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it very desirable that we should come to a uniform recognition of the underlyiug truths and principles involved in the work. In other words, we need to formulate for our own use, and to give to the world a “body of educational doctrine," or a “schoolmaster's creed," in regard to the fundamentals. If I mistake not, we are making good progress in this respect, but the work is, by no means, done yet ; and it is the especial business of workers in normal schools to carry it forward to its completion. Finally, let me say that the work of any school is very defective,

, as it seems to me, if it stops with the mere gathering and imparting of facts, of ideas, of knowledge, in these several departments of its work. It is the business of the teacher to do. There is but one sure way of gaining the power to do, – that is, by doing. Hence, training, practice, should be found in all the stages of the work of a normal school. In respect to the work of the normal schools, then, I assert :

1. That they should make their pupils acquainted with human nature,-in its capacities, tendencies, wants, and limitations, especially as these appear in the life of the child;

2. That the subject matter of instruction should receive attention to any extent that may be necessary; and that I believe that the ideal normal school will not omit it altogether;

3. That the study of method and modes ought to make up a large part of the work of these schools ;

4. That, while it would be foolish to attempt uniformity in detail, it is desirable that there be uniformity in adherence to underlying principles, and that a body of educational doctrine should be formulated and disseminated ;

5. That the work of training, or practice, should have a prominent place in all our normal schools ;

6. And, in addition to what has been said already, that every normal school should awaken in its pupils a genuine enthusiasm respecting the work of teaching, and a true professional feeling, or esprit

de corps.

Are these assertions of mine true or false? Are there other things equally fundamental which I have overlooked ?

How shall we best settle these questions, and others that may arise?

When we clearly see what we want to work out in our schools, how shall we arrive at better modes of working ?

How shall we bring the truth that we know before the people so as to do them the most good, and to move them to give us the most assistance in our efforts to bless the coming generations ?

MUSIC IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

BY H. E. HOLT.

Skill in teaching is yearly becoming more and more appreciated. Great changes and improvements in methods of presentation have been made, but, as in all other branches of study, the success of music in our public schools will depend upon the skill and proficiency of the teacher. .No other subject is suffering more in consequence of unskillful teaching than that of music. This will continue to be the case until we realize that a special preparation for this work is absolutely necessary outside of a musical education. Unless we can furnish trained teachers from the musical profession to take charge of this branch of public instruction,—those who understand the true philosophy of teaching, and can direct the regular teachers intelligently in their work,—we shall see the teaching of music pass into the hands of the teaching profession. The public will demand better results than have been obtained, when it is known what can be accomplished. If the results of teaching music in our public schools have not been satisfactory, it becomes us to ascertain the cause and apply the proper remedy. · Nearly all attempts to improve the teaching of this subject have been in the direction of simplifying the notation ; devices for making it easy for the learner to acquire a knowledge of the signs of musical ideas rather than the ideas themselves are numerous.

The patent note system, where the shape of the note indicates its name; the letter or tonic sol-fa notation ; also the French or figure notation-these are all illustrations, showing the direction in which people have been studying to improve the teaching of music. I do not say that these devices have not been useful, but I do say that they have been useful only as crutches for lame teachers. The time has come when we should ascertain the best methods of presenting and naming music itself. When we do this there will be no difficulty with the notation. Too many teachers fail in getting a clear notion of what teaching music really means. To many teachers of musical instruments it means the teaching of certain signs and characters, and training the pupils to a skillful manipulation of the instrument. To such an extent have we become dependent upon instruments for our musical training, and so stultifying is the effect of having a musical instrument at hand to do our thinking for us, that we have become mere imitators of musical instruments. Only those who are positively musical by nature will learn, by playing an instrument, to imagine correctly how a piece of music will sound which they never have heard. There will always be differences of opinion with regard to the teaching and naming of sounds so long as there are two distinct mental processes by which a knowledge of sounds may be acquired.

To the learner, without the aid of instruments every sound has two names by which it is known,—the relative-name, which is the guide in singing, and the positive-name, used in playing musical instruments. If human beings could be tuned like musical instruments, to always give precisely the same pitch regardless of the relation of sounds, the relative name might be dispensed with. As this is impossible, we find ourselves obliged to think by the relative name, and use the instrument name or symbol for our representation. This is very easily accomplished by associating the instrument name with the name in singing, simply as a fact, so closely that the two become inseparable. Any device by which the teacher can hold the attention of the pupils, and keep them interested in the practice of relative sounds, will be profitable up to a certain degree of proficiency; after which all practice should be so conducted as to create a mental picture of the true representation of the pitch of each sound as it stands upon the staff. Nor is this at all difficult to accomplish when the process, which is very simple, is understood by the teacher. This subject has been taught in such a way as to give the pupil the impression that there were thirteen, more or less, different major scales to be learned. This has been brought about by teaching the mathematical construction of the scale in its different positions upon the staff, and by making a study of the names of these different positions the important thing to be known. In teaching this whole subject of singing at sight, we should teach the simple faots, name them orally, and give practice upon them before the representation is given; and when the representation is given, it should be a true one of all the ideas taught. A knowledge of sounds should be established by presenting, comparing, and naming them to the ear as relative mental objects, on precisely the same principle that the eye should be trained to number with material objects. We should never forget that in teaching music we are not only teaching that which we cannot see, but that of which we can give no idea by any picture or drawing. In teaching music we must deal with the reality. No idea of the pitch or length of sounds can be obtained by studying the characters which represent their pitch or length.

