BY ALICE KEACHIE.
Having been a teacher for many years I possess an accumulation of books and music which has become quite a care. This year I determined to dispose of a large quantity in the following manner: I arranged my pupils in classes or grades of from seven to ten members, giving each class two hours in class-room once a week, and charging a small fee for light, heat, etc.
After the usual lesson in musical catechism, and twenty minutes spent with “harmony,” each pupil plays a piece from one of the Etude’s “monthly musicals,” etc., selected the previous week for that purpose. If perfectly played, the book from which the solo has been chosen becomes the pupil’s property. The Etudes, etc., are again brought forward and each member allowed to take another book for the next week. I do not assist in selecting a solo nor help with the study of one, and thus learn how much my pupils can depend on themselves. It surprised me to see a flighty little pupil select a “cradle song,” and still more when it was brought back to class and very well played.
Children often enjoy learning a piece without help, and I find my plan has given much pleasure and profit. When I close my school for the summer vacation a prize will be given the pupil in each class who has earned the largest number of books.
I should have stated that while a solo is being played the members of each class stand in a semicircle behind the player, and readily detect a discord, stumble, or any defect in the performance. This relieves me of all shadow of partiality. I also command perfect silence from the circle while a solo is going on.