Teachers should constantly endeavor to keep their pupils interested, and indeed to make the study of music increasingly interesting. There are so many ways of accomplishing this, that it is difficult to give any code of rules which will be equally efficacious to all.
Scholars differ in tastes and temperament; some are always interested in one phase of music study to the neglect of an equally important phase, while others must of necessity be incited to proper diligence by accessory influences. This is peculiar to young persons between thirteen and seventeen years of age.
One of the great discouragements to a young person is to be obliged to grope in the dark through misapprehension of the subject. This, of course, can be easily remedied by the teacher taking more than ordinary pains in explaining and demonstrating to that pupil, by example and otherwise, what produces the necessary results. It is important to be logical in our reasonings, for the young are thinkers of more or less capacity ; and while they do not, as a rule, reason from cause to effect, they are disposed to try and calculate the cause by analyzing the effect. Their conclusions are liable to be erroneous, unless they are the recipients of careful tuition.
Then, again, there are so many ways of making music appear attractive. Sentiment is a strong force; the sense of future enjoyment as the reward of what they are now doing, will be a great incentive to some minds. But I think the fact that the tide of sentiment has turned musicward, and that no young person’s education is considered complete without a certain theoretical and practical knowledge of music, would be a strong idea to impress on the minds of young pupils.
At any rate, the music teacher who expects to succeed on a large and popular scale, must start out with the idea that she has chosen her profession primarily to make finished musicians out of her scholars, and as a result receive a living compensation.
Parents are getting loath to pay out hard-earned cash for the mere sentiment connected with the study of music. They want to see the finished product, the ripened fruit, the rich persimmon of mastership. And they are willing to pay high for it, as is plainly evidenced by the large price per hour that some master teachers receive.—Record.