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About The Choir-Boy.

The choir-boy, who has evidently come to stay, has ceased to be a distinguishing mark of any particular school of churchmanship. At the longest his life in the choir is eight years; generally it is less.

How do choir-duties affect his general life? They make the boy self-reliant. His powers of observation and concentration are developed. A certain action must be performed at a certain time in a certain way. It may not be done a little before or a little after, but it must be done at exactly the right moment; otherwise it is wrong, and the boy immediately realizes by the results that it is wrong. A careless boy can thus be permanently benefited. To very many boys the choir represents a school of manners. The reverence and formality required in the service are a revelation. Boys who enter a choir with an air of general untidiness soon conform in appearance and manner to their surroundings. Courage, presence of mind, self-control, and a clear head—in fact, all the qualities which go to make up a successful man—are demanded.

During this period the boy is provided for socially by clubs, and, in some instances, by summer camps. The greater the individual effort the boy is permitted to put into his club and its administration, the greater the ultimate and permanent success. Unless it is absolutely wrong, the boy should be encouraged to use his own judgment in his club, even if it does not always seem to be the best judgment of an adult mind. The club and camp can be made the agencies of much good.

During his entire life in the choir the boy is very greatly influenced by the personality of his choirmaster. Both musically and morally many a boy has been made or marred by the training of his choirmaster. Do choirmasters appreciate this fact as much as they should? What effect has his choir-life upon him as a man? The theory of music and the benefits derived from its performance, together with the various forms of music made familiar to the boy, remain with the man. Every man is a better music-listener, is more appreciative of music for having been a choir-boy. The personality of the rector and of the choirmaster determines largely the benefits coming to the man from having been a choirboy. Every church should consider it a part of its Christian work to see that the training received by the boy is such as will best fit him for his life-work as well as for his brief career as a boy-singer.—A. A. Cole, in Musical Record and Review.

 

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