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Title: Music As A Language - Lectures to Music Students
Author: Home, Ethel
Language: English
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Oxford University Press

_London_ _Edinburgh_ _Glasgow_ _New York_
_Toronto_ _Melbourne_ _Bombay_

Humphrey Milford _M.A._ _Publisher to the University_



MUSIC
AS A LANGUAGE

LECTURES TO
MUSIC STUDENTS

BY

ETHEL HOME
HEAD MISTRESS OF THE KENSINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
G.P.D.S.T.

OXFORD
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
1916



PREFACE


The following lectures were delivered to music students between the
years 1907 and 1915. They have been partly rewritten so as to be
intelligible to a different audience, for in all cases the lectures were
followed by a discussion in which various points not dealt with in the
lectures were elucidated.

An experience of eight years in organizing a training course for
students who wish to teach ear-training on modern lines to classes of
average children in the ordinary curriculum of a school has shown me
that the great need for such students is to realize the problems, not
only of musical education, but of _general_ education.

Owing to the nature of all art work the artist is too often inclined to
see life in reference to his art alone. It is for this reason that he
sometimes finds it difficult to fit in with the requirements of school
life. He feels vaguely that his art matters so much more to the world
than such things as grammar and geography; but when asked to give a
reason for his faith, he is not always able to convince his hearers.

He feels with Ruskin that:

'The end of Art is as serious as that of other beautiful things--of the
blue sky, and the green grass, and the clouds, and the dew. They are
either useless, or they are of much deeper function than giving
amusement.'

But he has not always the gift of words by means of which he can
describe this function.

We want our artists, and their visions, and those of them who can
realize a perspective in which their art takes its place with other
educative forces are among the most valuable educators of the rising
generation.

ETHEL HOME.
KENSINGTON,
_January, 1916._



CONTENTS


CHAP.                                                      PAGE

   I. THE TRAINING OF THE MUSIC TEACHER                      9

  II. THE ORGANIZATION OF MUSICAL WORK IN SCHOOLS           15

 III. THE TEACHING OF VOICE PRODUCTION AND SONGS            20

  IV. THE SOL-FA METHOD                                     26

   V. FIRST LESSONS TO BEGINNERS IN EAR-TRAINING            31

  VI. THE TEACHING OF SIGHT-SINGING                         35

 VII. THE TEACHING OF TIME AND RHYTHM                       40

VIII. THE TEACHING OF DICTATION                             43

  IX. THE TEACHING OF EXTEMPORIZATION AND HARMONY           48

   X. THE TEACHING OF ELEMENTARY COMPOSITION                55

  XI. THE TEACHING OF TRANSPOSITION                         60

 XII. GENERAL HINTS ON TAKING A LESSON IN EAR-TRAINING      65

XIII. THE TEACHING OF THE PIANO                             70

 XIV. SUGGESTIONS TO STUDENTS ON LEAVING A TRAINING
        DEPARTMENT                                          79



CHAPTER I

THE TRAINING OF THE MUSIC TEACHER


Let us consider the case of a young girl who has finished her school
education, and has supplemented this by a special course of technical
work in music, which has ended in her taking a musical diploma. She now
wishes to teach. What are the chief problems which she will have to
face? She must first of all make up her mind whether she wishes to
confine her work to the teaching of a solo instrument, together with
some work in harmony or counterpoint, along orthodox lines, or whether
she wishes to be in touch with modern methods of guiding the _general_
musical education of children, as taken in some schools in the morning
curriculum. If the latter, she must enter on a course of special
training.

There is also a practical reason why many who wish to teach music at the
present time are entering a training department. In a paper recently
issued by the Teachers' Registration Council we find the following
paragraph dealing with 'Conditions of Registration':

'The applicant must produce evidence satisfactory to the Council of
having completed successfully a course of training in the principles and
methods of teaching, accompanied by practice under supervision. The
course must extend over a period of at least one academic year or its
equivalent.'

Now, those who have studied the question of the teaching of music in
accordance with modern methods have realized that music provides a
_language,_ which should be used primarily for self-expression and
intercourse with others. The whole of life depends on the expression of
ourselves in relation to the community. 'Self-expression is a universal
instinct, which can only be crushed by a course of systematic ill
treatment, either self-inflicted or inflicted by others. It is
self-inflicted if we conform to false standards of convention, or create
for ourselves a standard of life which is out of touch with humanity as
a whole. It is inflicted by others if they force us when young into a
wrong educational atmosphere, and paralyse our faculties instead of
developing them.

To the favoured few real creative power comes by instinct, but to a
great many a small degree of this power can be given by education, and
in this way an extra outlet is possible for self-expression. The child
should be trained when quite young to think in terms of music, in the
same way in which it is trained to think in its mother-tongue. The
fundamental work should be taken in class, not at an individual lesson,
and should be compulsory for all children. We do not inquire whether a
child is gifted in languages before we teach him French, and we must not
ask whether he is gifted in the language of music before placing him in
the music class. Again, short frequent lessons are more beneficial to
the young beginner than longer lessons at greater intervals, for, as a
new 'sense' is being opened to the pupil, a long lesson produces an
unhealthy strain.

The scheme of work to be followed in such a class will be dealt with
later, but we may note here that training given in accordance with the
above-mentioned aim will produce a marked increase in the vitality and
general intelligence of a child. The reflex actions of intense
concentration for a short time, followed by the giving out of creative
work, will send a child back to its other lessons with an alert mind and
with increased vigour.

A large number of schools and private families are offering posts to
teachers who are able to teach along such lines. Every year the number
of such posts steadily increases, and it will not be too much to predict
that in the near future few schools in the first rank will be without
teaching of this kind. The salaries offered are naturally higher than
those obtained by the old-fashioned 'orthodox' teacher, as more has to
be done, and classes have to be managed instead of individual pupils.

It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of securing plenty of
experience in teaching classes of average pupils of all ages, under
expert supervision. Many an apparently promising teacher has come to
grief in the first post taken, because the knowledge gained has been too
theoretical, and has not been checked by class experience with really
average pupils. The question of discipline is an easy one with an
individual pupil, but in class work it assumes a different proportion.

For the purpose of teaching ear-training, without instrumental work, a
high degree of musical gift is not necessary. Any one who is fond of
music, sympathetic with children, and willing to work, can manage the
course of work necessary before being able to teach classes up to a fair
standard.

The work, which often appears bewilderingly difficult to one who sees it
for the first time, becomes quite simple when approached step by step,
and in company with fellow students. It is also interesting to know that
some of the most satisfactory results obtained in certain schools during
the last few years have been arrived at by teachers possessing only an
average knowledge of an instrument, but who have thrown themselves with
enthusiasm into the study of music as a living language. Such teachers
are bound to succeed, because they are attacking the subject in a
genuinely educational spirit.

A word now on another aspect of the question of training. There is going
to be an enormous difference in the young girl's outlook on life. For
perhaps the first time she has to adopt the attitude of the one who
gives, not of the one who receives. Hitherto she has been receiving
food, clothes, money, education, help in her difficulties, &c., and now,
Fate waves a wand, and the child who has been the centre of interest in
her home and in her school has to learn to give--and to give
generously--as others gave to her.

For the real teacher is never paid for all she does. Her salary is not
augmented in proportion to all the extra help she gives to the backward
or delicate pupil--to the hours of drudgery, outside school hours,
willingly given in order to be prepared for every eventuality of school
life. Such things are never paid for in money, the only reward is in the
partial realization of the standard attempted.

Another point. The ideal teacher must have real personality, and this is
a thing of slow growth, but which can be developed under expert
guidance. There must be sympathy, tact, and humour. In adopting the
attitude of the giver instead of the receiver the young teacher is too
apt to put away the remembrance of childish difficulties, and to forget
the restless vitality which made her, as a child, long to fidget, and do
anything but learn.

There is another thing to bear in mind. The majority of amateurs are
never subject to the same criticism as the professional. Everything is
'watered down'. 'Very good' has often been the verdict of the critic,
but an unspoken addition has been--'for an amateur'.

Now in a training department one of the most valuable points of the
training consists in the outspoken comments. And this does not only
refer to musical work, but to personal faults. We all know that if a
mannerism does not interfere with the unity of a strong personality, it
may be left alone. But there are some mannerisms which merely express
the weaknesses of those who possess them, and which spoil the expression
of the personality. These must be cured, and will be faithfully dealt
with in the training department.

Lastly, if the course of training be taken in connexion with a school,
opportunities will be afforded of getting an insight into general
organization and schemes of work for children of all ages.

An accusation often levelled at the musical members of a staff is that
they keep to themselves, and do not identify themselves with the general
school life. In some cases this may be due to lack of willingness, but
in the large majority it is due to lack of training in, and realization
of, the unity of such life.

A student who takes every opportunity given to her during her year of
training will not only learn how to organize the general musical life of
a school, through the medium of ear-training and song classes, recitals,
music clubs, &c., but will be ready and proud to show initiative in
other directions.

We cannot do without the visions of our artists, and a country or a
school, is the poorer when full use is not made of the driving force of
artistic inspiration.



CHAPTER II

THE ORGANIZATION OF MUSICAL WORK IN SCHOOLS


The musical work in a school falls roughly into four divisions:

1. Ear-training, leading on in later stages to harmony, counterpoint,
&c.

2. Voice production and songs.

3. Instrumental work.

4. Concerts, music clubs, &c.

To take these in order:


1. _Ear-training._

When the necessity for this work has been realized the next step is to
consider how the time can be found for it in the school curriculum.
Those who have seen some of the results in schools which have taken the
work for some years are sometimes inclined to think that a large
expenditure of time has been involved. But, provided the children have
begun the training when quite young, it is neither necessary nor
desirable for them to have more than one forty-minute lesson a week
after they have reached the age of twelve years. We must remember that
in all 'language' work the ideal plan is to begin with very short and
fairly frequent lessons. Ear-training which is to be treated on the
lines suggested will be opening up a new 'sense' to the pupil, and the
concentration necessary is such that the children cannot stand the
strain of a long lesson.

