How to Teach Piano to Toddlers: 7 Steps

Obstacles. It wouldn’t be exciting if there weren’t!

Try not to be discouraged at the first sign of disinterest. I say this because I have witnessed some hesitations along the way but it probably just meant that the new patterns were getting challenging for her young mind.

While I’m very careful on making sure she doesn’t feel pressured, a little push won’t also hurt and can actually go a long way.

To illustrate, she initially didn’t want to do the succeeding lines of the Do-Re-Mi song anymore after learning the first line. She did so-do-la-fa-mi-do-re but afterwards refused to learn so-do-la-ti-do-re-do. I tried to just throw it out there again but she didn’t want to try.

Perhaps it was already too much. And so we stopped.

I tried to sing the second line again on a different day and she said, “I don’t like.”

Oh, okay. Got it.

We stopped and only played what she wanted to play.

Until one morning, I caught her practicing the second line on her own. She must have thought I was still asleep.

Turns out, she didn’t want me to witness her mistakes. She preferred to do the trial and error by herself.

When I stretched out and pretended to have just awakened, she immediately showcased the whole song. That was when I realized that refusal doesn’t always mean they don’t want to go any further. As learning progresses and as the combinations get a bit complicated, they sometimes just need a break.

And so this has become a habit of ours from then on. Whenever she has a new favorite song, I’ll learn it first and then sing the notes to her one line at a time. She would then try it and cue me (not necessarily on the same day) when she’s ready to learn the next lines.

Here she is trying it out on the big piano with her then favorite, Oh My Darling Clementine.

I hope you enjoyed watching that! And I hope we have inspired you that instrument play is possible for toddlers.

Perhaps we are the only ones putting a limit to what they can do. Perhaps age is just really a number!hehe There is certainly a reason why experts refer to babies as sponges.  Anything you lay out there can and will potentially be (when presented in an age appropriate way) absorbed. I say, they are not just sponges, they are ultra-absorbent sponges!


Is your child learning to play an instrument too? Share your tips on how you made it a fun learning experience. 🙂

NOTE: This guide is only for right hand melody. Left hand chords and proper finger positions maybe best learned when their hands have grown more. Also, this does not teach how to read notes on a scale. Maybe best learned when they’re a bit older too. But then again.. who knows. 🙂