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The Habit of Correcting.

The majority of pupils do not realize that many of their difficulties are chiefly and di­rectly the result of their own negligence. However persistent the conscientious teacher may be in his efforts to impress this truth upon his pupils, his reward is rarely commensurate with his efforts and his patience. It is quite natural that very young pupils, or beginners, should rely upon the teacher to discover their innumerable blunders; and it is equally natural that an inex­perienced player is incapable of recognizing and cor­recting the majority of his technical mistakes. But it is not the ignorant and comparatively helpless beginner that we have in mind. We allude to all those players who have not only mastered the rudi­ments of violin-playing, but who are sufficiently far advanced in the art to think and act with some de­gree of intelligence and independence. It is these players who make the teachers’ work unnecessarily difficult, ladening themselves, at the same time, with many avoidable burdens.

Most pupils—even the gifted ones—easily contract the habit of disregarding technical errors. It is a habit of rapid growth, and invariably proves one of the most stubborn enemies to progress The intel­ligent player knows, as a rule, his blunders and in­efficiencies, but he foolishly imagines that immediate correction or improvement is not imperative. He postpones, for a more “convenient” time, work of vital importance, or even persuades himself into be­lieving that his short-comings are mere accidents that will not again occur. He does not appreciate the importance of immediately correcting his mis­takes, nor does he realize that negligence is a habit of alarming growth and yet more alarming results.

The habit of correcting is easily formed, and its advantages are incalculable. The pupil who looks to himself, not to his teacher, to discover and cor­rect his technical blunders has grasped one of the most important principles of music-study.

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You are reading The Habit of Correcting. from the May, 1902 issue of The Etude Magazine.

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