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Wait Until Ready To Teach.

BY ROBERT BRAINE.

Many musical students make the mistake of their lives by commencing teaching and other professional work before their own musical studies are completed. It is a sore temptation to a talented young musician not to break off in the middle of his studies and plunge into the maelström of money-making, when pupils, church-work, and concert engagements are offerred (sic) to him. In the case of the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, the law protects the half-fledged student and the public as well, because it will not allow him to practice until he has obtained his degree.

Unfortunately no such law exists in the case of the musical profession; so the student who has taken a few terms of private lessons, or who has attended a conservatory for one or two years, is fully privileged to drop his studies and prey upon the public.

But here is where he makes his mistake, for the student of music who enters the profession before his studies are completed has only two courses open to him: Either he must go through life in the lowest ranks of the profession,—the musical hewer of wood and drawer of water,—receiving the poorest prices for his work, or else he must try to carry on his studies in addition to doing his professional work. This latter course means nervous prostration sooner or later, as the nervous system will not stand the strain of double work. Many a teacher who is a fully equipped musician breaks down under the strain of teaching alone; and again many a concert-artist breaks down with too much practice. How, then, can any human being expect to bear up under the work of teaching and concert-work, and carry on a line of musical study as well, which alone is enough to tax his energies to the utmost?

 

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