9 Keys to Getting Your Kids to Practice on Their Own: How to Create a Habit of Self-Initiated Practice

What if we could set up a practice system that ran on auto-pilot? What if your kids took responsibility for their own practice, doing it on their own each day?

Can you imagine the beautiful sounds of music filling the house each day, delighting your ears not only with bits of Beethoven and morsels of Mozart they're learning to play, but also delighting your heart with knowing that your kid's knowledge and skills and even emotions are growing?

The good habit of practice shouldn't be a fight. Not if you know how to do it right!

The best benefits of learning music don't actually come from the half-hour class once or twice a week. Rather, musicians gain from the literal transformation that happens in the brain, mostly during practice, practice, practice.

In this article, I'll show you step-by-step how to get your kids to practice, automatically, with only the possibility of a few seconds of management each day.

 Because when students get into a habit of daily...

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Mr. Bock the Chicken's Cello Progress Video (on Determination!)

Learning something new has it's risks and rewards... and the RISKS are very real, and very important! When we set out to learn something, we risk how we see ourself... it's vulnerable and frustrating even in the best of times. 

THANKFULLY Mr. Bock here was willing to document his progress - especially his early failed attempts - so we could all see what it looks like to hit obstacles and persevere. 

One of the things I like the MOST about the arts is that they are one of the safest contexts to get practice encountering and overcoming challenges. I don't know of any better medium than the arts for kids to get regular practice preparing for life's more important and consequential challenges.

I'll let Mr. Böck take it from here!



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What are the Top 5 BEST Instruments for Pre-K and Elementary Kids? (on Playful Beginnings!)

Have you ever wondered what instruments are best to get kids started in music?

My Teddy! Inspire Kids! workshop shows you five GREAT starter instruments up-close that help our kids earn  personal fulfillment while working hard and having fun!

While you're watching, pay close attention to when your kids either PERK UP, or GET BORED...  Which do they seem to like MOST?

Ready? Let's explore the PIANO, a surprising relationship between the UKULELE and VIOLIN, and another surprising relationship between GUITAR and CELLO!


As Seen On Teddy! Inspire Kids!

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Feed the Soil

Welcome to The Playful Learner!

I have this blog to collect important thoughts for parents and teachers like you who want to join me on this quest to help kids grow a LOVE for making music!

If we don’t know each other already, my name is Zach Tolan. I’m a father, a teacher, an inventor (of a patented music notation system), and a VERY enthusiastic learner! I’ve taught music for many years, and in that time I've specialized in growing young musicians "from seed," that is to say, being their first teacher. 

(Yes, I grew this basil plant from seed!)

They say in gardening, “Feed the soil, not the plant.” 

You see... we can't force nutrients directly into a plant's roots... but we can put fertilizer in the root's path to help them absorb what they can when they're ready.

We feed the soil to feed the plant.

  • Children are the plants. They have the potential to grow into strong, confident,...
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