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Fun, effective, and incredibly affordable piano lessons for all ages. This is piano education reimagined for today's modern family.
Hoffman Academy 2.0 is here! We are so grateful to all of our amazing Kickstarter backers who made it happen. Come and visit our new website and join in the piano learning fun!
Hoffman Academy 2.0 is here! We are so grateful to all of our amazing Kickstarter backers who made it happen. Come and visit our new website and join in the piano learning fun!
1,288 backers pledged $318,157 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Hoffman Academy 2.0 - Online Piano Lessons for Everyone

$318,157

1,288

Hi, I'm Joseph Hoffman, founder of Hoffman Academy. Since 2010, tens of thousands of students around the world have been learning piano with my online lessons.

Have you ever wanted to play the piano? Lots of people do, and lots of people start, but too many of them don't keep going. Why? Music lessons can be expensive and inconvenient, and old-fashioned teaching methods can take all the fun out of learning music. 

At Hoffman Academy we are reinventing how piano is taught, using today's technology combined with the innovative Hoffman Method. We also believe that music education should be available to everyone, which is why we keep our pricing at unbelievably affordable rates.

As a special deal for our Kickstarter backers, we are offering a Lifetime Premium Membership to Hoffman Academy 2.0 for just a $250 pledge--that's a lifetime of piano lessons at the cost of just a few months of traditional one-on-one lessons!

Your pledge to this project will go toward two things:  

The Hoffman Method is a groundbreaking approach to piano teaching. It trains students not just how to play, but how to read, understand, and create music. But it's not just the method that makes these video lessons successful. Kids love the creativity and humor. Adults love the clarity and step-by-step teaching style.

So far, we've created a series of 120 video lessons, but with support from Kickstarter we plan to bring our total number of video lessons to 260 by the end of 2017. This will take Hoffman Academy students up to an intermediate level. After that, we'll keep adding more video lessons, all the way up to advanced levels.

Sure, video lessons are great, but what about getting feedback on your progress? Enter Hoffman Academy 2.0. Our team is currently designing a new interface that will deepen and accelerate your learning through interactive features like music learning games, progress tracking, and personalized practice instructions. Our new series of online games will turn what used to be boring drilling with paper flashcards into fun, interactive learning challenges. As you play, you'll earn points and level up through four categories of musical development: 

These interactive features will be available beginning September 2016 as part of a new premium membership plan, which will cost $15/month. Premium subscribers will also be able to download the audio tracks, printable sheet music, and music theory worksheets that accompany the lessons, at no additional cost!

Backing us can save you thousands! Here's how:

If you look at the cost of private piano lessons, a well-qualified teacher will charge around $100-$200 per month, and to become proficient at playing the piano usually takes a minimum of 5 years of study. This means that, at a minimum, a traditional piano education will cost about $6,000.

We want to give you another option. Once we launch Hoffman Academy 2.0, your child will be able to take lessons from a master teacher, download sheet music, activity pages, and listening mp3 files at no additional charge, and have access to an online music learning app with music theory games, progress tracking, practice instructions, listening tracks, and all the lessons, available 24/7, whenever you want, for only $15 per month.

And now for the icing on the cake. Until March 10, if you back our Kickstarter at the $250 level, you get a lifetime membership to Hoffman Academy 2.0. That's a lifetime of piano lessons, and you'll never have to pay again! 

We will only be offering lifetime subscriptions during our Kickstarter campaign, so back us now for your chance to get a great piano education at an unbelievable price.

When I first started teaching piano 14 years ago, I tried out various piano methods, but I was disappointed to find that no one method provided the kind of complete musical training I wanted my students to have. Some methods emphasized note reading, others emphasized playing "by ear," but none seemed to have it all. So, I decided to take the plunge and create my own piano method!

It has been a long but exciting journey that continues to today. Every year I learn new things that refine my perspective and help me improve the method. At first I drew the most heavily from my research in early childhood education and my study of other methods, especially Kodaly, Orff, and Suzuki. My goal was to glean the very best tools and ideas from every method I could get my hands on, and then test, test, test.

Ultimately, I knew that a method was only any good if it actually worked with real, live kids, and it had to be lots of fun. More than any book I've read or workshop that I've attended, my best teachers have been my young students.

Mr. Hoffman & Students @ Hoffman Academy in Portland, Oregon
Mr. Hoffman & Students @ Hoffman Academy in Portland, Oregon
After opening Hoffman Academy in Portland in 2007, I kept on hearing, "I wish I could afford to take lessons from you." It was heartbreaking to me to know that people were being priced out of piano lessons, but at the same time, with my family of 4 already on a tight budget, I couldn't afford to lower my rates.

In struggling over what to do about this problem, my wife Kelly and I hit on the idea to provide piano lessons online! 

We weighed several options for a business model, and finally decided we would give the lessons away, make every video lesson free, so that there would be no barrier to anyone who wanted to learn to play the piano. We only charged for the lesson materials (audio tracks, sheet music, and music theory worksheets) which I created to supplement and reinforce the video lessons. 

The first video lesson went live on January 2, 2010, under the banner of “FreePianoLessons4Kids.com.” Since that time, I've uploaded over 120 additional lessons, received over 5 million views, and changed the name of our website to “Hoffman Academy." Today, I'm the director of both Hoffman Academy - Portland, which serves over 300 students taught by a staff of 15 teachers, and my online HoffmanAcademy.com, which serves tens of thousands of students around the world.

