Several years ago my sister-in-law passed along to our family a very nice electric piano she’d been given by her aunt. They no longer used it and needed the room in their house. My girls had never had a musical instrument before so my husband and I thought it would be a good idea for them to have and try to learn. Neither my husband nor I play much piano and at the time piano lessons with a personal teacher were out of the question. For the most part the piano, nice as it was, sat unused other than the occasional “concert” given my the girls.
When my mother-in-law’s condition started to worsen my father-in-law asked if they could have the piano so she could practice. She’d been having trouble with cognitive processes – forming coherent thoughts, remembering how to tie her shoes and even how to turn on a light. It was a difficult thing to watch and I’m sure even more difficult to experience. We knew it wasn’t dementia or Alzheimer’s, but suspected it was damage caused by a previous small stroke she’d kept hidden for many years. My father-in-law, her doctor and her physical and speech therapist felt that reintroducing something familiar that she once enjoyed would help her relax and reforge neural pathways that had been dormant or even damaged. She tried to get back into it with little success and in October of last year the piano came back to our house. Sadly, in early January a massive stroke finally ended Grandma’s struggles.
My husband says she played piano really well and for years even played for the songs at their local congregation meetings. It has always been a plan to find some way to teach the girls piano, but I didn’t even know where to start or if we could afford lessons for both girls. Our intention has never been that they be concert pianists, but it would be nice if they could become proficient at sight reading sheet music, improve their sense of rhythm and learn to enjoy a personal involvement in making music. Thanks to Hoffman Academy we found a solution which is convenient, geared toward beginners and easy to follow.
Hoffman Academy provided my family with Piano Lesson 1-20 of unit 1 for my family to review. In lieu of having a teacher in person, videos have been produced for each lesson and are available to stream directly from their website. We could stream the videos and access the course material directly on our iPad. Each lesson has materials for parents to go over with each participating student to help reinforce the skills learned. My girls really enjoyed the simplicity of each tasks, reveling in the fact they were actually playing music after the very first lesson. It made them want to come back for more. At the end of each lesson their is a cute “finger skit” played out just for entertainment purposes. What I liked about the format of the lessons is that they were playful, informative and not at all stodgy or overbearing in their content or manner. Joseph Hoffman, the creator, founder and instructor is very personable for children and adults alike.
It will take a lot more effort on our part as parents to encourage the girls to continue to practice. At least now we have a reliable source for instruction which doesn’t involve having to load up the kids and drive somewhere wasting precious gas and time.
Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above in exchange for review from Giveaway Service website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Reference ID: pmd7619beb6eb189509885fbc192d2874b