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tion in public schools: (1) a proper use of the voice; (2) a knowledge of the relative pitch of sounds; (3) a knowledge of their relative length. I have placed, these topics in the order of their importance, and in the order in which they should be taken up in teaching this subject. No part of the work is so important as the proper management of the voice. People generally have no idea of the charming effect of young, fresh voices when combined in part-singing, because they seldom or never hear them properly used. So keenly do I feel the importance of this subject, which is so far-reaching in its consequences, that I dare not commence a discussion of it here. I must take time, however, to say that we cannot expect to work any great general change in the use of the voice in singing so long as it is used so noisily and harshly in recitations in the school-room.

I am very glad to see in the June number of The Century an article by Mr. Tomlins, of Chicago, which shows a movement in the right direction. Let a proper standard of using the voice be once estab. lished in our public schools, and that class of “voice-builders," who are really voice-destroyers, will be obliged to seek some other employment. When I see the possessor of a naturally beautiful voice paying three dollars a lesson for having all the beauty and flexibility taken out of it, and substituting therefor a harsh, rigid, forced quality of voice, — in fact, everything sacrificed to compass and noise, - I must confess to feelings of sadness and pity. This is not an exaggeration, for I know of many just such cases. Childhood is the golden time for learning all studies, including music and the proper use of the voice. I am often asked at what age the voice should be trained. My reply is, if properly exercised in singing, the younger the better. If, on the other hand, the training is to be done by one of that class of teachers who seem to think that the Creator has made a grand mistake, and that everything is wrong from the start, and must be fixed by them before any progress can be made, the longer the training is deferred the better.

Upon the development of a conception of the relative pitch and length of sounds will depend our ability to sing. How shall a conception of the relative pitch of sounds be taught? In training the mind through the eye to a perception of color or number, there is but one process by which a knowledge of the things to be known can be acquired, while there is one uniform naming of the facts taught. If this were true of music there would be no difficulty in establishing a uniform method of teaching the subject the same as in color or number. The whole difficulty of teaching this subject has come from the confusion caused by mixing and naming what is known as

relative and positive pitch. Before any real and general progress can be made in the teaching of this subject, two facts must be established : First, that all knowledge that can be acquired of what is known as positive pitch is of no practical value in singing at sight, any further than the convenience of being able to give the pitch of the key.note as a starting point. Second, that an approximate knowledge of what is understood as positive pitch can be best acquired in singing through relative pitch, by always using a uniform standard and singing the music in the key in which it is written. Many have the impression that they sing by positive pitch, but such is not the case. Players of stringed instruments do not play positive pitch. Keyed instruments, like the piano and organ, play positive pitch and play out of tune. We must have a uniform method of thinking and naming sounds which shall make this whole subject perfectly clear to the mind without the aid of an instrument. So long as the methods of teaching this subject are to be influenced by musicians whose knowledge of music has been gained by hearing it through musical instruments, and whose only qualifications for judging in this matter are that they can teach or play the violin, or some other instrument well and can direct an orchestra, just so long will the teaching of singing in public schools be unsatisfactory.

No one question pertaining to the teaching of this subject has been so much discussed, and upon which so great diversity of opinion exists, as upon the use of the syllables. Shall we have a “fixed do," a “movable do,” or “no do at all”? All these ways of using or not using the syllables have their objections. My position is this,-that all music is written upon the principle of the relation of sounds to each other; that all instruments are tuned upon it, and that singing must be taught upon that principle; consequently anything which prevents the mind from grasping this relation of sounds and gaining a clear conception of them must be avoided. The “ fixed dodoes this, and should not be used. On the other hand, to use the syllables as names of the sounds, and to practice singing with them as such until the singer finds it difficult to think or give the sounds unless he also thinks and sings the syllables, is narrowing in its effects, and prevents that freedom in thinking which every singer should possess.

The syllables are very useful in elementary teaching if properly used. They are also a stumbling-block and a great hindrance if improperly used. They are valuable in giving practice in singing different vowels and consonants, although better ones might be invented. They should be used synonymously with the names of the sounds, but should not be allowed to take the place of the name in thinking. If they are properly used, little children will outgrow them as naturally as they outgrow their garments. The science and art of teaching is in its infancy, especially as applied to the teaching of music. When the same attention and care is given to training the ear to sounds that is given by the best teachers in training the eye to color and number, we shall see a wonderful proficiency in singing. What little training has been given in sounds has been confined to a very narrow range. The scale should be the unit in thinking, and when a vivid mental picture of its different representations upon the staff is clearly established, the pupils should be taught to think instantly the relation of any sound to every key in which it is found. This makes the pupils familiar with the whole subject of modulation and transition, and is not so difficult to acquire as it would seem. We judge the ability of children to think music by our own when our training in thinking sounds has been very narrow and meagre, and our ability very limited indeed in comparison to what it would have been with a broad, systematic training

