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A Musical Travel Meeting.

By Mary A. Schmitz.
 
A good method of combining instruction and amusement is to arrange an imaginary trip through Europe, calling at all the principal towns and citiesassociated with the names of famous musicians, or in any way remarkable for their historic interest. Each member of the club should provide himself with a map of Europe, and as the various towns are reached members should call to mind any notable fact concerning the place. The teacher should be careful to see that all the questions are not answered only by the one or two brightest members of the class, but should attempt to "draw out" those who are slower witted, or more shy than the rest. The journey might be made starting from New York, where there are one or two composers to be mentioned, and many historic places of musical interest. Then comes Italy with Naples, where Scarlatti was born, and Sicily, the birthplace of Bellini. Further north is Rome, where Palestrina lived, and where St. Peter's cathedral remains, solid and immutable; Florence, the cradle of opera; Venice, so full of musical interest, and Milan, the modern operatic center of Italy. After Italy comes Hungary, the fatherland of Liszt; Vienna, the capital of Austria, perhaps the most interesting music center in the world. Each country may be visited in turn, until at last we return to America by way of Paris, the birthplace of Gounod, and the dwelling- place of Chopin, and London, so long the home of Handel, and the birthplace of Purcell.
 
It might be well to break the journey at various meetings, and visit only one or two countries at a time. Germany offers a huge field for interesting "exploration" of this kind—more than any country, even including Italy.
 
Young students take more interest in music by classical composers if they know something about them, and are familiar with their pictured faces. In fact pictures are one of the greatest aids to the musical education of young children. An appropriate story about the composer, whose picture it at hand, will often interest a pupil in a piece of music which is not enjoyed for its own sake at the moment. It is also well to urge pupils to have a musician's corner in their homes, and to keep the interest alive by frequent gifts of pictures suitable for the "corner."
 
Dainty books on biography awarded as prizes will open for many a pleasant and profitable pathway for the years to come, and may be the beginnings of a musical library. These books can be annotated and marked for reference at the club meetings, and in this way are doubly interesting.

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You are reading A Musical Travel Meeting. from the August, 1910 issue of The Etude Magazine.

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