I've made it my personal mission to develop a piano teaching approach that is fun but still produces excellent playing, one that is simple enough to be effective for a beginner but comprehensive in scope. I want to share it with the world, so that anyone who wants to learn the piano, can learn the piano.

  • Kids
  • Parents
  • Teen & Adult Students
  • Piano Teachers & Music Teachers
  • Homeschoolers
  • Schools

User Reviews

"I love the fact that the children start off with a bang by learning how to play a song in the very first lesson. The lessons are short, between 5 and 10 minutes each, perfect for children who are on the wiggly side... and easy to fit into everything else going on in your day." 
– Meg Grooms, This Big Happy

"Mr. Hoffman has a gentle spirit that entices children to want to play the piano. He encourages children to interact by applying what he is teaching as he teaches it. His method allows children to begin playing songs during the first lesson." 
– Angie McFarren, HOPE Homeschool Consulting Blog

"I have been teaching piano for a decade and when I found the Hoffman method, everything changed for me and my students. 35 Hoffman kiddos and counting in my piano studio down in San Rafael, Ca! Thank you so much Joseph and Kelly! We are so lucky to have your gifts." 
– Danielle Rosa, San Rafael CA

"I am an elementary school general music educator in Music City, USA (Nashville, TN). I have been using Joseph Hoffman's piano course in my keyboard lab with the entire K - 4th grade student body and I couldn't be more thrilled with the experience so far... It's like having two music teachers at the school instead of one." 
– Christopher Blackmon, Nashville TN

Thank you so much for supporting Hoffman Academy! We welcome any pledge, no matter how big or small. We've had a great time coming up with fun rewards to show you how much we appreciate your support.

When you pledge, you can also:

Add Student Profiles: If you have multiple students in one household, you may upgrade your pledge to allow additional students to create profiles within one shared account at our family discount rate.

Fund a Scholarship: Not interested in the rewards for yourself? No problem! You may choose to donate your reward to fund a Hoffman Academy scholarship, allowing a child in a financially disadvantaged situation access to our subscription features and materials.

Questions? More details, including delivery dates, can be found in the reward descriptions on the right sidebar (or in the Rewards tab on mobile devices). You're also welcome to leave us a comment if you need further clarification.


Can't donate, but want to help? Please spread the word about our campaign!

Risks and challenges

We have a great team in place, with a proven track record of producing video lessons and web content. We also have a working prototype of our new interactive features, and our programmers are on target to have it ready for you to try it out by our expected release date.

Of course, as with any software development project, there will be unanticipated complications, but we are 100% committed to delivering a quality product as soon as we possibly can. We will need to test everything thoroughly and make sure it is stable on all platforms. We want you to be able to use the new Hoffman Academy anytime, anywhere, on any compatible device, totally bug-free. We think we're up to the challenge, and we hope you'll join us for the ride.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you for helping us spread music throughout the world! We'll send some your way with an exclusive MP3 file of Mr. Hoffman playing an original composition piano solo.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You will receive or may donate a 3-month premium subscription for Hoffman Academy 2.0 ($45 value). Includes rewards from all lower pledge tiers.

    *Add $6 for each additional student on your account.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Your premium subscription for Hoffman Academy 2.0 will be upgraded to 6-months ($90 value). Includes rewards from all lower pledge tiers.

    *Add $10 for each additional student on your account.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Your premium subscription for Hoffman Academy 2.0 will be upgraded to 12-months ($180 value) and your name will be listed on a special "Thank you to our Sponsors!" page on our website. Also, IN MARCH, receive a digital copy of our Unit 7 Complete Materials (or another Unit of your choice). Includes rewards from all lower pledge tiers.

    *Add $18 for each additional student on your account.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Your premium subscription for Hoffman Academy 2.0 will be upgraded to a Lifetime subscription ($600+ value)! Also, your name (or your student's name) will be included in a special "Thank You!" video shout-out by Mr. Hoffman & his finger puppet friends. Includes rewards from all lower pledge tiers.

    *Add $45 for each additional student on your account.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    You will receive a 5-10 minute Thank You phone or video call from Mr. Hoffman and a Hoffman Academy tote bag packed with fun surprises. Includes rewards from all lower pledge tiers.

    *Add $45 for each additional student on your account.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    One student in your home will receive a 30-minute video call piano lesson from Mr. Hoffman! You will also receive the opportunity to request a song for a future bonus lesson video. Includes rewards from all lower pledge tiers.

    *Add $45 for each additional student on your account and/or add $500 per student for additional video call lessons.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    One student and one guest is invited to visit Hoffman Academy in Portland for a live piano lesson from Mr. Hoffman! Includes round-trip airfare and lunch with the team (no other meals or accommodations). Includes rewards from all lower pledge tiers.

    *Add $45 for each additional student on your account and/or add $1000 per person to allow additional students to join the party.

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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    One student attends a week-long Hoffman Academy Band Camp! Includes rewards from all lower pledge tiers.

    *Add $45 for each additional student on your account and/or add $1000 per person to allow additional students to join the party.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Participate in filming a Hoffman Academy lesson video with Mr. Hoffman! Includes rewards from all lower pledge tiers.

    *Includes up to 5 additional students on your account.

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Funding period

- (30 days)