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Do Re Mi: Seeking Piano Lessons

We have a six-year old, who is so SO so interested in playing the piano.  My husband and I both learned when we were little, so for the past couple of years, we teach her little things and songs on our piano at home.  But, there is only so much we can teach!  We have always wanted to steer clear of over-programming our little ones, though, so we have decided to defer the piano lessons.  Until now.  We signed up for a 10-week class at Ethos Music Center called "Kinder Keyboards".  It was a group lesson for kids 5-7.  After two sessions, we realized the class wasn't for us.  The group was unruly and it was a lot of waiting around as the teacher went from child to child.  In the meantime, waiting children didn't know what to do with themselves.

So, I ask: have you had any great experiences with piano lessons, either private or group?  At what age did you start your child's lessons?


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There is a woman who gives private piano lessons out of her home in Irvington. My neighbor's kid has been going to her for years and they love her! Her name is Mrs. Adler and if you are interested I can get you her telephone number.

I would look into the Communuity Music Center on SE Francis St. I don't have specific information or referrals for piano, but it is a great place with very talented teachers and it's been around for a long time.

My son attends the wonderful Tucker-Maxon school. There is a professional piano teacher there (he is also the parent of one of the students). He teaches the children in the afterschool program--group lessons, separated by age (children from 3 to 10 years old attend the school). I have spoken with him many times, and my son enjoys him and the lessons a lot. Call Jan, the school secretary at Tucker-Maxon, for Andy's contact info, as I expect he does group and private lessons outside of the school.

I have a somewhat related question about where other uM's have bought a good used piano. Any recommendations welcome, and in particular if anyone has purchased theirs at the piano tuning school for the blind in Clark County, would love to hear whether that was a positive experience (since it seems like a real good cause). Cheers!

I also have a good friend in North Portland who gives private lessons out of her house. If you want her contact information, I can give it to you.

my husband is a terrific piano teacher with tons of experience and references. he focuses specifically on music that appeals to each specific child so they stay interested. he can give lessons in our north portland home or come to you. feel free to email me at farabeth3@yahoo.com for more info. good luck!

I am a piano teacher in the Woodstock neighborhood (close to 39th and Woodstock).
My son, Owen, was born in March so I've been on a maternity leave for a while! I'm in the process of starting up my studio again and have a few openings available.
Please call or email me if you would like any more information.
- Jessica

Jessica Bell Piano Studio

Speaking from personal experience (I had piano lessons for 9 years, starting at age 8), one-on-one lessons are the way to go.

We went to Classic Pianos to look at buying used. They have refurbished used ones that were still more than I expected -- starting at $1,000. But I do think you get to apply that cost to a future purchase. Anyway, buying a piano turned out to be more complicated than I expected. There are a lot if issues to consider and I would definitely get a piano tuner to look at one before plopping down the bucks (I think it's worth it if you're going to spend the money on it). Also, I've been told having a professional mover is critical.

I did find a web site that seemed to have some good advice.

Buying A Used Piano

A little off topic but for those of you wanting to introduce your children to the piano, I read in the Exploring Pearl insert in the newspaper today that the Sherman Clay store is having a concert for children tomorrow at 3 pm. Looks like a great rainy afternoon activity! I'll be there with my toddler, barring any mid-day meltdown. I have copied and posted information from their website below:

Saturday, October 14th, 3:00 PM: Piano Classics for Children - The Story of Babar
Join us for a presentation of "The story of Babar - the little elephant", with music by Francis Poulenc, performed by Steinway Artist, William DeVan, with narration of the de Brunhoff classic by actress, singer and voice professional Michele Mariana.This 45-minute concert is designed to introduce the great works of piano literature to children.

FREE. Reservations requested (503) 775-2480

I have a woman in one of my baby groups who teaches piano. I have heard she is great and is located in Woodstock. If you would like her information, let me know.

Thanks for all the suggestions above! We spoke with a couple of instructors recommended, but we ended up going to Pfeifer Piano Studios. We have a 30-minute weekly private piano lesson, and we really like the approach of all the teachers at the studio. The space itself is very comfortable for Philly, and it's also really comfortable for me and our other daughter, as we get to get to read books and spend a little QT while Philly is in lesson. There are also other opportunities to learn more about music that they plan for all students - an optional performance, field trips backstage to the Schnitz, a personal concert from the symphony as they practice ... It's worked out great and we highly recommend it!

