7 Rules for Helping Young Beginners Learn to Play Piano (or any Musical Instrument)

Hello, parents and teachers! In this article, I'll share my 7 rules on how to successfully help young children learn to play piano (or any other musical instrument).

In each rule, I'll give a pretty thorough explanation on one specific point so that by the end, you'll understand it from an important new perspective: the child's.

When a rule is expressed in the negative (for example, saying what NOT to do), it will always be followed with what TO DO instead.

Finally, at the heart of each rule, there's an important Core Principle which I'll make sure to emphasize so that the spirit of the rule is clear enough to apply elsewhere.

Ready to start? Let's dive in!

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Rule #1. Don't Touch the Keys!

The principle behind Rule #1 is "The brain that does the THINKING does the LEARNING." (Write this one down!)

When a child is trying to play a song, there's a long...

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A Garden Metaphor for Youth Education: "Feed the Soil, NOT the Plant!"

Welcome to my Kids Piano blog!

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, and the inventor of the patent award-winning music notation system I use in Kids Piano and other Exact-Notes classes, books, and courses. I’ve taught music for many years, and in that time I've specialized in growing young musicians "from seed," that is, being their first teacher. 

(I grew this basil 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...
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