The following lengths of lessons are therefore advisable:

For children from four to seven years of age, a quarter of an hour four
days a week.

From eight to twelve years of age, twenty minutes three days a week.

From thirteen years of age upwards, forty minutes once a week.

Now as to schemes of work.

For those between the ages of four and seven the time should be spent in
singing at sight easy melodies in major keys, and in ear tests of two or
three notes at a time.

For those between eight and twelve sight-singing in minor keys and in
two parts should be added, also the dictation of melodies and of
two-part tunes. When this work is securely grasped the treatment of
chords can begin, also extemporizing of melodies with the voice,
together with transposition and harmonizing of easy phrases at the
piano.

For children of thirteen years and upwards the above can be continued,
together with sight-singing in three parts, dictation in three and four
parts, extemporizing at the piano, and more definite work in harmony,
counterpoint, and elementary composition.

After the age of fourteen it is well to make the work voluntary. By this
time it is possible to distinguish between children who are sufficiently
interested in music to make it worth while for them to continue the
work and those who will be more profitably employed in other directions.
The latter will have learnt how to take an intelligent interest in
music, and how to 'listen' when music is being performed. The classes
will now become smaller, an advantage for the more detailed work.

It is important to note that the best results in ear-training will only
be obtained if the classes do not exceed twenty-five pupils in number.


2. _Voice Production and Songs_.

These classes can be larger without prejudice to the work, but the above
classification as to age is desirable. Children between four and seven
years of age will probably learn songs connected with their kindergarten
work, so it is difficult to say exactly the amount of time to be spent
in song lessons, as the work will overlap. Those between eight and
twelve should have one song and voice production lesson a week, of not
less than twenty minutes. Those over thirteen will probably be working
at more difficult songs, and will need not less than thirty minutes once
a week.


3. _Instrumental Work_.

It is very desirable that all children up to the age of eight who are
learning an instrument should do so in a _class_ for the first year,
rather than in individual lessons. Much of the fundamental work at an
instrument can become wearisome to a young child unless taken in company
with others of the same age.

A practical consideration involved is that this makes it possible to
charge a smaller fee for each pupil, and this fact may influence a
parent to let a child begin an instrument earlier than would otherwise
be the case.

It has been found that children started in this way develop much more
rapidly than if they had individual lessons. The stimulus of class work
for the average child cannot be over-estimated.

When this preliminary year's work is over, the child can go on either to
three twenty-minute lessons a week by itself, or two half-hours. If
ear-training is being done at the same time, it is possible to shorten
the amount of instrumental practice each day. In few cases should it be
allowed to exceed half an hour up to the age of thirteen, and in many
cases twenty minutes is found sufficient.

After the age of thirteen it is again possible, as was the case with the
ear-training work, to distinguish between the musical children and the
others. The former should increase the amount of practising each day;
the latter, if they continue to learn, should not exceed half an hour.
The piano lessons will in most cases consist of two half-hours a week.


4. _Concerts, Music Clubs, &c._

It is a good plan to arrange for a short recital to be given every term,
at which not only the more advanced pupils will play, but children at
all stages of development. It is wise to insist on all music being
played by heart, as in this way an invaluable training will be given
from the very first.

In the case of a prize-giving or large school function it is of course
necessary to show only the best work.

A music club is a great stimulus to the musical life of a school. A good
plan is to arrange a series of short lectures on such subjects as the
origins of harmony, acoustics, the chief difference between music of
different schools and periods, &c., and to follow these by accounts of
the lives and works of the great composers. Children are delighted to
come to such meetings, especially if their aid be asked in illustrating
the lectures by playing specimens of the music referred to.

In the organization of musical work in a school it is of the utmost
importance that there should be a central musical authority, responsible
for bringing all those engaged in the teaching into touch with each
other. If this be done, not only will overlapping of work in the various
classes and lessons be avoided, but a driving force of musical
comradeship will be initiated which will produce a genuine musical
atmosphere.



CHAPTER III

THE TEACHING OF VOICE PRODUCTION AND SONGS


It is perhaps more rare to find a successful teacher of songs than of
any other subject in the school curriculum. There are many reasons for
this. In many cases a visiting teacher takes the work, who finds it
difficult to learn the names of all the children in one lesson a week,
and who therefore starts at a disadvantage. Then the size of the class
for songs is always larger than that of classes in other subjects, and
there is therefore more inducement to inattention on the part of the
children.

Nothing is more pitiful than to see a young, inexperienced mistress
grappling with a large class of healthy, restless children, who know
from experience that the weekly song lesson may be turned to good
account for their own little games!

There is, of course, the born teacher, who sends an electric shock
through the room directly she enters it, and who, without asking for it,
secures instant silence and eager attention. Such people are rare, and
it must be our task now to give a few practical suggestions to those
less fortunate people who do not possess the innate gift, but who are
willing to learn.

To begin with, the teacher of songs must have real personality; and if
she does not possess this by nature, she must do her best to develop
what she has. She must be full of vitality, she must understand
children, and, above all, she must be genuinely fond of music, in such a
way that she cannot do without it. The last qualification often implies
a certain sensitiveness, which finds a difficulty in accommodating
itself to a workaday world, where people have little time, or
inclination, to study the 'moods' of others. Very artistic people are a
well-known difficulty to the authorities of schools. In order to excel
in their art, they must not only have a 'capacity for taking pains', but
a reserve store of emotional force, on which they draw for
self-expression through their art. Now the possession of such a reserve
store does not always imply a power of keeping it in reserve! During the
course of training the attention of such people should be directed to
the high ideals underlying all true educational work; they should
realize the real function of music in education--that it is not to be
taken as a mere accomplishment, or technical art, but as a means of
self-expression.

We will now consider a special case. Let us suppose that a new mistress
is taking a song lesson with a large class of children, who have the
reputation of being troublesome to manage. On entering the classroom it
is a good plan to go straight to the platform, without speaking a word
to the children on the way, whatever they may be doing. From this
vantage ground the teacher should look the class over for a few seconds,
still without speaking. There is nothing more impressive to a restless
class than the sight of a mistress not in the least disturbed by their
doings, yet taking everything in. If the mistress has cultivated a sense
of repose and self-confidence this action on her part will produce the
feeling of a centre of force in the room--and the force will radiate
from her. The children, without knowing exactly what has happened, will
feel different, and will be pliant and easy to manage. Directly the
mistress is conscious of this change of atmosphere she can start the
lesson. But she must now gradually merge her personality into that of
the class--she must work _with_ them, not outside them. It is difficult
to put this idea into words, but all real teachers will see the meaning.
There is no driving force to equal that which works from within a
community--not from without.

Now for the lesson itself.

It should start with a few simple exercises in voice production.
Excellent suggestions for these will be found in a little book called
_Class Singing for Schools_, with a preface by Sir Charles Stanford,
published by Stainer & Bell, also in the Board of Education Memorandum
on Music. A special point must be dwelt on. Children should never be
allowed to use the chest register. Their voices should be trained
downwards. In the singing of scales there should be a leap to, or a
start on, a note high enough to be out of the chest register--such as
the high E[b]. The descending scale should then be sung. Breathing
exercises should be taken at the beginning of the lesson. A good
exercise is to exhale on the sound 'sh'. The children will stand in easy
positions for this, the hands on the ribs, so that they can feel the
ribs expanding and contracting during inhalation and exhalation. The
shoulders should be kept down. The advantage in using the sound 'sh' is
that the teacher can thereby tell how long each child makes its breath
last.

When these exercises are finished, and a few scales and passages have
been sung, the class should sit down while the teacher speaks about the
new song to be sung. In schools where sight-singing is taken as part of
the regular curriculum it is not necessary to work at this in the song
class. In beginning a new song the chief thing is for the teacher to get
the class to seize the spirit of it. If difficult words occur, they may
be explained later, but it is absolutely essential that the children
shall get hold of some idea which they can express in singing.

Mr. W. Tomlins, who came over from New York in order to show some of his
methods for dealing with large classes, produced some admirable results.
He worked up the enthusiasm of his classes to such an extent that the
effect of their singing was electrical; and it was all due to the few
words he said before the song was sung, not to any corrections he made
later. It is not necessary for a teacher to _conduct_ the songs all the
time during the lesson, or the fact that the class is expected to watch
the baton tends to make them rigid in their attitudes, and therefore, to
a certain extent, in their singing. The best results are obtained when a
class stands to sing. Some well-meaning teachers forget that the
children have probably been sitting in their classrooms for the greater
part of the morning, and are only too glad to stand for a change. They
can sit between the songs, when finding their places, and so on.

Songs should be chosen in which the pitch is not too low. Many people
have the mistaken idea that young children cannot sing high. Listen to
their shouts in the playground, to the notes they use when calling to
each other, and this idea will soon be corrected. The lowest note in the
voice of a young child is generally E, and it can take the high F or G
quite easily.

Droners should not be allowed to sing with the rest of the class, or the
pitch will be lost at once, to say nothing of the spoiling of the
general effect.

Flat singing is often due to bad ventilation of the room, more often
still to boredom. A good plan in this case is to raise the pitch a
semitone; it is often just as easy for singing, and invariably produces
a sense of cheerfulness.

Children should never be allowed to sing loudly, especially when very
young. It is most difficult to cure the habit when once formed.
Attention should be paid to articulation from the very first. A useful
lesson is taught the class if, from time to time, half of them go to the
end of the room, and, with closed books, listen to their companions
singing a verse of a song which is new to them. The difficulty they
experience in following the words will not soon be forgotten.

Attacks should be absolutely precise. The two-and three-part
contrapuntal singing which is done in the sight-singing classes is
admirable for this, as the whole effect is blurred or entirely spoilt
in such clear-cut work by a false entry.

