorry for the confusion! We’re working through updating the earlier units, and 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.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Ethan

    Can I get the sheet music for the more advanced version too?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Sure! Just request it through our Contact Us page and we will email it to you.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Do you mean the song at the beginning and end of each lesson? It’s called “All of Me” and it was written by Jon Schmidt.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Joshua

    Can i please get the sheet music to Silver Birch Tree like the one you played in the beginning of the lesson?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Yes! If you would like the accompaniment for “Silver Birch Tree” please write to us through our Contact Us page and we will email the sheet music to you. Good luck and happy playing!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Kim

    Can you please put Ode To Joy in a lesson?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Yes. “Ode to Joy” is actually taught in lessons 81 & 83.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Arti

    How do we know that is in the key D minor?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      We will get to this later on in the lessons, but the short answer is we can tell the key of a song by the flats and sharps notated at the beginning of the sheet music. At the beginning of this song you can see there is a Bb notated and the octave scale of D minor only contains a Bb and no other flats or sharps. So, this is how we can tell that the song is being played in the key of D minor. It is a little complex, but we will go over it more later. I hope this helps answer your question for now!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Jimmy

    I love this song it’s so beautiful Mr.Hoffman

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Cristiane

    Hello Mr. Hoffman
    I have two years of learning the piano, right now I’m learning songs from 42 Famous Classics arrangements for easy piano by Allan Small. How would I know where to start in with your method. Thank you!

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      That’s a great question! We would expect the average beginner to take 18-24 months to complete our current complement of 160+ lessons, so you may already be a little ahead of us. However, our method includes several topics right from the beginning (e.g., solfege, ear training, improvisation, etc.) that other programs don’t cover until later on, so if you work through our lessons as a review you may still find yourself learning plenty of new things! I recommend you check out our blog post “Where to Begin with Hoffman Academy” for more specifics on how our units compare to other methods’ level systems. I hope that helps!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    A.C.

    Mr. Hoffman,

    Thank you for taking the time to make the videos. Did I miss where we learned how to identify what key signature the song is in by looking at sheet music?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You are very welcome! I am so glad to have you learning with us.

      In short, you did not miss a specific lesson where we identify key signatures. This is because the Hoffman Method is a carefully sequenced, step-by-step progression, where students learn all the intricacies of written music, including clefs, time signature, rhythmic notation, pitch notation, key signature, dynamics, articulations, and how to apply them, in such a way that over time, the students will be able to sit down, open up any piece of music, and start jamming! We don’t spend a lesson strictly focusing on key signatures to keep in alignment with the Hoffman Method.

      If you are interested in focusing more on these topics, Musictheory.net 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.

      Hope this helps and Happy Playing!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Blake

    Mr.Hoffman can you send me the advanced version of this song, I loved it. Your biggest fan.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Do you mean the accompaniment part that I played?

        • Hoffman Academy logo
          Hoffman Academy

          Ok, we’ll send it via email!

          • Hand-drawn avatar
            Long

            Can I please have one, Mr. Hoffman?

          • Hoffman Academy logo
            Hoffman Academy

            Sure! Just request it through our Contact Us page and we will send it to you. 🙂

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    jane

    I want a copy of that song you played I will be checking my email every day until it gets here.So excited !

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      What song do you mean? The accompaniment to Silver Birch Tree?

      • Hand-drawn avatar
        jane

        yep thank you so much. I hope one of these days to post a video of me playing it

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    jane

    what is new in version 2.0 does it cost money or are you still awesome;)

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Using the new features does cost money (because they took a lot of time and money to build!), but the video lessons will continue to be free for anyone to watch. I hope you think that’s awesome. 🙂

      • Hand-drawn avatar
        jane

        I thought that when it said 2.0 that it meant that you were remaking the videos I am glad that you are still my teacher:)

        • Hoffman Academy logo
          Hoffman Academy

          We’re remaking a few of the videos but they will be very much like our current lessons, just higher quality. I’m glad I’m still your teacher, too!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    emily

    every time I come home my girl knows a new song

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I’m so glad to hear it! And it makes me happy to know that she is sharing what she learns with you!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Lily

    Thank you Mr. Hoffman! I love your teaching method! Thanks again!????

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You’re very welcome! We’re glad to have you learning with us.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Sidney

    I saw the message from lily I like that song too. Please put it in one of the videos.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I’m so glad! I love it too. 🙂

      • Hand-drawn avatar
        Stephanie

        My brother is playing that song

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Alicia

    My daughter wants to request more silly endings to the videos. She is missing the silly parts from the other lessons. . . They are awesome!

