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Respect Your Rival

Doubtless one of the worst mistakes that the music teacher can make is that of openly underestimating his rival teachers. It almost always reflects upon the teacher himself, and the greater the animosity he arouses the more he will be injured.

A teacher located in a little Western town found that his most successful rival was a convent school. This school had been established for many years and had been doing splendid work. The teacher finding that he had great difficulty in competing with so excellent an institution, stupidly and maliciously attempted to arouse a religious prejudice against the school. He misconstrued the self-sacrificing efforts of the sisters who taught in the school and ignored the fine educational work that has been conducted for centuries by the great educators of the church. The people of the town were for the most part narrow and quite uneducated. Consequently, for a short time the private teacher seemed to prosper. He succeeded in securing several pupils who had attended the convent school, and encouraged by this apparent sign of success, he exaggerated his false statements.

However, the people of the town soon found that the musical results, that the private teacher claimed would follow his work as a natural consequence of a course of study in Europe, were not forthcoming. Then they began to realize that this was not the sixteenth century but the twentieth century, and that the church was not on trial.

In less than a year the young gentleman who so in- gloriously attacked these very faithful and competent teachers, who, from the nature of their position and life, were not permitted to fight with such unfair weapons, was obliged to leave town. A more dismal failure could not have been imagined. If he had worked, minded his own business and behaved himself as a gentleman should, he might have succeeded in a small way, as it must be remembered that he was competing with a successful institution.

Remember that the more you attack your rival, the more the public will believe that it is necessary for you to remove an able competitor to further your own ends.

 

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