For all large school functions, such as a prize-giving, the songs should
be sung by heart. This is not necessary in ordinary class work, as the
aim there is to teach as many good songs as possible, in order to form a
standard of real musical literature. But at the set performance nothing
is more delightful than to see children rise, and, without any flapping
of pages, or uncomfortable attitudes for seeing the words in a book,
sing straight from their hearts. However simple the music or the words,
the effect will be well worth the little additional trouble.

Our last consideration is that of the songs to be chosen to learn.
Little children should rarely sing anything but unison songs.
Folk-songs, such as those edited by Cecil Sharp and others, and, for the
very little ones, traditional nursery rhymes and game songs are the
best. From the ages of ten to fourteen years such books as Boosey's
_National Songs_ or _Songs of Britain_ should be the staple work, while
for older children the great classical songs may be added. A good book
for these is the _Golden Treasury_, published by Boosey.

Songs by living composers should be strictly limited in number, though
not excluded. These have not stood the test of time. We teach
Shakespeare in our literature classes, not a modern poet--the essays of
Bacon, not those of a modern essayist. And our reason is that the only
way to create a standard of taste is to take our children to the
classical fountains of prose and poetry. We must do the same in music.



CHAPTER IV

THE SOL-FA METHOD


To those who are not accustomed to the Sol-fa notation it appears at
first sight a useless encumbrance. Excellent arguments are produced for
this view. Many musical people can scarcely remember when they could not
sing at sight and write melodies from dictation. They picked up this
knowledge instinctively, and cannot see why others should not do the
same. Unfortunately everybody has not proved able to do so, hence a
multitude of 'methods' for teaching them.

The most familiar of these consisted in trying to teach the pupil to
sing intervals, _as_ intervals, at sight. Thirds, fifths, sixths, &c.
were diligently practised. But pupils did not always find it easy to
sing these intervals from all notes of the scale, unless in sequence.
The major third from _doh_ to _me_ seemed easier than that from _fah_ to
_lah_, and so on. Thus in the majority of cases sight-singing in classes
resolved itself into the musical children leading, and the others
following. It is rare to find a large class in which there is not one
musical child, and the only sure test of progress is to make the less
musical children sing at sight alone from time to time.

Now, if those who have 'picked up' the knowledge of sight-singing
without knowing how they did it be asked to explain how they arrive at
their intervals, it will be found that _tonality_ plays a large part in
their consciousness. In other words, they are perfectly certain of their
key-note, and at any moment could sing it, even after complicated
passages.

This fact is the root of the Sol-fa system. The child is taught to think
of all the notes of the scale in relation to the key-note. A very
sensible objection is sometimes raised to this, i.e. that it must surely
entail a great deal of detachment from the matter in hand if the mind
has to grope for the key-note between every two consecutive notes of a
melody. But this process becomes automatic very quickly. We are not
conscious of references to the multiplication tables every time we do a
sum, yet we could not do the sum without these. And it is the same with
the Sol-fa system. The child need very rarely actually _sing_ the
key-note when considering another note, she refers the latter to it
unconsciously.

There is one curious anomaly in the orthodox Sol-fa system, which has
caused a good deal of amusement to its critics, and has ended by causing
a cleavage on the part of many who are otherwise in cordial agreement
with the broad lines of the method. This is concerned with the treatment
of the minor key. The orthodox Sol-fa teacher relates the notes of the
minor scale, not to the key-note, but to the third of the scale, i.e. to
the key-note of the relative major. The confusion which this plan
produces in the sense of tonality can readily be imagined. When singing
in major keys the pupils are told to refer all notes to the key-note for
'mental effect', but in the minor key this is strictly forbidden. To
take an instance. In the scale of C major the child has been trained to
feel the sharp, bright effect of the note G, the fifth from the key-note
C. It would naturally feel the same effect for the note E in the key of
A minor, when related to the key-note A. But the orthodox Sol-fa teacher
says: 'No. You must feel the calm, soothing effect of E in relation to
C!' Can the child be _really_ trained in this way? If it were merely a
difference in detail of the treatment of the two modes this error could
be forgiven, but it is a difference in fundamental principle.

One of the many difficulties caused occurs in transposition on the
piano. When transposing from, say, C minor to F minor, the child must
first think in E[b] major, so as to get the pivot of reference, then in
A[b] major for the new pivot A[b]. Yet all the time its real sense of
pivot, which, be it noted, has been admirably trained by the Sol-fa
treatment of the major scale, is in favour of C and F respectively.

The method evolved for the minor key by those who wish to uphold the
fundamental principle of the key-note being the pivot of reference for
_all_ keys, major and minor, is a very simple one. It consists in giving
to the third and sixth of the harmonic form of the scale their logical
names of _maw_ and _taw_. The sixth of the ascending scale in the
melodic form will of course be the same in the minor as in the major.

There are two other points in the orthodox Sol-fa system which are
modified by those who wish to use it as a crutch to staff notation. The
first of these concerns the rather complicated time notation of all but
the first sets of exercises. Directly subdivisions of the beat are
introduced the notation becomes difficult to read without putting a
strain on the eyes. The little dots, dashes, commas, &c., worry
children. Experience has proved that when a class is ready for anything
beyond the very simplest time values it can leave the Sol-fa notation
altogether, and keep entirely to the staff notation. This is, of course,
an advantage, and is what is being aimed at.

The other point is connected with the use of what are called
'bridge-notes'. When a modulation is introduced which entails a fairly
long reference to a new key, the note leading directly to it is of
course accidental in the first key and diatonic in the second. This is
called a bridge-note, and must be thought of in two ways, first in the
old key, then in the new. Thus its name must be changed, as a prelude to
using the new pivot.

Now, in teaching staff notation it is neither wise nor necessary to
introduce extended modulations very early. The aim is to make it
possible for children to sing fairly easy melodies in all keys, major
and minor, with incidental modulations, as soon as possible--then to
revise the work, introducing more difficult modulations. This end will
be attained by deferring the use of bridge-notes until the children are
ready to sing melodies in the minor keys which modulate to the relative
major. If the above-mentioned plan for the treatment of the minor key
be adopted, bridge-notes will be essential at this stage, and the
melodies, at any rate at first, cannot be sung without their aid. A
further reference to this matter is given in the chapter on the teaching
of sight-singing.



CHAPTER V

FIRST LESSONS TO BEGINNERS IN EAR-TRAINING


The form of these lessons will vary slightly according to the ages of
the children. We will suppose these to lie between seven and nine years,
when the children can read and write.

At the first lesson the scale of C major should be played, from middle C
to high C, ascending only. Then repeat middle C, and stop on it a
little. Do this three or four times, telling the children to count the
notes as you play up the scale. When they are all sure that eight notes
have been played, ask them why they think you repeated the middle C at
the end. They will probably say: 'To make it sound finished.' In other
words, they have grasped the 'mental effect' of the key-note _in every
key_, the pivot round which the other notes revolve. Give the hand sign
for this note, according to the Sol-fa plan, and tell the children that
the note is called _doh_. Now repeat the scale, but this time play it
from high C to middle C, repeating the high C at the end. The children
will see at once what has happened, and that the high C now 'finishes'
the passage. Thus it will be called 'high _doh_', and the hand sign will
be repeated, but at a higher level. Be careful not to bend the hand at
the wrist when giving this sign, or the effect of finality and repose
will be lost.

At the second lesson, repeat this work, the children telling you what to
do. Then make eight large dots on the blackboard, and against the first
and eighth of these write _doh_ and _doh'_. Now play the first five
notes of the scale, and repeat the first as before. Ask how many notes
were played. Then play them again, but starting from the fifth
downwards, and repeat the fifth at the end. Ask the children why they
think you did this. At first they will not be able to express what they
feel, but gradually the idea will emerge that you want to call attention
to something of interest. People often call to each other by singing up
a fifth. The new note is sharp and bright in sound when related to the
key-note. Hence the hand sign. Give the name _soh_, and write it against
the fifth dot on the board. The children should now sing from the three
hand signs known, also from the notes on the board. They should also
identify the notes when played in groups of two and three on the piano.

When they can do all this easily, the next note, the third of the scale,
is taken in the same way. The 'mental effect' is calm and soothing,
hence the hand sign. In addition to singing from the hand signs, and
from the Sol-fa 'modulator' which is gradually being constructed on the
board, the children can now sing from the horizontal Sol-fa notation,
and from the staff notation. The first of these is invaluable in the
early stages, as it absolutely precludes guessing. In singing from the
modulator this is possible to a certain extent, as the relation of each
note to the key-note is shown roughly in _distance_ by the dots between
the notes. There is no such help given in the horizontal notation.

In beginning the work in staff notation the notes of the scale will be
thought of as steps in a ladder. In all keys, when _doh_ is on a line,
_me_ and _soh_ are also on lines, and high _doh_ is on a space; but when
_doh_ is on a space, _me_ and _soh_ are on spaces, and high _doh_ is on
a line. These are very simple matters, but children are simple people,
and will not despise such hints.

The next notes of the scale to be taken are _ray_ and _te_, then _fah_
and _lah_. The last two are the most difficult. A good pattern to fix in
the children's minds is:

     _d f m l s t, d--_

which splits up into:

     _d f m--; d l s--_

If these are really known, no trouble will be found with the notes _f_
and _l_.

Plenty of exercises should be given in which the notes of the scale are
taken in relation to the high _doh_. Possible notes should also be taken
above high _doh_ (such as high _ray_, high _me_, high _fah_ in the scale
of C) and below _doh_. With regard to the latter, the key may be changed
from time to time when taking Sol-fa work from hand signs or the
modulator, or from Sol-fa notation, in order to get a wider range for
the notes above mentioned. Thus, if the class be given the _doh_ of G
major, they can sing low _te_, low _lah_, low _soh_, and low _fah_, or,
as these notes are written in Sol-fa notation, _t,_ _l,_ _s,_
_f,_. These points are sometimes overlooked by mistresses, and the
early training loses in thoroughness.