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I’m glad she enjoys them! 🙂 Sorry that some of our videos didn’t get a visit from the puppets. They’ll be back soon, though!

    • Hand-drawn avatar
      Olia

      Same here! My kids are missing silly puppets!

      • Hoffman Academy logo
        Hoffman Academy

        They will be back soon!

        • Hand-drawn avatar
          Stephanie

          My kids are missing them to ?

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Vanessa

    From the first day I went to your website, I listen to your song
    samples and silver birch tree was my favourite! I always wanted to learn how to play it afterthat!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Savannah

    Are you going to teach how to play the cords some day or how you play?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Yes, as the lessons progress we’ll incorporate more chords and more challenging pieces. I hope you’re up for the challenge!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Savannah

    Why does this song sound sad

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I’m impressed that you are paying attention to the feeling of the music. It feels sad because it’s in a minor key – the key of D Minor, to be precise. Playing in a minor key tends to give music a sad, ominous, or even spooky sound. You can try this yourself by playing a song you know well in a major key but always lower the third note, Mi, a half step. For instance, if you want to play Chocolate in a minor key, place your fingers in the C Major pentascale position (C D E F G), then lower the third note by a half step (C D E-flat F G) to C Minor position. Now, if you play Chocolate in that position, it will sound a little mysterious. Choosing between major and minor keys is one more tool composers can use to shape and flavor their music to tell the story or paint the picture they want to share.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Lillian

    Love this song! tricky but very cool. Sounds haunting. Thank you Mr. Hoffman!

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      You’re welcome! “Haunting” is a great way to describe it.

      • Hand-drawn avatar
        Sarah

        I agree. Totally haunting! (i find it tricky, too XD)

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Drew

    Thank you Mr.Hoffman!!! This is my favorite song yet!!!???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Lily

    Mr. Hoffman will you please teach the Harry Potter theme song?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve added this one to our list of requested songs for future lessons as well. Good luck and happy playing, Potter fan! 🙂

      • Hand-drawn avatar
        Stephanie

        Do you think you could put the Indiana jones theme song on your website❓

        • Hoffman Academy logo
          Hoffman Academy

          Thanks for the suggestion! I will put it on the list of potential future songs. Good luck and happy playing!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Rapunzel

    Dear Mr. Hoffman,
    I loved the way you played the advanced version of Silver Birch Tree. May I have a copy please?

    Your dedicated student,

    Rapunzel

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      It’s on its way to you via email!

      • Hand-drawn avatar
        Rapunzel

        Thank you so much, Mr. Hoffman!

      • Hand-drawn avatar
        Ewan C

        I really like the way you play “Silver Birch Tree at the begining of this lesson as well. Could you Email me a copy of the sheet music as well? PLEASE!

        • Hoffman Academy logo
          Hoffman Academy

          It’s on its way via email!

          • Hand-drawn avatar
            EMMANEUEL

            Can I have one too, please?

          • Hoffman Academy logo
            Hoffman Academy

            On its way!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Malvika

    This was a great lesson Mr. Hoffman it was a little tricky for me to remember this but I got it on my like 20th try thanks again Mr. Hoffman

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I’m impressed at your persistence! Great work. – Mr. Hoffman

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Cody

    I would love for you to teach the more advanced version you play.

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I don’t have a lesson for it, as our Units aren’t that advanced yet, but I do have the sheet music. Would you like a copy? – Mr. Hoffman

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    dave

    hey mr hoffman does the first letter on a scale tell you what scale to play in

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      I’m afraid I don’t quite understand your question. Could you give me a little more information? I’m happy to help. – Mr. Hoffman

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Miriam

    Mr. Hoffman,
    I have a request. Will you please put a lesson on here for “Jesus Loves Me?” I hope to one day play at my Church. I have the sheet music for “Jesus Loves Me” but the problem is I am not good at playing the Bass Clef and the Treble Clef with both hands. It would help immensely if you put a “Jesus Loves Me” lesson on here. I like the way you teach, thank you, Mr. Hoffman.
    your pupil
    Miriam

    • Hand-drawn avatar
      jane

      I would also like for him to teach us to play this song, but because there are so many non-Christian people that through fits whenever the word Jesus is said that he most likely will avoid that song. You should try to look it up on youtube .

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Elizabeth

    You play so wonderful that I want to play like you do

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Elizabth

    When will I learn to play like you mr.hoffman?

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Ana

    Cathryn Try doing it note by note it might be easier that way! Good luck!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Cathryn

    in lesson 11 we made up songs and mine is super hard to write music for. I already tried to write music but it didn’t work out. please help me!