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A Great Singer's Advice to Students

Mme. Louise Homer, the famous American prima donna, gives the following advice to her young, ambitious compatriots:

There are thousands of Americans studying music in Europe. Many will succeed, but a large number will not. It is a mistake for a student of singing to hurry away to Europe too soon. There are plenty of good singing teachers in America, and one should get a good foundation here before going abroad. But you must have a good teacher even here in America. Then when one has studied carefully in America he or she should go abroad and receive the finishing touches.

Europe is looking to America for women’s voices, but men’s voices of the first quality they look for in Europe. If an American girl has a good voice and has the opportunity to study abroad, I should most certainly advise her to do so. But she must be careful over there. Many American singers who study there are not careful of their diet. They eat French food without much foresight and as a result, get indigestion, and this is disastrous to the voice. Then, again, many of the students do not guard against the damp weather so often encountered there, and contract colds. This injures the voice.

As to the quality of American and foreign voices, I am of the opinion that the voice of the American woman is, as a rule, better than that to be found abroad. They say we Americans sing through our noses. This is hardly true. At any rate, we do not sing through our noses half so much as the French do.

 

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