A practical knowledge of the relation of sounds in all the keys can be more easily taught than the different combinations of numbers up to ten. How shall a conception of the relative length of sounds be established? This can best be accomplished by the use of a Time Language, which shall establish and name the various regular recurring accents, and name definitely the relative length of each sound in the measure. The idea of measuring the length of sounds by a time-language originated in France in 1829. As the scale should be the unit in measuring the relative pitch of sounds, so the measure should be the unit in thinking their relative length. The different mental effects in time comes from the varying accents. One sound standing by itself means nothing musically in either pitch or length. It must be associated with other sounds with which it can be compared before it has any meaning or pitch. It must also have an element of accent or pulsation associated with it before it has any meaning in length. A conception of these accents or pulsation

. should be established with the time-language before they are represented in notes. I am often asked if the children should beat time while singing. My motto is, One thing at a time; first learn to sing in time, before you learn to beat it. It is the mind that makes the hand move ; the hand does not make or help the mind to act, and ths making of a set of motions with the hand for each form of measure, called beating time, is not only useless, but a great hindrance. Formerly, when we considered the relative names of notes, and


measured their value by beats, beating time was considered necessary. If the time-language is properly used it will do away with the necessity of first learning the fractional names of notes, and naming their value by beats.

When the sense of rhythm is well developed it will show itself. It will then be a very easy matter to beat time if desired. A very important matter connected with this subject is the examination. Examinations in music, as usually conducted, induce and encourage bad methods of teaching. They are usually examinations upon notation and theory. In many cases music is left out entirely. I know a city where the examinations in music have not touched upon the ability to sing at all. They have been examinations entirely upon notation and proof reading. What superintendent or school committee would think of sending out a written examination to ascertain how well the pupils could read ? And yet this would be sensible when compared with a written examination in singing. Just so long as a teacher knows that her reputation as a teacher of music, and the standing of her class, depends upon the per cent. of correct answers to be written out upon the transposition of scales, notation, and theory, just so long will they be very likely to get a hundred per cent. in their examinations, and know little or nothing about music. By music I mean sounds and their combinations, and not inventions for representing them. I would not be understood as ignoring the importance of a knowledge of the notation; while it is important, it is a secondary matter.

To spend time in teaching the names of characters used in representing musical ideas before the ideas themselves are established, is wrong. The names of characters should be learned incidentally by talking about them, in connection with practice. We have attached too much importance to the names of signs of things, and have lost sight of the things themselves. Not a single question need be asked about the notation that is not immediately preceded by the sound to which it refers. Apply this rule and you will keep the ear in training all the while; and if you know how and when to ask the questions, your pupils will not only know the notation, but can sing from it.

All the teacher can do is to guide the children in their thinking and practice, and the teacher who has not learned to do this has not learned the art of true teaching. I am inclined to think that the only limit to what can be taught children in mnsic is the ability of the teacher. Dr. Lowell Mason, in his day, did a great work in spreading a knowledge of music among the people of New England.

Through his influence and others associated with him, New England, twenty-five years ago, could boast of more good readers of music than any other like area in the world. With the rapid increase in the number of musical instruments, and the large increase and importation of instrumentalists, that old New-England institution, the singing-school, which was the backbone of the strong mental growth in music twenty-five years ago, has been crowded out. I appreciate the great value of musical instruments as a means of advancing musical culture; there should be a good musical instrument in every household, but these instruments should not be used for “cramming in music, and thereby prevent that mental activity and growth from within which comes from a proper exercise of the mind in thinking music rather than merely hearing and imitating it. Musical training in singing should precede and prepare the pupil for instruction upon musical instruments.

When on the assembling of any considerable number of singers (either children or adults) it is found necessary to disregard all arrangement of the singers that will enhance the vocal effects in order to accommodate a large orchestra, which shall constitute the chief attraction and upon which the conductor can depend to pull the singers through, something is wrong and should be corrected. Whenever an orchestra is employed in connection with chorus-singing, it should be subordinate to the singing, and if the singers cannot sustain themselves without the orchestra they should not appear at all. The foundation for independence in singing should be laid very early in life. This must be done in the public schools, and can best be accomplished by a short daily lesson ; and in order to accomplish this successfully the regular teacher must be brought into requisition. To Mr. Luther Whiting Mason belongs the credit of introducing the regular teacher as the teacher of music, under proper supervision. Animated by a true Christian missionary spirit, he has worked incessantly with but one object in view, and that the good of the cause. His has been a pioneer work in the right direction. And it is in this direction that we must study to improve the teaching of music in our public schools. Then, with skillful instruction and supervision, music will soon take its normal place as a refining and elevating influence in moulding the character of the young.

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