Directly the children are sure of the diatonic notes of the key of C
major they should take the sharpened fourth (_fe_), the flattened
seventh (_taw_). and the sharpened fifth (_se_). Later on they will
learn that these notes often introduce modulations to the dominant,
subdominant, and relative minor keys respectively.

Extemporizing with the voice may now begin, along the lines suggested in
Chapter IX. An extra interest will thus be added to the lesson, and the
child will have its first initiation into 'self-expression' through the
art of music.



CHAPTER VI

THE TEACHING OF SIGHT-SINGING


Instruction in sight-singing should begin by teaching the staff notation
through the Tonic Sol-fa method. Objections to this are sometimes raised
by very musical people, who have no recollection of any 'method' by
means of which they themselves learnt to sing at sight, and who
therefore think their pupils can pick up the knowledge in the same
instinctive fashion. Experience proves that this is very rarely the
case.

With very little children it is well to keep entirely to hand signs and
ear tests until all the notes of the scale are known, through their
'mental effect'. One reason for this is that such children cannot read
or write, so no musical work can be done with them which implies this
knowledge. Care must be taken to vary the lessons as much as possible.

At one lesson the teacher can give the hand signs and ear tests herself.
At the next, one of the class can give the hand signs for the rest of
the class, and the teacher the ear tests. At the next, a child can give
the ear tests, and so on. An experienced teacher will find plenty of
similar ways for producing new interest in the lessons, even though the
actual amount of work done be necessarily small. Nothing is gained by
hurrying over the initial stages of ear-training. The foundation must be
securely laid, or trouble will come later. Those who have had
experience of class work in kindergartens know the special difficulties
to be met--the irregularity of attendance, the constant stream of new
pupils coming in, and so on. Unless plenty of opportunity is given for
revision the work will suffer in thoroughness.

For children who take this work between the ages of eight and twelve, no
better scheme for sight-singing can be found than that contained in
Somervell's _Fifty Steps in Sight-singing_, supplemented by the
children's books, _A Thousand Exercises_, published by Curwen. It is
essential to read carefully the appendices to this work, especially that
concerned with the minor keys. Another book of sight-singing exercises
which follows the same sequence is the _Rational Sight Reader_, by
Everett, published by Boosey.

In teaching the keys of G major and F major it is most important that
the class shall themselves discover the necessity for the F[#] and B[b]
in the respective signatures. Inexperienced teachers sometimes teach
this as a dogma, and thereby deprive the children of the delight of
discovering it for themselves.

Thus, if the scale of G major be played with F[n] instead of F[#], the
class will discover that _taw_ has been played instead of _te_, and will
soon find out how to correct the wrong sound.

Similarly, if the scale of F major be played with B[n] instead of B[b],
they will say that _fe_ has been played instead of _fah_.

If the order of keys taken be that of the _Fifty Steps_, the following
diagram will show at a glance the underlying plan:

     7      5      3    1    2   4   6
     E[b] | B[b] | F || C || G | D | A

It should be noted that so far as the positions of the notes on the
stave are concerned, the key of A[b] is as easy to sing in as the key of
A, D[b] as D, and so on. This fact is sometimes overlooked, and
unnecessary difficulties are created for the children.

It is important for a class to sing at sight fluently in one key before
attempting a new one. Some teachers take keys in groups, and try to
teach them all together. This plan rarely leads to satisfactory results.


_Minor Keys._

It is wise to defer the treatment of these until all the major keys have
been mastered. The harmonic form of the scale of C minor should then be
taken, the children identifying the two notes new to them as the
flattened third and sixth of the scale. It is a good plan to get them to
sing a few melodies from the blackboard which are in C minor, but which
bear the signature of C major, the flattened third and sixth being
supplied. This impresses the new notes on the children.

Later on, the correct signature should be evolved by experiment, and the
same plan followed for the other keys, before the 'rule' for finding the
signature is discussed. The melodic form of the scale can then be
taught, and both forms practised to give plenty of freedom in the new
tonality. The various minor keys should then be taken in the same order
as that in which the major keys were taken.

It is advisable to limit the work at first to melodies which do not
modulate to the relative major. Later on, when the children are fairly
fluent, they can take these. At first they will have to make use of
'bridge-notes' at the modulation, but, with a little practice, they will
soon be able to sing at sight to _lah_.

_Part-singing._

Children should not be allowed to sing part-songs until they can sing at
sight in parts. The reason for this is that in the majority of
part-songs the under parts are written too low for the child voice, and
if they are _practised_ several times in succession, harm is likely to
result. If, on the other hand, the songs can be read at sight, the parts
can be interchanged, and the voices of the children do not suffer to the
same extent. The greatest difficulty in teaching part-singing is a moral
one: a child who takes an under part does not like the feeling of some
one singing above her. The voices must be divided carefully for this
work--some teachers prefer to get the balance on the side of the under
parts, in order to avoid the feeling that it is necessary to shout in
order to be heard! The ideal plan is to interchange the parts freely at
the same lesson.

Exercises should be chosen at first in which the under part starts on a
fairly high note and, if possible, before the upper part enters, in
order to give confidence. The under part should also move freely, and
should not consist of long holding notes. Exercises in which the parts
cross afford excellent practice. Good instances of easy exercises are to
be found in Nos. 9, 68, 80, 101, &c. in Book III of _A Thousand
Exercises_; also in the many canons to be found in that book.

Sight-singing in three parts should always begin with exercises written
in the contrapuntal style. There are instances of these in _Three-part
Vocal Exercises_, by Raymond, published by Weekes & Sons. This book is
also suitable for use where men's voices are obtainable, the two treble
parts being taken by two tenors, and the transposed alto part by a bass.

A good series of part-songs is to be found in the Year Book Press, which
only admits songs by standard composers.



CHAPTER VII

THE TEACHING OF TIME AND RHYTHM


It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of careful study before
a teacher attempts to train children in a sense of time and rhythm.

Not only must an intellectual conception of the importance of the
subject be arrived at, but a subconscious realization of it. The
function of rhythm in the world should be perceived, and such natural
phenomena as day and night, the seasons, the tides, and countless
others, seem to be examples of the same principle. The same influence
may be traced in social activities. Work cannot be organized and carried
on where rhythmic order is not found, and no conception of the brain or
of the artistic faculty can emerge uninformed by rhythmic continuity.

A human being imperfectly endowed with a sense of balance or rhythm is a
danger to the community, and one who is entirely without this sense is
spoken of as 'insane'.

In the training of the teacher it is well to call attention first to the
rhythm of speech, before entering into that of music. Those who have had
a literary education have already studied the metrical properties of
poetry and prose. They will readily agree that such phrases as:

'My father's father saw it not.'
'Happy New Year to you.'
'Because I sought it far from men,
  In deserts and alone.'
'We must go back with Policeman Day,
  Back to the City of Sleep.'

can be thought of as written in [2/4], [3/4], [4/4], [6/8] times
respectively.

M. Jaques Dalcroze has shown, through his Rhythmic Gymnastics, the
extraordinary effect that rhythmic movements can have, not only on
physical health, but on mental and moral poise. For highly nervous
children some such work is of especial benefit, but for all children it
is of great value. It should be supplemented in the ear-training class
by constant practice in beating time to tunes. The teacher begins by
playing simple tunes, with strongly marked accents. The children should
discover these accents for themselves, and should be taught to beat
time, using the proper conductor's beats from the first.

The French time names--_ta_, _ta-té_, &c.--are invaluable in early
stages. They are based on sense impression, and are picked up quickly by
the children. By taking the crotchet as the unit to start with, the
old-fashioned plan of exalting the semibreve, the least used note in
music, to a primary place, is avoided.

If the order given in Somervell's _Fifty Steps in Sight-singing_ be
followed, the question of complicated time will not be forced too early
on the attention of the children. Pupils trained on other systems have
sometimes been found incapable of singing melodies written in
complicated time, even though they can beat time to the notes, giving
the time names, without mistake. The same thing is noticeable in their
instrumental work. This is due to the fact that one side of their
training has been developed at the expense of the other--time at the
expense of pitch. There seems little point in teaching a child such
time-values as

[Illustration: (crotchet tied to first note of a quaver triplet,
followed by four semiquavers and another crotchet)]

when it can only read at sight in the key of C major!

In taking an exercise in sight-singing for the first time with a class
at an elementary stage the following practice has been found beneficial:

1. The children sing the tune straight through at sight, without
stopping, the teacher beating time. Mistakes are then pointed out and
difficult phrases practised.

2. The children stand and sing the tune straight through again, beating
time as they do so.

3. Individual children then stand and sing the tune by themselves,
beating time. In this way the child gets to know the sound of its own
voice, and the teacher can correct any individual faults of intonation,
voice production, &c. Some children will always have an inclination to
shout when they sing with others, partly through excitement and partly
because they cannot hear their own voices in any other way. If this be
permitted the quality of tone will rapidly degenerate, and the effect of
the whole class work will suffer.

Nothing is more delightful than to hear young children sing quietly, and
without in any way forcing their voices.



CHAPTER VIII

THE TEACHING OF DICTATION


So long as the work done in ear-training is in the very elementary
stages the best form of dictation will be:

1. Ear tests, consisting of two to three notes at a time, which should
be written in staff notation as soon as possible.

2. Monotone time tests, which should be quite short, as the constant
repetition of the same note in pitch is irritating to the more sensitive
ears in a class. This point is sometimes overlooked, with the result
that only the less musical children get any real benefit from the tests.

By the time that children can sing at sight in the key of D major they
will be ready to take down from dictation short melodic phrases in time
and tune. A useful plan is for the phrase to be played over three times,
the children listening carefully and beating time. They should then sing
the phrase once through to _lah_, and write it down.

