Mozart was composing by age 5, Beethoven performing publicly by age 7 and Elton John playing piano by age 3. But your little prodigy doesn’t need quite as dramatic a head start to get a standing ovation at his annual recital. We scoped out 10 piano programs catering to kids and beginners that will not only help your little ones discover a new talent, but may even help them in school. Sign your kiddo up for a class and sit back as you enjoy the sweet symphony echo through the classroom.
Dallas Academy of Music and Performing Arts
Where: 3415 Milton Ave., Dallas; 214/965-8324
The basics: In addition to weekly, private piano lessons of various durations, Dallas Academy of Music and Performing Arts teaches group lessons, preschool programs and music therapy. Kids can perform for family and friends at solo recitals and ensemble recitals and put their skills to the test at the Olympics — Keyboard Olympics, that is.
Bonus: Not quite ready for private lessons? Primary Piano Class introduces music lessons in a fun and lighthearted group setting for kids ages 4−5.
Cost: Enrollment runs on a 32-week academic-year cycle. Primary Piano Class costs $355 per semester. Weekly private lessons range from $164–$485 per month depending on the lesson length and location of the lesson (at home or in studio).
Gray School of Music
Where: 11661 Preston Road, Suite 136, Dallas; 214/369-7772
The basics: With theory games, rhythm instruments, workbook lessons and individual keyboard time, Keyboard Kids introduces kids ages 4−7 to piano in a group setting. Private lessons for all ages focus on theory and technique with optional recitals in May and December.
Bonus: With 15 piano teachers holding master’s degrees in music and grand pianos in each studio, this school plays a siren song to all music lovers.
Cost: Pricing begins at $164 per month or $763 per semester for 30-minute weekly lessons. 45-minute weekly lessons are $246 per month or $1145 per semester.
Music Schools International Dallas
Where: 14902 Preston Road, Dallas; 214/449-6299
The basics: While this music school offers lessons for kids as young as 2, Pianorama Piano classes for ages 4−12 focuses on piano as a practical instrument. Kids explore listening, singing, playing, reading, listening and writing in a small group setting. These weekly classes are separated by age and run 45 minutes each. Recitals occur each time a class polishes a new piece of music, as well as at an annual showcase. Kids can continue with private lessons after they age out of these classes.
Bonus: Forget memorizing and playing Chopsticks on cue. Baby Beethovens learn music as a language, and will soon be composing melodies, harmonizing and playing by ear.
Cost: Prices for all classes range from $10−$35 per weekly class
The Dallas School of Music
Where: 14376 Proton Road, Dallas; 972/380-8050
The basics: Future Mozarts as young as 3 years can enroll in piano lessons that incorporate percussion, music reading and lots of movement into each class. Faculty at the Dallas School of Music tailor each child’s experience based on learning preference, music goals and skill level. Take piano lessons at their Dallas campus or online through Google Hangouts.
Bonus: Give Bach — er, back — to the community throughout the year by performing at assisted living homes and children’s hospitals in the Dallas area with fellow Dallas School of Music students.
Cost: Introductory tuition rates begin at $36 per lesson for new students. Contact Dr. Bob Lawrence for detailed information on tuition.
Aguilar Music Studio
Where: 2414 W. University, Suite 122-J, McKinney; 972/540-1410
The basics: For a one-on-one approach to piano, this one-man studio offers theory-based classes for kids as young as 3. The Aguilar Music Studio caters to all skill levels with a special curriculum for all stages. Semiannual recitals allow students to show off their songs in solo and ensemble arrangements.
Bonus: What do you get when you mix a graduate of the University of North Texas music program, an original teaching approach and around 80 students itching to learn more about music? Lots and lots of quirky, original songs, including many entertaining parodies.
Cost: Four weekly half-hour lessons cost $80 per month
Frisco School of Music
Where: 9255 Preston Road, Frisco; 214/436-4058
The basics: For a hybrid of group and private lessons, Piano for Little Folks and Elementary Piano Lab classes allow kids in Pre-K–fifth grade to learn in a group setting with individualized attention in weekly hour-long classes. Regular performances called “Wow Showcases” allow parents to see their mini pianists in action.
Bonus: Not into Mozart? Enroll your little Billy Joel in Rock School to be partnered up with other musicians and perform in Band Blowouts.
