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To the Young Teacher

"Without passion," said Theodore Parker, "this world would be a howling wilderness." Without passion genius loses half its geniality. But passion is not genius, for all that, any more than it is the world. They who try to make sheer passion pass current for genius are but sorry false=coiners at best.—Apthorp.
 
CONCERNING THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE
In the following article the writer, a Boston teacher, attempts to assist the inexperienced teacher in the selection of proper material for pedagogical work. It will be readily appreciated that such an attempt has its difficulties; and, as "Mr. Jerome" quite correctly says, it would be folly to adhere to the order of any prescribed set of solos and studies, and to disregard the degree of talent, the individuality, and the capacity of the pupil. Indeed all experienced teachers know that good teaching means the adoption of sound principles rather than the adherence to any particular line of work. One of the essential requisites of good teaching is, and ever will remain, common sense; but common sense being, among teachers, an uncommon possession it is not difficult to understand our dearth of truly excellent teachers.
 
We hope that the article may help the many for whom it is obviously intended; but we wish frankly to say that the course of work which she maps out for the pupil cannot, on the whole, be recommended as a course of peculiar excellences. In a word, our views on this subject differ materially from the views expressed. Moreover, we firmly believe that teachers who require the assistance which the writer aims to give are greatly in need of an entirely different form of assistance. That is, a mere list of studies and solos, even though carefully chosen and well grouped, cannot properly be regarded as supplying the average teacher's needs. Such a list may prove convenient, but it can hardly prove more than that. The average teacher requires a different form of guidance. He cannot be greatly benefited, nor can his work be much improved, by any list or book of reference. Often, indeed, such lists do harm instead of good.
 
On this subject we shall have much to say in the future. While we do not recommend the course of work mapped out, we believe that the article will stimulate young teachers to think in the right direction. The letter follows.
 
TO THE YOUNG TEACHER.
The following is in response to a letter asking for advice from a young teacher and former pupil of the writer:—
 
My Dear Young Friend:
 
You ask me to give you a list of the studies to be used for a violin pupil as far as the fifth grade, with also the names of the cheaper editions, with prices; you also desire a list of some of the most suitable pieces to be taken in connection with these studies, together with a few general suggestions concerning teaching. Since you say you find the most trouble in adequately providing for pupils during the latter portion of the first grade and the first portion of the second, I will confine most of my "suggestions" to the period indicated.
 
The exercises and pieces I have named have proved of much value to me in my teaching and so I pass them on to you: yet with some fear, lest you rely too absolutely upon them, and use them always in the precise order given, for each and every pupil. Beware of doing this. Although I have found these lists thoroughly practicable, in the order given, for the average pupil, still there are occasional exceptions; for example: One pupil may need an extra- long preliminary training before he is rightly prepared for Kreutzer; another pupil may be ready for these studies even before the usual preparation.
 
Then again the order needs shifting about a little now and then. A teacher needs to know what study or piece to lay his hands on—irrespective of any teaching list, be it never so carefully made up—to suit the needs of the unusual pupil; thus you should ever keep your eyes open for the new catalogues, examine new publications, and the revised editions of standard works.
 
However, as experience alone will teach you how to discriminate, I advise your adherence to my list as it stands (and I have purposely made it somewhat conservative) until you are fully convinced that some change is needed. Let me say here that the study of the Kreutzer Etudes can be greatly aided by the intelligent reading of a small book by Benjamin Cutter, entitled "How to Study Kreutzer." This book is eminently practicable, clear, and forceful, and should be in the hands of every earnest teacher and pupil.
 
As you have studied most of the compositions in my list, under my instruction, you can impart them to your pupils the more readily. Do not teach any composition until you yourself are thoroughly at home in it. My reason for giving, along the first and second grades, names of pieces which your pedantic teacher might designate as "trash" is this: For a rather numerous class of pupils melody, clear, rythmic, forceful tune is necessary. None of your minor keys for such. You must either lose many a pupil at this, the beginning of your teaching career, or be willing, when certain pupils who are poorly equipped musically apply to you for lessons, to accept them, come on to their grounds, and do your best for them.
 
Pupils who have not much "ear" need melody to stimulate it, and pupils who have little power of concentration yet "love" music, and could "set all night" (as many say) "listenin' to a hand organ" (?), clearly have as much right to whatever of musical education they can assimilate as do their more musical brothers and sisters.
 
It frequently happens that the parents of children can afford but little money for their musical education; in fact, their desire is to have a little music in the home, just to make the evenings pleasant. From their standpoint, Charlie's violin playing "Home, Sweet Home," and kindred airs, would be the acme of musical satisfaction. Is not this much, then, their right? Respect this right, then, and do your best to secure it for them.
 
After number six in the first-piece list come others of different structure, composed, bowed, and fingered by well-known teachers of violin. These are, of course, also in the first position and very simple, as are the first six numbers. Use one of these two:—
 
"Method for Violin," by L. E. Hersey. Published by
L. E. Hersey, Bloomington, Ill. Price, $1.00. "First Method for Violin," Dancla. Price, $1.00.
 
