The Secret Keys of Discipline

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#271: “The Secret Keys of Discipline”
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20: A Journey of Choices
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[[:Category:{{{genre}}} Episodes| {{{genre}}}]]

Proverbs 13:8

8A man's riches may ransom his life, but a poor man hears no threat.

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The Secret Keys of Discipline

“The Secret Keys of Discipline” is episode #271 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on June 4, 1994.


Danny can't seem to force himself to practice the piano for the talent show at Whit's End.


Danny excitedly rushes into Whit’s End. Whit is putting on a talent show in the Little Theater, and Danny wants to be the first one to sign up for it. Whit tells Danny that he needs his parents’ permission before he can be in the show.

Danny’s folks aren’t so sure this is a good idea, though. Lately, Danny has been promising to do a lot of things and not following through on them. Danny promises that this time will be different. After much pleading, Danny’s parents finally concede. But when they go to sign up, Whit tells them that so many people want to be in the show, he’ll have to hold auditions. Danny must practice the piano every day to be good enough for the show. Danny promises he will and tries his best to do just that.

Unfortunately, Danny gets distracted with baseball, soccer, and other games. When audition time comes, Danny plays only marginally well. He’s put on the alternates list. Later, someone drops out of the show. Whit puts Danny in it. His parents again try to make him understand that he must practice.

When it looks like he’s going to blow it again, Danny’s father shows him the “secret keys of discipline”, which are sitting down and not letting anything distract you from your task. Danny finally makes the commitment. Despite great potential distractions, Danny practices and improves every day. He plays flawlessly at the show. Everyone applauds him loudly, and his school principal asks Danny to play at the PTA banquet. Danny happily agrees. He immediately takes off to go practice at home.

Discussion Questions

  1. When Brooke asked Danny to play baseball and soccer, what should he have said?
  2. What are the “secret keys of discipline”?
  3. Is there something that you need to be more disciplined about doing?
    • How can you follow through?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Brooke Myers Amber Arnold
Cheryl McCormick Kara Stooke
Danny Schmidt Danny Schmittler
Ed McHam Brad McMurray
Principal Hughes Lucille Bliss
John Whittaker Hal Smith
Laura Schmidt Pamela McIntosh
Scrubb Moseley Landon Arnold
Steven Schmidt Brad McMurray

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Robert Skeed John Whittaker


  • If you listen very carefully as Danny and his mom walk into the Little Theater when all the people are practicing, you can hear the scene from "#110: “ for Attitude”" where Connie's friend Cheryl McCormick is singing "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah."
  • This is the last episode to air featuring newly-recorded lines from Hal Smith.
  • Amber Arnold composed the piano piece that Danny Schmidt plays in this episode.
  • Ed McHam is a parody of Ed McMahon; who at the time was the host of the long-running syndicated talent show Star Search in addition to his many other roles throughout McMahon's long career (including being the longtime sidekick to Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" as well as being the spokesman for American Family Publishers (infamous for the "You May Have Already Won $10 Million Dollars" mailers) and for Colonial Penn Life Insurance).


Laura Schmidt: Danny? Danny?
Danny Schmidt: Huh?
Laura Schmidt: I said we're at the Little Theatre. Are you all right?
Danny Schmidt: Uh, sure. I was just thinking.
Laura Schmidt: About Star Surge?
Danny Schmidt: How'd you know?
Laura Schmidt: You keep referring to me as Ed McHam.
Danny Schmidt: ...Sorry.