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Nordica on Practicing.

In a recent number of an English Journal Madam Nordica has contributed the first of two articles entitled “Advice to Young Singers.” There is much sound sense in what the gifted vocalist has written, though, of course, some of it is rather obvious—as advice is apt to be. On the other hand, it is precisely the obvious that the student will not notice, of which the following advice on practicing is an example: “One of the first things that the young pupil will be concerned to know is the amount of daily practice she should devote to her work. Upon this point it is impossible to lay down any hard and fast rule, since it is a matter depending wholly upon the strength, ability, and inclination of the pupil, and should be regulated accordingly. Every girl knows that it is harmful to continue any physical exercise until a sense of weariness sets in. The athlete will tell you that he ceases exercising long before he begins to experience any feeling of exhaustion. The precise analogue is found in vocal culture, although here we have not only a physical exercise,—that of certain muscular cords in the back of the throat,—but also no small demand upon the intelligence, for much thought must be given to the proper tone production and how to obtain it. Therefore the young girl may practice just as long as she feels that she is benefiting herself and not beginning to perceive a sense of weariness. Just as surely as the hours of practice are continued beyond the strength of the pupil, just so surely will she feel the results of it upon the second day. She should, therefore, leave off while she still has a strong desire to continue.”

 

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