Cost: A yearly membership to the Frisco School of Music will get you the best prices on weekly lessons. Those with a membership pay $41−$81 per week for private lessons, depending on the length of each lesson. Group lessons begin at $39.75 per week plus a $30 booking fee.
Matt Burk Music Studio
Where: 1504 N. Greenville Ave., Suite 100, Allen; 972/207-9353; 1701 Legacy Drive, Suite 150, Frisco; 469/353-6100; 4101 E. Park Blvd., Suite 105, Plano; 972/996-6808
The basics: Hour-long and 30-minute weekly piano lessons are customized to each student ages 5 and up based on their music goals. Focus on piano alone or in conjunction with songwriting, voice or another instrument. Also, thanks to Wi-Fi and kid-friendly movies in the lobby, you and the rest of your bunch can catch up on emails and Arthur while you wait for Beethoven-in-training.
Bonus: Forget stuffy recitals where kid play teacher-mandated music in their Sunday best. This studio offers Jam Sessions, live gigs and showcases at the House of Blues in Dallas.
Cost: Monthly tuition is $140 for weekly half-hour lessons and $260 for weekly hour-long lessons. A one-time enrollment fee of $50 applies to all students.
Where: 4005 Crooked Lane, Plano; 888/862-7210
The basics: Offering private lessons from a multi-instrument musician, Promethean Studios has 30-minute and hour-long beginner, intermediate and advanced classes for kids 6 and up, though kids as young as 4 may be taken on a per-case basis. Hear what the kids have been practicing at two annual recitals where kids perform in solo or ensemble arrangements.
Bonus: If your little rock star would rather play Taylor Swift ballads than Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, search no more. Promethean Studios caters to the kinds of music your kids want to learn.
Cost: Students pay $150 per month for four 30-minute private lessons or $300 per month for four hour-long private lessons.
Creative Soul Music School
Where: 5236 S. Hulen, Fort Worth; 817/677-8506; 5633 Watauga Road, Watauga; 817/485-7464; 280 Commerce St., Suite 195, Southlake; 817/764-1074
The basics: With classes for tiny tots as young as 0-3 years old, your little ones will begin teaching you, Mom and Dad, a thing or two about playing the piano as soon as their fourth and fifth birthdays come around. Classes for the littles focus on memorization, hearing pitch, recognizing rhythm and tempo, basic dance choreography and more. Lessons for big kids (6 years and older) emphasize note reading in treble and bass clefs, in addition to learning improvisation and songwriting. Semi-private, private and student-and-parent lessons are available.
Bonus: Kiddos can practice their newfound talents on the big stage, with annual recitals at renowned Dallas-Fort Worth venues like Bass Hall. Plus, kids can learn the notes to pop hits of today, if say, 5 Seconds of Summer happens to be more to their liking than Chopin.
Cost: Pricing begins at $100 per month for 30-minute weekly semi-private lessons and $200 per month for 60-minute weekly semi-private lessons. Private lesson pricing varies on location.
School of Rock
Where: 5606 Dyer St., Dallas; 214/363-7625; 1501 Preston Road, Suite 550, Plano; 469/567-3962; 206 E. Washington St., Rockwall; 469/314-1300; 3501 Long Prairie Road, Suite 102, Flower Mound; 972/539-0761; 8021 Matlock Road, Suite 101, Arlington; 817/472-1131; 6891 Main St., Frisco; 214/872-2878; 3220 W. Southlake Blvd., Southlake; 682/593-0990; 1600 W. Louisiana St., McKinney; 214/856-4055; 4608 Bryant Irvin Road, Suite 454, Fort Worth; 817/332-7625
The basics: Your little ones will be mini rockstars upon finishing their music lessons at School of Rock. The school specializes in performance-based teaching, in other words, teaching for rockstar-quality performances. Piano lessons involve basic to intermediate keyboard lessons, with a combination of weekly private instruction and band rehearsals for ages 6 and up. Littles 3-5 years old can also join in on the fun in the Little Wing program, where tiny musicians learn basic music skills they can build upon as they grow.
Bonus: Aside from learning the beats to their favorite rock anthems, kids get in on additional fun and learning at School of Rock’s periodic events like Parents’ Night Out. Leave the kids at SOR while you, Mom and Dad, enjoy a night on the town. Kids will take part in activities like jamming out in the rehearsal room or watching a favorite movie. Call your local SOR for details.
Cost: Pricing ranges from $150 to $350 a month, varying on location and program.