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Pada usia sembilan tahun, Swift mempunyai minat di teater musikal dan tampil di empat produksi Berks Youth Theatre Academy.<ref>{{cite news|title=Taylor Swift, Age 12|url=http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/photographer-reveals-rare-photos-taylor-swift-international-star-gallery-1.2072369?pmSlide=1.2072339|accessdate=August 26, 2016|work=[[New York Daily News]]}}</ref> Dia juga bepergian secara teratur ke Kota New York untuk mengikuti pelajaran vokal dan akting.<ref>{{cite web|last=Cooper|first=Brittany Joy|url=http://tasteofcountry.com/taylor-swift-acting-emma-stone/ |title=Taylor Swift Opens Up About a Future in Acting and Admiration for Emma Stone |publisher=Taste of Country |date=April 15, 2012 |accessdate=April 17, 2012}}</ref> Dia menghabiskan akhir-akhir pekan tampil difestival dan acara lokal.<ref name="Rolling Stone 2008-12-08">''[[Rolling Stone]]'' Interview: The Unabridged Taylor Swift, December 2, 2008</ref><ref name="albuminfo">{{cite web |url=http://www.cmt.com/news/1546980/when-she-thinks-tim-mcgraw-taylor-swift-savors-payoff/ |title=When She Thinks 'Tim McGraw', Taylor Swift Savors Payoff: Hardworking Teen to Open for George Strait Next Year |date=December 1, 2006 |first=Edward |last=Morris |publisher=[[CMT (U.S. TV channel)|CMT]] |accessdate=March 11, 2010}}</ref> Setelah menonton film dokumenter [[Faith Hill]], Swift merasa yakin dia harus pergi ke [[Nashville, Tennessee]], untuk mengejar karier musik.<ref name="telegraph1">{{cite news |last=Diu|first=Nisha Lilia|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/8421110/Taylor-Swift-interview-I-wont-do-sexy-shoots.html |title=Taylor Swift: 'I won't do sexy shoots' |work=[[The Daily Telegraph]] |date=April 3, 2011 |accessdate=April 17, 2012 |location=London}}</ref> Pada usia sebelas tahun, dia pergi dengan ibunya untuk mengunjungi label-label rekaman Nashville dan memasukkan sebuah rekaman demo cover karoke dari [[Dolly Parton]] dan [[Dixie Chicks]].<ref name="CMT 2008-11-26">{{cite web |url=http://www.cmt.com/news/1600309/cmt-insider-interview-taylor-swift-part-1-of-2/|title=News : CMT Insider Interview: Taylor Swift (Part 1 of 2) |publisher=CMT |date=November 26, 2008 |accessdate=July 1, 2012}}</ref> Akan tetapi, dia ditolak sejak "semua orang dikota ingin melakukan apa yang kulakukan. jadi, aku tetap berpikir, aku harus mencari cara untuk menjadi berbeda".<ref name="americansongwriter2">{{cite news|url=http://www.americansongwriter.com/2011/05/taylor-swift-the-garden-in-the-machine/ |title=Taylor Swift: The Garden In The Machine |work=[[American Songwriter]] |date=May 2, 2011 |accessdate=May 21, 2012}}</ref>
 
Ketika Taylor Swift berusia sekitarkurang lebih 12 tahun, seorang tukang reparasi komputer dan musisi lokal bernama Ronnie Cremer mengajarinya bagaimana cara memainkan gitar dan membantu Taylor Swift atas karya pertamanya sebagai seorang penulis lagu, membuatnya menulis lagu berjudul, "Lucky You".<ref>{{cite news|last1=Martino|first1=Andy|url=http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music/computer-tech-taught-taylor-swift-guitar-exclusive-article-1.2072638 |title=Exclusive: The real story of Taylor Swift's guitar 'legend' |work=[[Daily News (New York)|Daily News]]|location=New York |date=January 10, 2015 |accessdate=November 10, 2015}}</ref> Di 2003, Taylor Swift dan orang tuanya mulai bekerja dengan manajer musik yang berbasis di New York bernama Dan Dymtrow. Dengan bantuannya, Swift menjadi model untuk Abercrombie & Fitch sebagai bagian dari kampanye "Rising Stars", mempunyai sebuah lagu orisinil yang masuk kedalam CD kompilasi [[Maybelline]], dan menghadiri rapat dengan label-label rekaman besar.<ref name="americanbar">{{cite web |title=americanbar.org PDF |url=http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/Forums/entsports/PublicDocuments/oppositionbrief.authcheckdam.PDF |accessdate=April 18, 2012|publisher=Americanbar.org}}</ref> Setelah membawakan lagu-lagu orisinil dipertunjukan RCA Records, Swift diberikan kontrak pengembangan artis dan mulai sering bepergian ke Nashville dengan ibunya.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.nbcnews.com/id/31032270/ns/dateline_nbc-newsmakers/t/tour-taylor-swift/ |title=On tour with Taylor Swift – Dateline NBC |publisher=[[MSNBC]] |date=May 31, 2009 |accessdate=July 1, 2012}}</ref><ref name="Monsueto Ventures">{{cite magazine|last1=Castro |first1=Vicky |title=How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur, Taylor Swift Style |url=http://www.inc.com/vicky-castro/how-to-succeed-as-an-entrepreneur-taylor-swift-style.html |magazine=[[Inc. (magazine)|Inc.]] |publisher=Monsueto Ventures |archiveurl=http://www.webcitation.org/6klgx4ZPE?url=http://www.inc.com/vicky-castro/how-to-succeed-as-an-entrepreneur-taylor-swift-style.html |archivedate=September 24, 2016 |accessdate=February 9, 2015 |date=February 6, 2015 |deadurl=yes |df= }}</ref>
 
Untuk membantu Swift masuk dimusik country, ayahnya pindah ke kantor [[Merrill Lynch]] di Nashville ketika dia berusia 14 tahun, dan keluarga ini tinggal dirumah depan-danau di Hendersonville, Tennessee.<ref name="widdicombe1">{{cite news |last=Widdicombe |first=Lizzie |title=You Belong With Me |url=http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/10/10/you-belong-with-me |accessdate=October 11, 2011 |newspaper=[[The New Yorker]] |date=October 10, 2011}}</ref><ref name="Ray">{{cite web|last=Jo |first=Nancy |url=http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2013/04/taylor-swift-cover-story |title=Taylor Swift and the Growing of a Superstar: Her Men, Her Moods, Her Music |work=[[Vanity Fair (magazine)|Vanity Fair]] |date=January 2, 2014 |accessdate=November 11, 2015}}</ref> Swift memasuki SMA umum,<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.cmt.com/news/1648575/taylor-swifts-high-school-names-auditorium-in-her-honor/ |title=News : Taylor Swift's High School Names Auditorium in Her Honor |publisher=CMT |date=September 23, 2010 |accessdate=April 18, 2012}}</ref> tetapi setelah dua tahun pindah ke Aaron Academy, melalui [[Sekolah rumah|homeschooling]] bisa mengakomodasi jadwal turnya, dan dia lulus setahun lebih awal.<ref name="The Very Pink, Very Perfect Life of Taylor Swift">{{cite news |last=Grigoriadis|first=Vanessa|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-very-pink-very-perfect-life-of-taylor-swift-20090305 |title=The Very Pink, Very Perfect Life of Taylor Swift |work=Rolling Stone |date=March 5, 2009 |accessdate=October 31, 2012}}</ref>
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