This method of dictation is more satisfactory than that of dictating a
bar at a time, as it draws attention to musical phrases as a whole.
Later on it will be found possible to dictate in the same way longer and
longer phrases. Incidentally the memory is being trained as well as the
ear.

The class should be accustomed to write phrases which do not
necessarily begin on the first beat of the bar. The handwriting, exact
position of accidentals, &c., should be carefully watched. With young
children it is well to use manuscript books which have the lines ruled
very widely apart--a little child's hand soon gets cramped if it is made
to write in an ordinary manuscript book.

When a class can take down simple melodies correctly it is time to begin
two-part work. As a preliminary, get a child to play middle C on the
piano, then to combine with it each of the notes of the scale of C major
in turn. The class will decide which of these two-part chords are
pleasant to listen to. Opinion is generally unanimous in favour of the
third, sixth, and octave, which will therefore be the basis of the first
exercises in two-part dictation.

Plenty of practice should be given in isolated examples of these chords,
in more than one key, before the class attempts to combine time with
tune. When they are ready for this, the work should begin with very
simple phrases, with plenty of repetition to enable them to be quickly
memorized. A later stage introduces the use of passing notes. It is
better to play the exercise through first without these, and when it has
been written and corrected, to play it again, inserting the passing
notes.

Before a class has finished the major keys it should be ready for the
dictation of three-part chords. As the children are accustomed to the
sound of the chord of the third on all degrees of the scale, it will be
a natural experiment to play a particular combination of thirds, thus
arriving at the triad. After this has been played on all degrees of the
scale, the class should be asked to decide which of these chords it will
be well to get to know first. They will remember that the first three
keys in which they learnt to sing were C, G, and F major, and will
therefore suggest that the tonic, dominant, and subdominant chords
should be chosen.

At this stage it should be pointed out that all the notes of the scale
are contained in one or other of these chords. This is a seed which, if
well planted, will suggest the first principles of harmonizing melodies
later.

We must now work at the three chords carefully. Begin by making the
class sing them in arpeggio, and in a definite rhythm, so as to get
precision. Each chord should be sung once very slowly, so as to get the
notes correctly, and absolutely in tune; then twice more quickly, so as
to get the feeling of harmony. This step is invaluable in its later
results--a child will often be heard to sing different chords in
arpeggio, when in doubt as to the chords to use in harmonizing a melody.

When the three primary chords are known the others may be added,
together with the dominant seventh and the inversions, in all keys. This
last step must not be hurried. The average class rarely finishes
three-part chords in less than a year, and unless plenty of time is
given difficulties will crop up later, when four-part chords are begun.

It is not enough for children to be trained to listen to the actual
notes of a chord--they must feel the mental effect, in the same way in
which they felt these effects in the case of the notes of the scale.

A later step is to make use of the position of the chord in a
sequence--for instance, the child soon gets to notice that many phrases
end with the progression subdominant, dominant, tonic.

We now come to the consideration of the dictation of four-part chords.
These need not be sung in arpeggio. As a first experiment it will be
necessary to play the chord to the class with each note doubled in turn,
so that they may feel the necessity for doubling the best note.

This experiment is most valuable, as it gets the child away from the
cramping feeling of keeping a rule merely because it is mentioned in a
text-book.

Plenty of phrases with the primary chords in root position must be taken
before the other chords are treated. For at least a year the class will
not be able to _write_ four-part dictation; the time should be spent in
identifying the chords when played.

The chant form is the best for elementary work. It is very simple, and
can be adapted to every sort of sequence. Passing notes, appoggiaturas,
suspensions, &c., should be avoided at first. When the diatonic chords
and their inversions are known the principal modulations should be
studied. It will probably be necessary for the teacher to write her own
tests, as there are very few books of chants published which contain
enough exercises on the use of the easier chords.

The last step in the teaching of dictation is the treatment of what may
be called the 'mixed phrase', i.e. one in the course of which the
number of parts varies. This is the most difficult stage of all, and
will need the utmost patience on the part of the teacher. But by this
time the children will have begun some of the practical work at the
piano described in the chapter on 'The Teaching of Extemporization and
Harmony', and this will help them to recognize easily the drift of the
mixed phrase.



CHAPTER IX

THE TEACHING OF EXTEMPORIZATION
AND HARMONY


In early days the art of melody was developed before that of harmony.
The same plan should be followed in the general musical education of the
child.

As every child possesses a voice, but does not in every case learn an
instrument, it is clear that the fundamental training in music must be
given through the use of the voice. The first step will consist in
learning how to sing at sight and how to take down easy melodies from
dictation. Parallel with this work the child should be taught to
extemporize melodies, and to sing them.

Quite little children will take pleasure in completing a musical phrase
of which the first few bars have been given them. The procedure will be
as follows:

1. The teacher writes two bars in C major, [2/4] time, on the
blackboard.

2. The class sings it through twice, first using the Sol-fa names for
the notes, then singing to _lah_.

3. Volunteers are then asked for to complete the phrase by adding
another two bars. The more musical children in the class will at once
respond, and their efforts will stir the ambition of the others. It will
soon be a question of taking the children in turn, a few at each
lesson--so eager will they be to 'express themselves' in melody.

It is important not to be too critical of these early efforts. The
great thing is to get the children un-self-conscious--variety of melodic
outline and of rhythm will follow quickly enough.

The next step will be for two children in the class to extemporize the
whole phrase between them, one taking the first two bars and the other
the last two. The key and time should be varied as much as
possible--keys a fourth or fifth apart should be used in succession, or
the children will assume that any melody can be sung by them in any key,
which is obviously not the case. A melody sung in C major, which uses
middle C and high F, cannot be sung in the key of G major with the child
voice.

The class will now find it quite easy to extemporize the whole of a
four-bar phrase. Suggestions can be made by the teacher, such as:

'Begin on the third beat of the bar.'

'Introduce two triplets in the course of the phrase,' and so on.

When this becomes easy to them they will be ready to begin eight-bar
melodies. At first the teacher will give the first four bars, and
different members of the class will finish the tune. Modulations should
now be introduced. The same procedure as before should be followed,
until any child in the class can give the whole of a tune, in any given
key and time, and with a given modulation.

Next comes the sixteen-bar tune, in which at least one modulation should
be introduced. A good plan is to begin with the well-known simple form:

1. Four bars to the [6/4] [5/3] cadence.

2. Four bars to the principal modulation.

3. Repeat the first four bars.

4. Four bars to the end.

Three children can be used for this, in the following way:

The first child sings the first four bars, the second goes on to the end
of the eighth bar, then the first child repeats what she sang, and a
third child finishes. This affords excellent practice, particularly for
the first child, who soon learns to confine herself to a simple opening,
as this must be remembered and repeated later.

Memory plays a much larger part in the power to extemporize than many
people realize, and if this step in the preliminary work be
conscientiously taken there will be abundant results later.

We now come to the important stage of extemporizing on the piano. It
must be remembered that a very thorough foundation of the knowledge of
chords has been laid by the ear-training work, leading up to the power
to write down chords from dictation, and to sing them in arpeggio.

The first exercise will consist in playing a very simple tonic and
dominant accompaniment on the piano, while a melody is extemporized with
the voice. There is far more variety possible in this than appears at
first sight. For instance, the sequence of the chords may run in any of
the following ways, among others:

I V I V I I V I }
                }
I I V I I I V I }
                }
I I I V I I V I }
                }
I V V I I I V I }

Those who have studied elementary algebra will recognize a simple
application of the theory of permutations!

It is interesting to note the ease with which children will do this
exercise, if they have been carefully trained in all the preceding work.
Grown-up students are usually very much slower than children at it,
partly because they are inclined to be self-conscious, and to worry
about the sound of their voice, &c. But the child who has been
accustomed to sing at sight and to extemporize with the voice in front
of a class is not in the least embarrassed at being told to go to the
piano and combine a sung melody with a simple piano accompaniment. At
first there will be a tendency to restrict the melodies to the actual
notes of the tonic and dominant chords, but with a little practice
passing notes, &c. are soon added, and graceful little tunes will
result.

The next exercise consists in the use of three chords, tonic, dominant,
and subdominant; the melody, as before, being sung. At this stage it is
wise to let the dictation work in the class take the form of phrases
which can be harmonized with these chords, so as to accustom the
children to use them. This gives invaluable practice in the first
principles of harmonizing melodies, and should precede all formal
treatment of the subject.

Another useful exercise at this stage is to let the children add a
second part, either above or below a given melodic phrase. This will be
the foundation of later work in formal counterpoint.

The class is now ready for the treatment of modulations on the piano.
If the preliminary work in cadences, dominant sevenths, &c. has been
conscientiously done in all keys there will be no difficulty in
extemporizing a sung melody, which modulates, and adding a simple
accompaniment at the piano.

Other chords can now be added, and the children will be ready to
extemporize short tunes, entirely at the piano, without the aid of the
voice. To some people this may seem an easier thing to do than to
accompany the voice, but experience has proved the contrary. The child
is so accustomed to use the voice that it will at first be inclined to
think of all melody as vocal, and will be a little troubled when told
not to think about vocal pitch.

The discipline of these early restrictions is obvious, and cannot be
over-estimated. It quite does away with the 'hymn-tune' style of early
composition, which is such a trap to many amateurs.

Side by side with this work it is advisable to get the class to
extemporize chants, under the same restrictions as have been put on the
melodies, i.e. they will begin by using only tonic and dominant chords,
then adding the subdominant, and so on. The double chant will give
opportunities for more than one modulation being introduced at a time.
This work will prepare the way for figured basses, and more formal
harmony. The children will learn to avoid consecutive fifths and eighths
because they gradually notice the ugliness of them, which seems a better
plan than to learn to avoid them as a 'rule'.

There is an interesting reference to methods of teaching harmony in the
Board of Education Memorandum on Music, issued in 1914.