The Pfeifer Piano Studio website:

Our daughter takes lessons with this teacher.
He is fabulous with kids.
He teaches reading music, playing by ear, blues, improvisation,
songwriting, and all kinds of fun stuff for kids.
My daughter is quickly developing really good Piano skills.
The wonderful variety of material presented keeps my daughter
engaged and interested. You can find him here:

Our two daughters take violin and piano at this school and they Love it! The teachers are very friendly and supportive to our children and we appreciate the excellent instruction. The school is located in Multnomah Village SW Portland which is very convenient for us because we live near Gabriel Park. The might have a waiting list so I recommend contacting them soon. You can find them at http://www.eliasonmusic.com

I noticed that Portland Parks & Rec community centers are now offering private music classes. I don't know if the link will work but you can search http://www.portlandparks.org for "Activities" - "Youth - Performing Arts / Music". Or try here: http://www.portlandparks.org/register/Activities/Activities.asp?SCheck=785817739&SDT=39512.6212017014&SectionId=2&SubSectionId=54

The Portland Parks & Rec Community Music Center is also a wonderful resource with classes, both group and private, and many community music events. http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=21&action=ViewPark

I'm a piano teacher in SW Portland. I always tell parents to look for music classes for young children, emphasizing rhythm, movement, singing, etc. and wait until around 5-6 for piano lessons. The piano is a wonderful instrument, but requires a certain level of maturity for lessons to be successful. About 30% of all kids will do well with any reasonable teacher. Another 30% will need a more experienced and resourceful teacher and the rest are all very different and will need lots of thought and flexibility to be successful. Excellent musicians can be found in any of these groups. Teachers usually prefer one group or another and can, unfortunately, imply that the most difficult students are not "talented". There is some advantage to starting lessons well before adolescence because adolescents find it hard to be beginners at anything. But, with adolescence, many difficulties with coordination and control clear up, and personal involvement in the lessons increases. In other words, picking a teacher and a time for lessons can be difficult. But not impossible. My own kids all study drums with Doug Smith http://www.thethythmlab.com because they like him. That is good enough for me.

I am a Portland mama who just started a wonderful new music school with my husband, Chris in NE Portland (right off MLK on Beech). We offer lessons in a variety of instruments and classes for all ages. Here is a link to our website www.soundrootsmusic.com for more info.
We hope you will consider joining us!

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I started learning the piano at age eight. My sister started before I did and she was younger then me. But once I started I soared passed her in no time maybe because I was a little older. And we did have a great teacher but I would think that 6 would be a good age.

I live in close in NE and this is the second time I have heard rumor of this amazing teacher who teaches out of her home. I have a 4 yr old daughter who is interested .Do you have a number or a first name I can search by?


Hello, my name is Angelica Gomez. My daughter's name is Melanie J. Gomez. My daughter is blind from birth. She loves to play the piano. Melanie is 8yrs. old. About 3 years ago, we gave her a keyboard for christmas. She has enjoyed it very much. About 2yrs ago at my husbands job, they offered him a professional piano, to see if he wanted it because someone had left it behind. My husband of course thought about Melanie that she would love the piano. He brought it home. Ever since we started to notice that Melanie would play the keyboard and whatever melodies she learned from there she would go and play it on the professional piano. Very amazing, due to her being blind. In the beginning of January we went on a trip to New Jersey. We visited some family members and there, they had a piano. We sat our daughter to play. Messing and messing around we would give Melanie random songs that she knows but had not played it on the piano, she would all of a sudden start playing the songs that we would tell her. Now that day we found out that our daughter, which has never had piano lessons, plays songs that she knows without having to practice it. She just plays it. The reason why I am sharing this is if probly someone knows of someone in Miami, Fl where we reside at that dosn't charge to much for piano lessons or if anyone knows of anybody that sponsers these types of things. Piano lessons here is very expensive and I am a non working mom due to my daughter condition. Only my husband works. I would appreciate, that whomever reads my story, can please let me know of any information that u may share with me. Thank you for taking the time in reading my story.

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