Piano Lessons for Kids in Portland

Music is one of the best ways to nurture a happy and intelligent child. It is well-known that learning music, especially the piano, improves a variety of abilities and intelligences including motor skills, emotional intelligence, mathematical reasoning skills, task focus and concentration, creativity, social intelligence, and more. At the Lab, kids develop well-rounded musical skills that may last a lifetime, including music reading, ear, rhythm, and practicing skills and keyboard technique. Kids are exposed to a wide variety of music including the traditional classical repertoire as well as the jazz, blues, pop, folk, and international music genres. Kids – especially older ones – may choose to focus on the musical styles they like most.

How is the Portland Piano Lab’s Approach Different?

Like any piano school, the Lab builds a solid and sturdy foundation for the many musical skills involved in playing the piano. The Lab’s approach is different in its emphasis on nurturing creativity. Many music students quit lessons because there is little or no opportunity for them to express their own uniqueness. Creativity gets little attention in most formal schooling, despite the fact that creative kids are more likely to become creative adults with problem-solving skills and a positive “I can do it” aptitude that ensures their future success.


Hailey, 10, loves the piano and classical music especially. She is looking forward to learning Beethoven’s Für Elise , and has started to write her own little pieces.


Dylan, 9, is working through his piano method book, but also likes to make up his own songs (and is learning to notate them!). He loves to play blues and is learning basic improvising skills.


Taylor, 12, likes to play both classical and popular music. Along with her classical pieces, she is learning how to play lead sheets of several songs from one of her favorite movies.

The Importance of Creativity

The Lab takes advantage of children’s natural tendency to learn and express themselves through creativity. Creative skills like composition and improvisation require that students develop multiple musical abilities (such as reading, rhythm and ear skills) to an advanced level – usually significantly beyond what is required in more traditional approaches. Creating one’s own music leads to a deeper understanding and love of music. And kids who enjoy expressing themselves by creating their own music are more likely to stick with lessons. So in addition to the traditional fundamental skills described above, students at the Lab learn to:

  • Improvise (spontaneously create) music
  • Compose their own music
  • Play songs by ear
  • Play lead sheets (melody and chord symbols) of their favorite popular or movie songs
  • Create personal arrangements of previously-composed music
  • Make music with others

The Lab’s mission is to produce well-rounded and highly-skilled musicians who will enjoy a lifelong love for music and the piano.


Recitals are optional and low pressure/informal compared to traditional piano schools. Students may choose to perform their own compositions in addition to the repertoire they have learned.


Lessons for children ages 8 to 12 are 30 or 45 minutes long. Children ages 10-12 or highly motivated students will make the fastest progress with 45 minute lessons. Students may begin at any time of year. Is your child 13 or older? See Lessons for Teens.


30 minute weekly lessons are $35/lesson

45 minute weekly lessons are $50/lesson


The Portland Piano Lab is located in the Alberta Arts District in NE Portland. Free parking is available. See Location for a map.

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