The writer says:

'It cannot be emphasized too strongly that the current method of
teaching harmony, whereby pupils are taught to resolve chords on paper
by eye, quite regardless of the fact that 99 per cent. of them do not
realize the sound of the chords they are writing, is musically
valueless.

       *       *       *       *       *

'In no other language than that of music would it be tolerated that the
theoretical rules of grammar and syntax should be so completely
separated from the actual literature from which they are derived, that
the pupil should never have perceived that there was any relation
whatever between them.

       *       *       *       *       *

'Another very common result of the neglect of an aural basis for harmony
teaching is that students who can pass a difficult examination, and
write correctly by eye an advanced harmony exercise, are often quite
unable to recognize that exercise played over to them on the piano, or
even to write down the notes, apart from the time, of a hymn or a tune
that they have known all their lives.'

The whole chapter in this memorandum is well worth reading.

The final stages in the teaching of extemporization will consist in:

1. Expressing a given idea in musical form, e.g. a march, or a gavotte.

2. Extemporizing on a given theme.

Although these last stages may be thought to be beyond the power of the
average child, experience has proved that it is not so, provided the
previous work has been carefully graded, and that none of the early
steps have been omitted or hurried over.



CHAPTER X

THE TEACHING OF ELEMENTARY COMPOSITION


A wise musician has drawn attention to the fact that music has a more
important educational function than any foreign language, being a common
language for the expression of emotion, imaginative power, and rhythmic
feeling. He went on to say that, as a training, it is of use from the
very earliest years, and for all classes of the community.

If we agree with this view--and it is encouraging to note the increasing
number of those who do so--we must so organize the musical education of
children that a time comes when they will be ready to 'express
themselves' in music in the same way in which they can express
themselves in their native tongue.

An earlier chapter in this book has dealt with the teaching of
extemporizing, first, treated as vocal expression, then as instrumental.
When a class of children has arrived at the stage of being able to
extemporize a tune of sixteen bars, in any given key and time, and
introducing given modulations, it is quite ready to begin the more
formal study of composition, and to be initiated into the mysteries of
form. Hitherto the experiments of the class in this direction have been
chiefly spontaneous; the teacher has of set design left the child who is
extemporizing as free as possible, but the time has now come for a new
'window' to be opened in its mind.

A preliminary talk should be given on the need of form in music. It must
be pointed out that we cannot be intelligible without it, that it is not
enough to have a language at our command; we must have _shape_ in order
to convey our ideas to others. The child should realize that the great
artists in all the arts are under the same necessity as the youngest
beginner in composition. Inspiration must be embodied in a definite
form, or others cannot share the vision of beauty.

For a time the child now has to learn to select a musical form, then to
choose a musical thought which can be fitly expressed in it. It will
seem a cramping process after the freedom of extemporizing, but the
child who loves the work will willingly submit to the discipline. It
cannot be too often impressed on the young teacher that children as a
whole _like_ discipline. They despise those who are indifferent to it,
and give a ready submission to those who expect it, provided they feel
sure of an underlying sympathy.

The first lessons in form should consist of the analysis of simple
tunes, preferably of the Folk Song type. The forms known as AB, ABA, and
the variants derived from these will be explained, and the class will
write examples of each, at first not harmonizing the melodies, but
afterwards doing so. The old dance forms will then be taken. At this
stage it is absolutely necessary for those of the class who are musical,
and who wish to give a little extra time to music, to go through a
course of strict harmony and counterpoint; endless time will be wasted
if they do not do so. The work will be very much lightened because of
the foundation already laid, for, without knowing it, the children have
been doing a little free counterpoint for some time, when they added
vocal parts to a given melody, and their knowledge of practical harmony
will make it possible for them to take many a short cut in the formal
work.

The dance forms, together with very simple fugues and contrapuntal
studies, and a few 'free' exercises in songs and short pieces, will be
as far as the majority of children will get in the study of composition.
But there will always be a few in each class who will be eager and able
to go farther, and to begin the study of sonata form. For such children,
and certainly for all teachers of music, there can be no better
text-book than Hadow's _Sonata Form_, published in the Novello Primer
Series. This book is often described as 'more exciting than a novel'!
Somervell's Charts for Harmony and Counterpoint are also most valuable,
and will save the necessity of a text-book in these subjects--at any
rate for the beginner, who works under guidance.

There is one curious fact about all but the most musical children when
they begin to _write down_ tunes of their own composition. They make
mistakes which they have never made when _extemporizing_ the same type
of tune. This seems to arise from the fact that they suddenly feel
self-conscious--they have more time to think when writing than when
singing or playing, and are inclined to compose one bar at a time
instead of phrase by phrase. They will produce a tune of seven
bars--they will end on a weak beat--they will come to a full stop in the
middle of an eight-bar tune on the tonic chord, root at the top--the
last half of the tune will have nothing to do with the first half. We
could write a page of their possible mistakes!

The cure for these lapses is to insist on the tunes being sung before
being written. The old unconscious habit will then assert itself, and
the little tunes will fall into shape.

It is a useful lesson to get a class to criticize all original tunes
when played by the young composer. For one thing, the criticism of our
contemporaries often carries more weight than that of our elders; and
for another, the practice arouses the critical faculty, and teaches the
children to listen keenly, for they have not the written tune in front
of them.

After a little practice quite good criticisms will be given by children.
They will notice such points as a weak scheme of keys--undue repetition
of the chief melody--a clumsy modulation--a trite ending--an
over-laboured sequence--a tendency to borrow ideas from others, and so
on.

This training will be of the greatest possible value to them later on in
the concert-room. As a writer in _The Times_ once put it:

'The vague impressions which are all that many people carry away from
the concert-room would be replaced by definite experiences.

       *       *       *       *       *

'Mental analysis is not, of course, the main object in listening to
music, but it is a most powerful aid to full appreciation. It is the
failure to perceive any definite relation between the parts and the
whole that baffles so many people, and sends them away from the
concert-room remarking that they cannot understand "classical" music.'



CHAPTER XI

THE TEACHING OF TRANSPOSITION


A great many musical people will not take up the subject of
transposition seriously, because they have no idea of the lines along
which to work. They all agree that the knowledge would be most useful to
them, especially from the point of view of song accompaniment, but the
path seems to be beset by so many difficulties, and the results of their
first attempts are so pitifully small, that they generally give up all
hope, and all effort. Then again, some of the books published on the
subject are not very helpful to the average student. Some of them seem
to start with the assumption that the student is very musical, and can
do a great deal by instinct. They therefore give only the roughest
directions. Others begin sensibly enough, but leave out so many steps in
the work that a student may be forgiven for throwing them aside in
despair.

Now there are three chief reasons why the musician would do well to
study transposition:

1. For the purpose of song accompaniment.

2. As an aid to committing music to memory, especially that written in a
form where different keys are used for the presentment of the same
material.

3. As an infallible test of a sound 'general' musical education.

The last reason is not often advocated, but a little thought will show
that it is impossible for the average student, not specially gifted in
any way, to transpose even an easy piece of music at sight on the piano,
without proving the possession of a trained ear and a knowledge of
practical harmony. For class work with children it can be made a still
more valuable test of progress. For the average child will be quite
unable to transpose a simple ear test--such as _d f m l s t, d_--on the
piano, from one key to another, say a fifth away, without a good deal of
accurate knowledge.

The first exercises in transposition will be very simple--any child of
seven or eight years old, who can sing at sight, and take down ear
tests, in the keys of C and G major, can be expected to do them. They
consist in:

1. Singing any well-known hymn-tune, or simple melody of the Folk Song
type, using the Sol-fa names of the notes. It should be sung phrase by
phrase, until every child in the class is sure of the correct notes.

2. The children should now go in turn to the piano, and each play a
phrase of the melody, first in C major, then in G.

It is important to emphasize the fact that the tune must be well known
to them, or an extra difficulty will be introduced.

As the children learn more and more keys, these tunes should be
transposed into them.

Provided the class does not consist of picked musical children, there
will always be a few in it who do not learn the piano. This work will
be one of their opportunities for learning a little about it.
Interesting results have been obtained from such children, if the
teacher is enthusiastic and ready to help.

By the time that the class has begun the study of three-part chords the
transposition will become more and more interesting, as sequences of
chords can now be transposed. When the first steps in extemporizing on
the piano are begun, the transposition advances by leaps and bounds. The
children will be delighted to play their little tonic and dominant
accompaniments in every key--to change from major to tonic minor by
flattening the third and sometimes the sixth of the scale.

There is a sense of freedom and power in such work, to which the class
will readily respond. They soon realize that certain melodies 'only
sound nice' in such and such a key, and in this way the foundation of a
'colour sense' will be laid. Also, apart from the question of the key in
which a melody sounds best to a child, another point comes into notice.
The child cannot sing certain notes in certain melodies unless it keeps
within a certain range of keys. This teaches them something. The point
has been referred to in the preceding chapter.

Altogether it will be seen that the study of transposition is opening a
new window for them into the fairyland of music.

Later on, when a child can compose short harmonized tunes of its own, it
is well to hold up the ideal of being able to transpose them into any
key, and in certain cases, where the melody lends itself to the
treatment, from major to minor, and vice versa. This work must of course
be voluntary, but a child is well rewarded when it finds that it is only
the first step which costs, and that the second of such tunes is so much
easier to transpose than the first!

And the time comes when a child will sit down to the piano, and will
extemporize quite happily either in F major or in F[#] major, whichever
is suggested. Such work is well worth any initial trouble taken--it is a
combined process of ear and mind which has a far-reaching educational
effect.

The last stage of all in this work consists in transposing at sight from
the printed page. Hitherto the ear and the mind have been chiefly
employed, but now the _eye_ must be trained to do its share.