If Hersey's book is used the second part should be combined with de Beriot's "First Method," beginning at the second position. I advise this book always for the beginning of the higher positions. I usually advise skipping the first thirty-one pages (which deal with extremely simple melodies in the first position), but as an introduction into the second, third, fourth, and fifth positions the de Beriot is most excellent. Price. 1.00.
 
For backward pupils I advise the use of the Dancla method, and after the Hersey method. During the Dancla method a simple book of scales may be used. "The Blumenstengel Scales, Book I" (price 50 cents, Litolff edition) are excellent, or at first the scales may be written by the teacher. Your pupil should certainly remain in the first position through Dancla at least. Although this book introduces the four higher positions when near the end of the book they should not be studied. Most of the exercises fingered here in the higher positions can be played in the first position. This should be done, and the second, third, fourth, and fifth positions taken up in thier (sic) order in the de Beriot method. After Dancla (or in connection with part second of the Hersey method) comes de Beriot's "First Method." Price, $1.00. With this should be studied Blumenstengel's Scales, Books I and II, collection Litolff, the price of each being 50 cents. While in the Dancla or Hersey methods some of the pieces from the following list may be given:—
 
"Scotch Lassie Jean," Winner.
"Bright Star of Hope," Winner.
"Chiming Bells of Long Ago," Winner.
"Little Fairy Polka," Winner.
"Little Fairy March," Winner.
"Flower Song" (the easy arrangement), Lange.
 
Many other pieces of the same sort and grade may be had. Care, however, is necessary in their selection. Of pieces written with a view to combine musical profit with pleasure there are the following four excellent albums:—
 
"A Fiddler's Fancies," Lebas.
"Just One Day," Lebas.
"Six Easy and Characteristic Pieces," Marion Osgood.
"Melodious Pastimes," J. C. Beazley.
 
Each book contains six or more pieces. Price, $1.00.
 
Then there are the "First Steps," seven pieces in sheet-music form, by Marion Osgood. Price of each, 40 cents.
 
For use while the pupil is in the de Beriot method and the book following, here are pieces of a more difficult nature: —
 
Serenade ("Sing, Smile, Slumber"), Gounod-Hermann.
"Nazareth," Gounod-Hermann.
"Musette," Hermann.
"Danse Rustique," Borowski.
Dancla's Six Petit Airs Varie, Op. 89, Ch. Dancla.
 
This excellent collection comes in book form and in sheet-music form.
 
Next comes the "Sixteen Melodious Studies in the First Five Positions," Op. 128, Dancla, Price, $1.00.
 
In connection may be taken "Violin Technic, I," by Sevcik, and this book should be continued as daily diet for some time.
 
Blumenstengel's Scales, Book II, should be kept up. Now for the "Course de Violon," Schoen, price, 50 cents (Augener). This book deals with the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh positions.
 
Grünwald, Thirty-six Etudes Special; price, $1.00 (Litolff).
Hermann, Scale Studies, Book II, 2127b; price, 60 cents (Peters). Sitt, Changing Positions (fourth, fifth, sixth); price, $2.50.
Dont, Op. 38, Books I and II; price, 65 cents (Augener).
Casorti, Technic of the Bow; price, $1.00 (Peters). Mazas, Op. 36, Books I and II; price, of each, 60 cents (Litolff). Schradieck, School Book, I; price, 50 cents. Dont, Op. 37; price, 50 cents (Augener).
 
PIECES.
"Klassiche Stücke" (Peters, 1413a).
 
(This is a noble collection of selections arranged from the old masters.) "Trembling Leaves," Lachner. "Perpetuo Mobile," Bohm.
 
(Both of these last are studies in spiccato.) "Berceuse," L. Ruffin. "Meditation," Eichberg. "La Zingara," Moffat.
 
And now your pupil is probably ready for old "Father Kreutzer." The forty (or forty-two) etudes by Kreutzer should be studied with the utmost care, "making haste slowly." There are many revisions of these etudes, but I strongly recommend the one by Benjamin Cutter, who has also written an eminently practical and helpful book upon "How to Study Kreutzer."
 
Schradieck Scales; price, 50 cents (Litolff). Fiorillo, Thirty-six Etudes; price, 50 cents (Litolff). Rode, Twenty-four Caprices; price, 75 cents (Peters).
 
Rovelli, Twelve Caprices; price, 40 cents (Litolff). Gavinies, 1381; price, 50 cents (Peters). Campagnoli, Sept Divertissements, Op. 18; price, 60 cents (Litolff). Vieuxtemps, Concert Etuden, Op. 16; price, $1.00 (Peters).
 
PIECES.
Souvenir de Posen, Wieniawski. Kuiawiak, Wieniawski. Seventh Air Varie, de Beriot. Concertos, Nos. 1 and 7, de Beriot. Scene de Ballet, de Beriot. Concertos, Nos. 4 and 7, Rode. Concerto in G, No. 22, Viotti. Sonatas, Nos. 3 and 5, Beethoven. Romanza in F, Beethoven. Nocturne in D, Chopin-Wilhelmj. Reverie, Vieuxtemps. Caprice, Bohm.
 
Mazurka, No. 2, Marion Osgood. Gavotte, Popper.
 
Wishing to hear of your best success, I am Most sincerely, your teacher,
"Jean Jerome."
  

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