How Long Does It Take to Learn Piano? - Hoffman Academy Blog (2023)

How to learn piano with piano levels: How do piano levels work?

Many systems of piano study are organized with 10 levels or grades. When you have reached a certain piano level, you can expect to be able to master any piece at that piano level with just a few weeks of practice. It is possible to learn piano pieces a few levels higher than your current level, but it may take months of practice. Not only that, there may be technical challenges in the piece that you are not fully prepared for. In general, piano students can reach Level 1 after a year of dedicated study, Level 2 after two years, and so forth, but this is only a rough guideline. Check out the sample videos below to see what kind of music you’ll be able to play at each level. You can view these piano levels in order, or jump around using these links: No Experience,Prep A, Prep B, 1A, 1B, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

How to Learn Piano with No Experience:

Before you’ve even had a single lesson, you can learn toplay a few melodies. However, you’ll probably be limited to one hand at a time, one note at a time, with your hands in one position. Examples include songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Lean on Me.

(Video) What's the Best Age to Start Learning Piano? - Music Notes - Hoffman Academy

Learning to Play the Piano – Level Prep A:

At this point, you’re starting to add simple two-note chords, and can play a wider range of melodies. If you learn piano with Hoffman Academy, you’ll play “The Wild Horses,” which uses both hands together. You’ll also be able to play the melody of some popular tunes like “Linus & Lucy.

Learning to Play the Piano – Level Prep B:

Both hands can play together with increasing complexity. You’ve learned a few chords, like I, IV, and V7, and can use them in more complex rhythms as you play songs like “Jingle Bells” or “The Imperial March.

Level 1A:

Now you can play faster songs, and are incorporating more dynamics and expression. You’ll learn your first simple classical pieces, like “Vivace” by Gurlitt. Also tackle a growing repertoire of simplified pop songs, like “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten.

Level 1B:

You can play songs that require more hand shifting, and you’ve learned to cross over and under with your fingers. Many simplified versions of pop songs are within your ability, as you’ll find if you give our Katy Parry “Firework” tutorial a try. In the Hoffman Academy repertoire, you’ve reached “Canoe Song.”

(Video) Fight Song - Level 1A Piano Repertoire Demo - Hoffman Academy

Level 2: Learn piano scales, skips, and chords

You can play one-octave scales in a few keys, stretch your fingers to handle skips, and use a variety of chords. In classical repertoire, you’ll learn songs like “Andante” by Johann Christian Bach. You can also learn easy arrangements of songs like “Hedwig’s Theme.

Level 3:

Now your hands are more independent, and you’ve continued to master the skills you learned in earlier years. You’re playing the famous “Minuet in G,” and more challenging arrangements of pop songs and movie themes like “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars.

Level 4: Learn piano arpeggios and constant hand-shifting

You can play songs that include an octave reach, arpeggios, and constant hand-shifting, such as the lyrical opening section of Beethoven’s “Für Elise” and “He’s a Pirate” from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Level 5:

You perform at greater speeds and your virtuosity is beginning to emerge. You can play C.P.E. Bach’s “Solfeggietto” and the full version of “Linus and Lucy.” Your friends are very impressed.

(Video) How to play your First Song on Piano | Hoffman Academy Piano Lesson 1

Level 6:

Your artistic expression continues to develop as you learn piano. Your fingers are comfortable with frequent wider reaches, and you can play four-note chords. You can learn to play most popular music and movie themes, like the theme from “Mission Impossible,”as well as many classical pieces, like the full version of “Für Elise.

Level 7:

More complex keys and harmonies are now open to you. You can play more challenging classical music, like the famous first movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.

Level 8:

Now you can play music with large chords at virtuoso speed. You can tackle impressive piano solos like Jon Schmidt’s “All of Me,” which is the music I play during the opening sequence of every lesson.

Level 9:

Now speed and large chords are combined with quick, wide-ranging hand shifts. You can play advanced pieces like “Maple Leaf Rag.

(Video) Imperial March - Level Prep B Piano Repertoire Demo - Hoffman Academy

Level 10:

With virtuosic speed on double octaves, arpeggios, large chords, and fast hand shifts, there’s not much outside of heavy-duty classical repertoire that you can’t handle. Pieces like Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” are now within your reach.

How to Learn Piano: Great Teacher + Dedicated, Hardworking Student = Success

If you are serious about maximizing your rate of progress as you learn piano, I highly recommend that you invest in a quality teacher. A great teacher will know when to push you to the next level, and will show you how to get the most out of your practice minutes as you learn piano. In fact, having a great teacher is the only way to achieve your maximum rate of progress. Read more about finding an excellent teacher in your area. Even with the right teacher, a huge factor in your rate of progress is simply the amount of focused practice you put in, week after week, month after month. Read more about learning piano by practicing effectively.

LearningPiano is a Lifetime Journey

No one should get discouraged if it takes them longer to learn piano. The joy is in the journey! Try to see your piano study not as something you’re doing just to reach a certain level of skill, but as something that’s meant to provide you a lifetime of musical fulfillment and enjoyment. For me, there’s nothing quite like being able to sit down at the piano at the end of a hectic day and play a favorite piece. If you’ve been waiting your whole life to learn the piano, please start today! You canstart to learn piano for free with our Hoffman Academy lessons. It may seem like a long road, but in five or ten years, you’ll look back and be so glad you started that journey!

We hope you feel more informed about how to learn piano now.

(Video) How to Find F & G on the Piano | Hoffman Academy Piano Lesson 7

Happy practicing!


1. Vivace - Level 1A Piano Repertoire Demo - Hoffman Academy
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2. How to Play "Who's That?" | Hoffman Academy Piano Lesson 31
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3. How to remember EVERY KEY on the Piano - Hoffman Academy Music Notes
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4. Learn Piano Online: Intro to Hoffman Academy
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5. Jingle Bells - Level Prep B Piano Repertoire Demo - Hoffman Academy
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6. How Far I'll Go (Moana) - Prep Level Super Easy Piano Tutorial - Hoffman Academy
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