It is found useful to make children say the names of the chords aloud
when they are beginning this sort of transposition. The habit sets up a
connecting link between the various faculties in use, in some curious
way. The eye can help by noting the intervals between successive notes
in the various parts, and especially in the outer parts. It sees the
general drift of the piece before the mind comes into play--the coming
modulations and so on. In fact, it is not too much to say that it is
best, in certain musical phrases, to rely on the eye alone, e.g. rapid
decorative passages, which are not always easy to analyse at first
sight.

A word of warning must now be given. Those who attempt 'short cuts' in
this work will certainly come to grief, unless they are born with the
faculty--undoubtedly possessed by a few--of being able to transpose by a
sort of instinct. Such people are fortunate, but it is not our present
task to attempt to guide them. We are concerned with the average child,
taught in fairly large classes, in the ordinary school curriculum, and
with only a very limited amount of time at our disposal.



CHAPTER XII

GENERAL HINTS ON TAKING A LESSON IN EAR-TRAINING


All those who teach ear-training should keep a book in which they write
on one side of the page the proposed scheme of work for each lesson, and
on the other the actual work done. All sorts of things may happen in the
course of the lesson to upset the proposed scheme. The children may find
the new work easier, or more difficult than was expected, a question
from a child may suddenly reveal a piece of ignorance which necessitates
a digression--every teacher is aware of the 'unknown quantities' in
class work. Unless the proposed scheme of work is checked by what is
done in each lesson, there will be difficulties later.

Again, each lesson must form a definite link between past and future
lessons. It is often a temptation to a teacher of initiative to draw
attention to a new aspect of the subject, in which she happens to be
specially interested at the time, when the previous work is not in a fit
state to be left, even for two or three lessons. Something happens to
make her realize this, and the new piece of work is hurriedly
left--suspended in mid-air, as it were--and is not referred to again
until an accident recalls it to her mind. Such teaching certainly has
the charm of novelty to a class, but we must remember that one of the
faults of childhood is an undue readiness to pass on quickly to learn
'something new' before the previous work is secure.

In taking a lesson the teacher should aim at speaking in her ordinary
voice. Inexperienced people sometimes imagine that it is necessary to
shout when speaking in a fairly large room. But provided the voice is
clear, and the articulation good, a low voice carries just as well as a
loud one, and certainly produces a greater sense of repose.

Another fault to avoid is monotony of tone--we need 'modulations' in
speaking just as much as in music, and a class is keenly, though often
unconsciously, susceptible to this. A change of position is helpful. The
voice of the mistress will brighten at once if she comes down from the
platform and walks about a little. But she must never turn her back on a
class when actually telling them something. Musical people, who have not
the same experience in such matters as the ordinary teacher, constantly
do this, and will even hide the greater part of a blackboard when
pointing to notes of a tune.

In beginning a lesson the maximum effort will be gained if communal work
be taken before individual, i.e. sight-singing before dictation,
extemporizing, &c. The reason for this is obvious, a certain momentum is
thus generated, which is impossible later, when the force has been
diffused.

Before a tune is sung at sight the class should analyse it, giving the
key, time signature, starting note, modulations, sequences, general
construction, &c. Remind the children from time to time that the last
sharp in a signature gives the _te_ in a key, the last flat the _fah_;
that when modulating to the dominant key the _fe_ of the first key
becomes the _te_ of the second, in going from a key to its subdominant
_taw_ becomes _fah_, for the relative minor _se_ becomes _te_, and for
the relative major _taw_ becomes _soh_. Also that if in a minor key
_taw_ occurs in an ascending scale passage, or is taken or left by leap,
it is a sign of a modulation to the relative major.

In starting the tune the tonic chord is played, and the teacher beats a
whole bar, together with a fraction of the next if the tune begins on an
off-beat, before the class takes it up.

Do not _tap_ time when beating: it cultivates a habit of inattention on
the part of a class. Nor should the teacher beat time when the class is
doing so, unless for a moment, to correct an error. One reason for this
is that if the time signature be anything but [2/4] or [6/8], the
teacher's arm moves in a different direction in certain beats from that
of the class facing her, and this is most confusing.

Never correct a mistake by singing the right note yourself. This would
be teaching by imitation--as we teach a bird to sing a tune--not
teaching by method.

Remember that we are not aiming at artistic performance in a
sight-singing class, so do not hammer away at a tune until the
performance of it has reached your ideal. If you do, your aim is
'performance'--not sight-singing.

If a child makes a mistake in dictation, do not tell it what is wrong,
unless you are very short of time. Get it to sing the phrase it has
written to Sol-fa names--in this way it will find out its own mistake.

In writing notes, either on the blackboard or on manuscript paper, it is
not necessary to fill up all the space between the lines, as is done in
printed music. If children are allowed to do this, they will spend a
long time over their exercises. Teach them to turn all tails of notes
_up_ which are written on lines or spaces below the third line, and
_down_ for those above. The direction of the tails of notes on the third
line itself will depend on the context. These directions refer, of
course, to the writing of melodies. It is often necessary to remind even
grown-up students that accidentals must be placed _before_ the note
affected, not after it; also that a dot after a note which is written on
a line must come on the space next above, not on the line itself.
Children often forget that the leading note in a minor key invariably
carries an accidental.

We must now say a little on the subject of revision. It is a fault of
the young teacher that she often entirely neglects this, with the result
that her class can only sing accurately at sight, and do dictation in,
the last key learned. During the first few lessons in a new key it is
certainly inadvisable to give exercises in the preceding ones, as the
whole attention must be concentrated on the new tonality. But other keys
should be taken at least once in three weeks. An impatient person may
say: 'But properly taught children could not forget so soon!' Yet, at
times, we are all hazy on almost any subject, but it does not follow
that we are either fools, or badly taught: we are simply human! After
all, machines get out of order, so why not the most complicated machine
of all--the human mind?

Again, it is only the inexperienced teacher who thinks her class has
been badly taught by her predecessor. Many a student in training is
inclined, after the first lesson with a new class, to come to the
distracting conclusion that the children know 'nothing'. This generally
means that, after the holidays, the former work needs a little revision
before new work is begun.

In taking a fairly advanced class a teacher is often worried because
there is not enough time in a single forty-minute lesson a week to touch
on all of such subjects as chords, cadences, extemporizing,
transposition, &c., in addition to sight-singing and dictation. It is
certainly quite impossible to do so, and this is one of the reasons for
apparently slow progress. But there is, however, a good side to the
difficulty, for such work ought not to be hurried, and it is well to
leave a little breathing space between the references to it.

Teachers are sometimes heard to speak with regret of the high spirits of
their classes, which lead to restlessness. But we should never regret
_force_ in a child, and we must realize that all pent-up force needs a
safety-valve. It must be our business to direct such force into safe
channels. Keep the children really busy, give them plenty to do, and
there will be no cause to regret their vitality.



CHAPTER XIII

THE TEACHING OF THE PIANO


It is impossible, within the limits of a chapter, to do more than dwell
on a few practical points connected with the teaching and organization
of this work in a school. As was said in the preceding chapter, the
ideal for all young children who are about to learn the piano is that
they should first go through a short course of ear-training. If this be
done, the progress in the first year's work will be about three times
what it would otherwise be. If the ear-training be done along the lines
suggested in earlier chapters, the child will have been taught to sing
easy melodies at sight, she will have approached the question of time by
means of the French time names, she will have learned to beat time with
the proper conductor's beat, to find notes on the piano, and, what is
more important, to know these notes by sound, in relation to fixed
notes.

In this way some of the processes which a child goes through in
beginning to learn the piano are taken one at a time, in company with
other children, and are therefore not hurried.

When the time has come to begin the piano, the child should join a
_class_ for this for one year. Such a class should not exceed six in
number. During this time she will add to her knowledge the first
principles of fingering, will play easy exercises for fingers, wrist,
&c., and will learn a few easy pieces and duets.

From the very first she will be taught to analyse a piece before she
begins to play it--she will find out the key, time, cadences, sequences,
passages of imitation, modulations, &c. If the melody be within the
range of the child's voice she will then sing it, beating time as she
does so. After these preliminaries it is only a question of technique to
learn to play it. The last stage will consist in learning the piece by
heart. The day has long gone by when it was considered a sign of
exceptional musical gift to be able to do this. All experienced teachers
know that, provided a child is having its ear trained by some such
method as that suggested above, it can learn a piece of music by heart
almost entirely away from the piano. That is to say, instead of the
wearisome repetitions which were formerly necessary before a piece could
be played by heart, it is possible, directly the technique is mastered,
and in many cases before this is done, to learn the piece away from the
piano. The benefit of this is obvious, and the nerves, both of the
player and of the unwilling listeners, are the gainers.

A little thought will show that it should be no more difficult for
average children to learn a piece of music by heart in this way, than
for them to learn a piece of prose or poetry by heart. The initial steps
are exactly the same--the language has to be known, and it is then a
question of memory, and memory alone. Who would think of learning poetry
by heart by the process of repeating it aloud a hundred or more times?
Yet this is what was formerly done in the case of music.

Sixty years ago no girl was considered educated who could not play the
piano a little. Since then a reaction has begun to set in. The standard
of playing has gone up to such a degree that parents are often heard to
say that their child is not musical enough for it to be worth while to
teach it an instrument. This is a pity. Music is used so much in our
daily life that we cannot do without our 'average performers'. The
soldier marches best to a tune, the sailor heaves his anchor to a song,
the ritual of all forms of religion needs the aid of music; we need it,
not only in the pageantry of our processions, but in the solemn crises
of life and death. For these purposes artists of the first rank are not
necessary.

Every child, however apparently unmusical, should be given its chance,
at any rate up to the age of twelve years. During this time, the stress
should be placed, for the unmusical child, not so much on perfection of
technique, but on the ability of playing easy pieces really well, and to
read at sight such things as duets, song accompaniments, &c.

If, in addition, the children have joined an ear-training class, they
will, at any rate, be intelligent listeners for the rest of their lives
to other people's playing.

