Piano "lessons" for 2 year old?

We have a 2 year old who is interested in playing the piano but neither Dad or Mom know how to play. Are there any teachers (or nannies/babysitters) you can recommend who will play some tunes and get her acquainted with the piano? Any thoughts appreciated. 

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In my humble opinion, 2 year olds are generally too young for an instrumental lesson. Of course, there are exceptionally gifted children... At 2 year olds, I recommend that you provide a variety of musical experiences. Have a few real instruments that the child can play and experiment with. Toy instruments are often terrible. Get nice bongo drums and other percussions. Piano or keyboard. Harmonica. Recorder.  (Do not buy toys. Buy real instruments that are in tune.) A real xylophone or marimba that are in tune (again, not a toy one), bells. Singing and dancing. Experimenting with voices and sounds / loud and quiet. high and low. Listen and dance to music together. Most piano teachers will accept students at age 5 and up. If you will choose a preschool, look for schools who has musicians as teachers. I think Suzuki methods accept kids as young as 3. 

We are a family of musicians with degrees in music and working in music related industry. With the exception of a few very expensive instruments, our child could experiment with any instrument she was interested in. Neither of us is a percussionist, but we acquired a number of percussion instruments to have fun with our child (we found a beautiful wooden modified marimba that is in tune, can withstand a toddler abuse, on etsy), ukeleles are cheap and you can get a little tuner so you don't have to tune by ear, tamborines, triangles, so many different types of drums, pianos and keyboards are easy. Keyboards are fun because with a push of a button, it'll add different sounds and beats. Kids LOVE to play with that. 

We began piano lesson for our child when she was in Kindergarten.  At age 7, we tried violin but she didn't like it, so she quit after a few lessons. Age 8, she wanted to try the guitar which she is enjoying. She has dabbled with sax and drums but she's not interested. 

What a wonderful gift to give to a child -- thank you for thinking early on music education for your child!

My husband and I are trained classical musicians.  Your child is too young to have lessons in terms of being able to comprehend real instruction that is worth your hard-earned dollars.  In the toddler years,we took our children to open rehearsals of orchestras, operas, ballets and chamber music; and, most conveniently and for you in Covid times, turned on YouTube videos on the big TV at home of artists like Yo Yo Ma, Glen Gould and other legends.  That was part of their bedtime routine, in fact.  Our son would bang on his toy piano while watching and listening to these amazing performances that anyone can enjoy from home and for free.  The best thing you can do now is not expect her to develop the skills to play the piano but be inspired and fuel the motivation to learn in a couple of years time.  When she is 4 or 5, the key is to find a teacher who emphasizes technique and hand position, not just someone who loves teaching children music.  Ideally, you get both, but I have found a lot of non-musician parents prioritize the personality and creative freedom some piano teachers offer.  If you really want to learn an instrument, technique matters. 

I’m also a musician and agree with the earlier post—2 years is too young for lessons per se except in extraordinary circumstances—but it’s a GREAT age to immerse them experientially, to listen and dance to all kinds of music, to try out instruments (agreed, not toy instruments, real instruments, even simple ones), and to experiment with sound and music making using ordinary objects.  

All that said—there’s a guy named Mr. Hoffman who does piano video lessons that I think are pedagogically brilliant (and that’s coming from someone who is very screen and video averse, I was ready to sneer at Mr. Hoffman but instead I fell in love with him). He’s like the Mr. Rogers of early piano education. Def check him out for your own piano education and to think about for your kid down the road. But at this age and for a few years more I think the most important thing is to facilitate abundant joyful exploration with music. Expecting a two year old to manage the kind of organized thinking traditional beginning music education requires will not teach them anything except perhaps that piano is a drag. 

I agree with the previous response, 2 years old is too young to take piano lessons. I read somewhere the rule of thumb was piano lessons start around the time your child can read. I'm sure some kids start earlier, and some kids start later. I also agree with the great suggestion to provide a range of instruments and just let your child play around with it. When my son was 2, his grandfather bought him this mini piano from Costco. It's the Artesia FUN keyboard, Costco no longer sells it, but I think you can still find it (or something like it) around. It was just perfect! It isn't a toy plonk-plonk piano, but a real (mini) electric keyboard, the type that sounds like a piano but you can change the "voice" and even make it bark animal noises, all set inside a charming wooden small piano frame with a bench. My son loooooved it. He played on it all the time, and when he got older, he even learned a few songs on it, which he learned through an app on the iPad. If you don't want to buy a toddler sized keyboard, just get an inexpensive electric keyboard so your daughter can play around with it without worrying that she will break it. Note: When it's time for her to take serious piano lessons, I recommend upgrading to an 88 key digital piano with soft touch, which mimics a real piano more closely, but don't buy that for a toddler, they are expensive and she might break it before she even starts her lessons. Have fun making music!

Hi there,

I also agree with the previous posters that 2yo is young for traditional piano lessons, but we had some success with a method called We Hear and Play (http://www.wehearandplay.com/). You can use the system with a teacher, or like us during the pandemic, learn enough to guide your child yourself. It is an ear-training program where you use colors for the notes and play lots of music games. We bought the parts we wanted to use from Amazon. Our kids were 1.5  and 4, and both had lots of fun with the music games. I think at 2yo, the best gift you can give is making music an active, enjoyable experience, so that they associate positive feelings with playing and listening.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses. I am not looking for formal music training for our toddler. I would just like a kind, patient person who will play the piano for us so that our toddler can see and hear what this instrument can do. I think she would be delighted to hear real music coming out of it (instead of just playing and singing do-re-mi with Mama) or perhaps some of her favorite nursery songs. I imagine it would be 5-15 minutes of playing a song or two and some chords.