How to Teach Piano to Toddlers: 7 Steps

You probably think I’m nuts for introducing this early. Their fingers cannot even hold crayons correctly yet and I’m teaching to play an instrument? Well, my explanation is quite simple.

toy pianoWe got a piano as a gift. 🙂

For me, that spells FUN and DISCOVERY!

Of course she could just press those white and black (in our case, red) keys all she wants. But she could also discover that those notes actually make up the nursery rhymes that she always hears.

With a beautiful toy like that, I thought it’s best to use it for what it’s really for – to PLAY MUSIC!

To be clear, this is not in any way an attempt to build our child as a pianist. Chris and I can both play a few pieces but that’s pretty much it. We’re not professional musicians and we certainly wouldn’t play for a big crowd.hehe

You might also argue that this is developmentally inappropriate. I would, in a quick second, agree with you! Except that Mia taught me otherwise. 🙂

Playing the piano turned out to be an engaging activity she truly enjoyed!

So if you belong to a musically inclined family and you are hoping or seeing signs that your child is sharing the same inclination, then you might want to give this a try.

Here we go!

Step 1: Sing Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do and show your child where those notes are.

It would be nice if you could enclose her from behind so you know that she could really see your fingers. Press the keys as you sing them. Do this twice or thrice whenever you get an opportunity.

I used Do-Re-Mi instead of C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C because she was also learning the alphabet and I didn’t want her to confuse those with notes.

As always, I wasn’t sure if she’d get it. I wasn’t expecting a response either. I just threw it out there.

The intention was just to label 


Step 2: It’s the little fingers turn.

Hold her pointer finger from behind and let her press the keys while you sing them. Give her time to absorb and then repeat. Repeat for as long as she allows.

Remember not to push too hard. This is not a required skill that they need to learn at this age. If your kid is not into it, that’s perfectly fine. Go outdoors and play ball or something. 🙂


Step 3: Do it backwards!

If after a few days you see that she somehow knows it already, sing it backwards:


Press the keys just like how you did it in Step 1. Repeat whenever you get the chance.


Step 4: Introduce patterns.

Assuming your child already knows her colors and her numbers, you would be surprised that patterns can be introduced this early too.

Start off by pointing and saying:

White keys, black keys.
White keys, black keys.

Then use silly or animal voices as you say:

2 black keys (count and touch them: 1, 2)
   3 black keys (count and touch them: 1, 2, 3)

2 black keys, 3 black keys.
2 black keys, 3 black keys.


This would later help her identify where Do is.

“This is Do. It is always before the 2 black keys.”

Quite tricky especially that there are many Dos. But just trust that they’ll get it. Maybe not immediately, but they will. →

Piano keys by Vecteezy / labeled orig image

Piano bar by / labeled orig image