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, beautiful oak trees! (Or maples, or redwoods, or apple blossoms...)
  • Their environment is the soil. They are spreading their roots out every moment, but they can only absorb what is in their path!
  • Parents and Teachers are Gardeners. We care for the plants by caring for the soil, the light, the water. Seedlings don't need much to grow at first; in fact, you can scorch a seed with too much sun, drown it or make it moldy with too much water, and burn it by over-fertilizing! We even protect them from harsh storms... (Don't be a storm!)

At first, I don't know what kind of plant each seed in the garden will become. Many seeds start off kind of the same... but as each grows, the possibility for good fruit becomes clearer and more exciting!

Welcome to the garden!

Playful wishes!

Mr. Zach :)


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