Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania. Her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, was a financial advisor, and her mother, Andrea Gardner Swift
(née Finlay), was a homemaker who worked previously as a mutual fund marketing executive. The singer has a younger brother named Austin.
Swift spent the early years of her life on a Christmas tree farm. She attended preschool and kindergarten at the Alvernia Montessori School, run by Franciscan nuns, before transferring
to The Wyndcroft School. The family then moved to a rented house in the suburban town of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, where she attended Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School.
At the age of nine, Swift became interested in musical theater and performed in four "Berks Youth Theatre Academy" productions. She also traveled regularly to New York City for vocal and acting
lessons. Swift later shifted her focus toward country music inspired by Shania Twain's songs, which made her "want to just run around the block four times and daydream about everything". She
spent her weekends performing at local festivals and events. After watching a documentary about Faith Hill, Swift felt sure that she needed to go to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a
music career. At the age of eleven, she traveled with her mother to visit Nashville record labels and submitted a demo tape of Dolly Parton and Dixie Chicks karaoke covers.
However, she was rejected since "everyone in that town wanted to do what I wanted to do. So, I kept thinking to myself, I need to figure out a way to be different".
When Swift was about 12 years old, computer repairman and local musician Ronnie Cremer taught her how to play guitar and helped with her first efforts as a songwriter, leading to her writing
"Lucky You". In 2003, Swift and her parents started working with New York-based music manager Dan Dymtrow. With his help, Swift modelled for "Abercrombie & Fitch" as part of their
"Rising Stars" campaign, had an original song included on a "Maybelline" compilation CD, and attended meetings with major record labels. After performing original songs at an RCA
Records showcase, Swift was given an artist development deal and began making frequent trips to Nashville with her mother.
To help Swift break into country music, her father transferred to the Nashville office of Merrill Lynch when she was 14, and the family relocated to a lakefront house in Hendersonville,
Tennessee. Swift attended public high school, but after two years transferred to the Aaron Academy, which through homeschooling could accommodate her touring schedule, and she graduated a year