For all children, sight reading should form part, not only of every
lesson, but of every day's practice. Many books for sight reading have
been published, well graded, some of them beginning with little pieces
in the treble clef only, and going on to advanced tests. The following
are a few, selected from many other excellent ones:

Schäfer (3 vols., published by Augener).

Hilliard (5 vols., published by Weekes).

Somervell (2 vols., published by Augener and Weekes respectively).

Taylor (1 vol., published by Bosworth).

As a child will need more than one such book in the course of her study,
and as she cannot play the same test twice, a plan has been made in some
schools for the music to be sold second-hand from one pupil to another,
through the medium of a mistress, in the same way in which ordinary
school books are sometimes passed on. This reduces the expense of
constantly having to buy new books for sight reading. Another plan is to
establish a lending library, each child to pay 2_d._ or 3_d._ a term.

In the teaching of 'pieces' music mistresses should bear in mind that
children must, from time to time, revise those which they have finished.
Nothing is more irritating to a parent than to be told by a child that
it has 'nothing to play' to a visitor. The mistress who is anxious to
get a pupil on as quickly as possible often overlooks this point, and an
entirely wrong impression is given of the child's progress to the
parent.

We now come to the vexed question of the interpretation of music by
children. An interesting point can be noted about the practice of the
early classical composers. They were accustomed to give the minimum
amount of indication as to tempo and general detail for the performance
of their works.

And to what conclusion does this lead us? Surely this--that these giants
in music recognized the necessity for every performer of their works to
express _themselves_ through the music, subject to the broad conditions
laid down by the composer. As Hegel said: 'Music is the most subjective
of all arts.' And is it not true that it is this constant necessity for
personal interpretation, so strongly felt by the majority of artists,
which gives the permanent interest to music?

We say, 'by the majority of artists', for now and then we meet an artist
who seems to have strayed from the path of beauty, and who is devoting
his energies to an ascetic determination to keep alive one particular
interpretation of a composer's work, or works; who dictates these
interpretations to his pupils, and who talks of other artists who feel
the bounden duty of self-expression through the said works as
'outsiders', and 'not in the cult'. Such musicians do not appear to see
that such an attitude is 'idolatry' pure and simple. They have not
pondered the well-known anecdote of Brahms, who, when asked by a singer
whether his interpretation of one of his songs was 'the right one',
answered: 'It is one of the many hundred possible interpretations.'

A word must now be said on the organization of instrumental work in the
school. It is important that this should be in the hands of one person,
who will not only keep a supervising eye on questions of method, choice
of music, lengths of lessons and practising, &c., but who will evolve
some means of testing the progress of the pupils every term, in the same
way in which their progress is tested in other subjects. The progress of
the individual pupil should not be a secret between herself and her
particular mistress!

It is a good plan to arrange a short recital every term in a school, at
which from twenty to twenty-five pupils should play at a time. Such
recitals should not exceed more than 1-1/4 hours in length. Nothing is
more wearisome to the outsider than to listen to amateur performances
which stretch out to two and sometimes to three hours' length. If the
above plan be adopted, no child will be able to play more than one short
piece. A mistress who is ambitious for the success of a few specially
gifted pupils will sometimes suggest that a recital shall consist of the
performance of two or three of these only, and that each pupil should
play more than once.

Such suggestions should be frowned at.

What we want, if we have an educational end in view, is not so much to
give the few musical children in a school the opportunity of gaining
experience in playing in public, and indirectly of showing their
progress to an admiring audience, but we want to give every music pupil
in turn the same opportunity.

All children need experience before they can play to others in such a
way that they not only do themselves justice, but give pleasure to
their listeners.

Pieces played at such recitals should invariably be by heart. The
nervous pupil may possibly break down at her first appearance, but she
will be quickly succeeded by a more confident player, the little victim
of 'nerves' will be soon forgotten, and the experience gained in this
way is invaluable.

Before a recital a rehearsal should be held in the same room in which
the recital is to take place. Few people seem to realize the immense
difference made to children by a change of environment at such a time.
The pupil who will play her piece on the piano without one mistake to
her mistress, and in the room to which she is used, will often be
troubled at playing it on another piano, and in another room.

A child was once known to break down in an evening recital, and when
asked the reason, said: 'I have never played that piece before with a
candle near me, and I didn't like the shadows on the piano.'

This sort of remark gives a real insight into the child mind.

Another small point may be mentioned. In the lessons just before a
recital the mistress should go to the end of the room in which the
lesson is given, while the child is playing her recital piece, in order
that her supporting presence near the child may not be missed at the
recital.

The recital will probably be followed by some form of reception by the
school authorities of the parents of the pupils. No teacher should miss
this opportunity of getting to know the parents of her pupils. A
friendly talk over the progress, or lack of progress of a child will
often result in sympathetic help being given at home, and, in any case,
the teacher will probably learn something about the character and home
environment of the child which will help her in her work.

Partly owing to lack of time, and partly because some pieces will not be
ready, a certain number of children will not be able to play at the
school recital. Such children should be gathered together at the end of
the term, and should play to the mistress who organizes the work. In
this way they too will gain experience, and a little focus will have
been made for their work.

We must add one final suggestion. Each music mistress should keep a
register, in which she notes not only the names of her pupils, the times
of their lessons, absences, late arrivals, &c., but an exact list of all
the work done by them, with dates. This is invaluable, not only for
gauging their progress, but as a means of quickly ascertaining their
work in musical literature. It is, alas! a day of examinations, and with
the many little books of studies and pieces which have to be got up for
outside examinations there is a serious fear of the systematic education
of a child in classical musical literature being interrupted, or, at any
rate, put on one side for a time. Such a book makes it possible for the
mistress to keep a definite scheme of work in view for each pupil, and
the busier the mistress, the more she will need some such aid to her
memory.

The pupil should also keep a register, in which she notes the exact
amount of time spent daily in practising, and the way in which she
divides it. This book should be brought to each music lesson, and should
also be shown to the supervising mistress at the end of each term.



CHAPTER XIV

SUGGESTIONS TO STUDENTS ON LEAVING
A TRAINING DEPARTMENT


In finishing a course of training along the lines we have been
considering, it is well to take a bird's-eye view of what has been done.

In all communal work the results fall roughly under two heads:

1. The getting of new ideas, and of new ways of presenting old ideas.

2. The development of character, due to the mixing with fellow students
and with those who are directing the work.

So far as the actual work is concerned, stress has been laid on the
following:

1. The necessity of considering music as a language.

2. Various methods for teaching in accordance with this idea.

3. The principle of the inclusion of the work in the regular curriculum
of schools, with class treatment.

In the short space of one year, which is all that can be generally
spared by the student, it is impossible for her to realize the full
bearing of all that has been done. It is only when we see such work in
perspective, after the lapse of a little time, when it has been possible
to work out at leisure some of the practical points involved, that we
can perceive all the ground covered.

Many students have experienced considerable difficulty at first in doing
themselves what they have seen children do, who have been trained along
these lines, i.e. to write down two-, three-, or four-part exercises in
dictation, to transpose at sight, to extemporize without hesitation at
the piano, &c. The feeling of working against time, of examinations to
be passed, of discouragement at apparently slow progress, has possibly
produced a state of mental indigestion, and the only cure for this is
Time, the universal doctor.

The student is now at the point of entering a new sphere of work. The
instrument has been sharpened. How is the application to be directed? A
word of warning is necessary. The young and enthusiastic teacher, fresh
from the inspiration of a year's work with those interested in her
development, is too often apt to be over-rigid in enforcing a new
presentment of ideas.

'This way, or no way!' is her cry.

Now all sound educational work must possess an intrinsic quality of
pliability: it must grow, expand, and be capable of development in a
hundred ways. Small points of method must be adjusted to the particular
class and pupil, and a generous recognition of the useful parts of other
people's 'methods' will be the surest way of obtaining recognition of
our own ideals. Provided a firm attitude be maintained on essentials, it
is often possible to compromise on minor details. Above all, an open
mind must be preserved in the presence of advice, however
inexperienced. Many a young teacher has failed in her first post because
she has given the impression to those in authority that there is one,
and one only, way in which she can do her work--one, and one only,
possible scheme of division of classes and hours for lessons.

An arrangement far short of the ideal must often be accepted, with a
courteous protest, but it will assuredly be modified later by the
authorities when the teacher has won confidence by arousing the interest
and enthusiasm of the pupils, and by showing good results from the
lessons.

Has not every new presentment of every subject in the school curriculum
been greeted with the same chorus of depreciation at first? Why should
music, the latest arrived of the subjects on the regular curriculum,
fare differently?

Remember that the head of a school has often to keep in mind, not only
his or her ideals in education, but the wishes of a governing body and
of the parents.

A short demonstration of work done under imperfect conditions will often
throw a flood of light on the aims of an enthusiastic teacher, who has
been struggling in difficult surroundings. 'I had no idea you were doing
all _this_ with the children' has been the admiring comment of more than
one former unsympathetic critic, and conditions are at once altered in a
generous spirit.

Above all, the young teacher must remember that it is of the first
importance not to lose her enthusiasm for the work. She must keep
herself up to date by being in touch with general musical life outside
her immediate circle. She should belong to a musical society, and take
every opportunity of attending lectures, &c. She should organize musical
clubs and meetings among her pupils, and encourage a healthy attitude of
kindly criticism.

And, finally, she must be always working at something to do with her own
music, for directly she ceases to put herself, from time to time, in the
attitude of the learner, she will cease to be a sympathetic and
stimulating teacher.

It is a good plan to keep a musical diary, in which our own progress and
that of our pupils is recorded, together with notes on current musical
events--concerts attended, and so on. Such a record is most useful for
reference, and for encouragement in dark hours, when it seems impossible
to re-establish a lost sense of proportion.

PRINTED IN ENGLAND
AT THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS





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