All knowledge of musical notation, or the names of characters used in representing either the pitch or length of sounds, is of no value so long as a conception of their pitch or length is wanting. In teaching singing at sight, we are teaching two conceptions,-a conception of the relative pitch of sounds, and of their relative length. A sense of rhythm or recurring accents can only be awakened and developed by hearing such rhythms or accents. When I think of the time wasted in attempting to reach the mind with music through the eye, making the study of music a drudgery and a thing to be dreaded, when it should be a source of the greatest pleasure and delight, a feeling of sadness comes over me which I cannot express. Not long since a lady, with large experience in teaching music in public schools, visited me in Boston to witness my manner of teaching. In speaking of the improvements made in teaching time, she said, “I don't know how many pecks of apples I have cut up to make the children understand the difference in value of the half, quarter, and eighth notes.” Now this was a conscientious, hard-working teacher who no doubt intended to do thorough work.

Another teacher of large experience (and this was a gentleman) gives his youngest pupils all the different kinds of notes, from the whole to the thirty-second note, with their corresponding rests, together with the staff, clef, and letters on the staff, to learn first, as a preparation for singing. Another teacher would take the first half of the year to teach notation and theory, and the last half for singing. The lady above referred to, I learned, was a recent and very enthusiastic convert to the Tonic Sol-fa system, which, of course, does away with the necessity of cutting up apples. The gentlemen were not converts to that system. Now, I wish to say, in all sincerity, that if there are teachers of music in public schools who have no clearer conception of teaching the subject than these illustrations would indicate, and who are taking the precious time of little children to create a dislike for music by presenting the dry mathematics of the notation, they should do one of three things, - either learn how to teach, take up some other employment, or, if they must teach music and can do nothing else, why take the figure or letter notation. A thorough knowledge of educational principles and training in the true philosophy of teaching is of much more importance to the teacher than a thorough knowledge of music gained in the ordinary way without such training.

I would not be understood to undervalue the importance of thorough musical education. We need all the musical culture that can be obtained from all sources, but this alone, however great, will not insure good teachers. The teacher should direct the pupils in their thinking and practice, while they go on developing and gaining command of their musical powers until they gain command of the whole subject. What not to teach should be as seriously considered as the question of how best to teach the essential things to be known. The mistaken notion that it was necessary to teach the “complications of the notation" and the mathematics of musical theory, in connection with singing at sight, has been a great hindrance in teaching this subject.

To teach a proper use of the voice, and give pupils command of their musical powers until they acquire the ability to sing any composition of vocal music at sight, should be the aim and object of all instruction in music in public schools. Everything necessary to enable the pupils to do this intelligently should be taught, and whatever is not necessary should be left out until this ability is acquired. The great influence of music, morally, mentally, and physically, will not be fully realized until the time now wasted over the dry mathematics of the notation and theory is spent in keeping constantly before the mind by practice the essential things to be known, together with their true representations. There should be no questions or explanations on the part of the teacher that are not immediately preceded by the sound to which they refer. The pupils should be kept constantly doing, but this must not consist in working out the mathematical transposition of the scales or in writing scales. The scale should first be indelibly written upon the mind of the pupil by creating a mental picture of its true representation upon the staff through practice in singing it. No time should be spent in writing scales until the pupils can write them by hearing them. But I imagine some teachers will say that writing scales helps to fix them in the mind. My reply would be, that it helps fix the representation in the mind, but not the scale itself.

If a vivid mental picture of the representation of each scale, as it stands upon the staff, has not been established, either the practice has been wrong in quality or insufficient in quantity. The study of music, like everything, is dry and uninteresting to children when considered abstractly and theoretically; but it awakens the greatest interest when the mind is kept in constant contact with music itself. Our methods of teaching music must be brought into harmony with natural laws. Teachers who are familiar with educational principles and the true philosophy of teaching can be left to work out new methods and ways of their own, because they understand what they are doing. Three things are absolutely necessary to good instruc

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