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Hints and Helps.

—Common sense is not as common as it should be.

—Are you thinking of doing great things some day, then you would better begin to-day.

—To recognize and acknowledge true greatness in others is a stepping-stone to greatness in ourselves.

Whatever is sought in man is generally found; but he who seeks for the good is the more richly rewarded.

Look well to the company you keep, and let your chief ambition be to excel in all that is noble and worthy.

—“Many a man of genius,” said Haydn, “perishes because he has to gain his bread by teaching instead of devoting himself to study.”

Careful Listening.—I am convinced that many who think they have no taste for music would learn to appreciate it and partake of its blessings, if they often listened to good instrumental music with earnestness and attention.—Ferdinand Hiller.

—Dvorak is a most exacting teacher. None but pupils with genuine talent, backed by pluck and patience, can stand the exacting demands and punctilious requirements of the critical master. Those who hold out under his brisk work are thoroughly trained.

Living for the Ideal.—How beautiful a period in a young artist’s life is that when, untroubled by thought of time or fame, he lives for his ideal only; willing to sacrifice everything to his art, treating the smallest details with the closest industry.—Schumann.

—The kind of tact that many musicians need is contact. They haughtily hold themselves aloof from pupils, parents, and public until they freeze them out. Then they wonder why they do not succeed as well as a less competent musician who is more genial and social.

Hiller’s words are, in their correct application, equally true. To some people music opens up the fairy realms of absolute beauty, and the noblest aspirations of the higher life; others can enjoy but “the mere concord of sounds,” and to such it affords no higher or greater pleasure than chin-tickling does to a cat.—The Keyboard.

—The following true story is not encouraging to young organists who desire to play high-class voluntaries. One of our younger organists essayed Bach’s “G-minor Prelude and Fugue “as an out voluntary lately. When he was well into the fugue, a choir boy whispered in his ear: “Please, sir, everybody’s gone, and the pew opener wants his supper, and says, will you please turn out the gas when you’ve done!”

Herr Pauer, the eminent authority on pianistic matters, is responsible for the following pertinent and sensible remarks: “The ignorance of too many of the present pianists with regard to the construction of the instrument on which they perform is deplorable. Whilst every player on the flute, oboe, clarionet, bassoon, horn, violin, or ‘cello is intimately acquainted with the interior of his instrument, few pianists are able to describe the distinctive peculiarities of a Vienna, half-English, or English mechanism, to appreciate the difference between the actions of an Erard, a Pleyel, a Broadwood, a Steinway, or a Collard grand.”

We are naturally imitators. As a rule an imitation falls below the ideal patterned after. Hence the necessity for a pupil’s having good ideals constantly before him. Have you never seen a child learning to write in a copy-book? At the top of the page is the copy for him to imitate. Perhaps he does fairly well the first time. Very often the second time he will look at his own first attempt instead of the original copy. And so he will go on copying after himself to the bottom of the page, and in each successive line he goes on increasing his faults instead of correcting them. So in his musical ideals, unless the teacher keeps constantly before the pupil’s mind true ideals, he will go on day after day copying himself and developing faults instead of growing toward perfection.—Musical Messenger.



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