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Music as a Bread Winner for Girls

BY LOUIS LOMBARD.
 
In the musical profession woman stands on a par with man. She is never underpaid simply because she is a woman. Can this be said of young women who earn a precarious living as book-keepers, stenographers or clerks? In the course of her musical career she does not need to part with any of her womanly attributes.
 
The income of the woman who can teach the piano and, perhaps, the violin, or singing, will always be greater than that of her less fortunate sister in the factory or counting room.
 
The theme does not permit me to expatiate on the refining influences of music, but I cannot refrain from saying that a musical education is of greater value than could be expressed by monetary equivalents. She who has acquired moderate skill in music will elevate her entire environment. Her ennobling influence will be felt, whether she live in the hamlet or the metropolis.
 
In hundreds of seminaries and common schools she can earn a good salary. From the church she may derive an income as organist, or singer, which she can add to that from her private pupils. Thus, the young woman who studies only with the view of adding to her accomplishments, acquires a means of livelihood which she would find extremely useful should capricious fortune some day force her to earn her bread.
 
What woman can achieve as composer, or conductor, still remains terra incognita. In this free land, however, where, without overstepping the boundaries of decorum, woman is pitted daily against man in industrial and intellectual contests, is it illogical to infer that the sex that has produced a George Eliot and a Rosa Bonheur will one day give mankind another Chopin?
 
In the United States the musical profession seems, at times, to be the exclusive domain of woman. In our practical country a father fearing to thwart his boy's chances of becoming a Cleveland or a Gould, seldom makes an artist of him. Therefore, notwithstanding the influx of Europeans, the demand for musicians is greater than the supply. Colleges and schools frequently write to directors of conservatories for competent young women music teachers. The music committee of every church wants to find better singers and better organists. And every impresario searches for good voices and good musicians. For these, and other reasons that would tax the reader's patience, I believe that parents of musically inclined daughters cannot invest money more profitably than in their musical education.

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