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Teaching Notes



Every teacher starts out, of course, with the determination to have a pupil succeed. There are two reasons for this,—the desire that springs from enthusiasm and a love of the work, and the feeling that one ought to give an equivalent for the money expended.

All this is as it should be, but imagine one’s ardor dampened by a conversation like the following, given with the utmost apparent ease, and as if one were rehearsing a joke:

“I have n’t my lesson this week.”

“Why not?”

“I do n’t know. I practice two hours a day, get every note right, but somehow I don’t get on to it.”

Encouraging, is it not ? All one can do is to struggle on until the fact that you already suspect has been proven,—that there is no earthly good in that child wasting time and money on music.

Another time a child was asked her impressions of music, as she first sat down to the piano.

Evidently of a practical turn of mind and not inspired with the divine afflatus, she replied:

“My impressions are that the piano is bowlegged.”

Shades of Beethoven and Mozart, what think ye of this for inspiration!

An amusing experience in teachers’ lives is that people invariably ask you to play. They say, “I have just purchased a piano. I wish your opinion of it.” This puts the poor teacher’s veracity to a decided test, for to tell the truth about the piano and not lose a friend is often a difficult thing. Why did n’t they ask your opinion before they bought the piano?

Even then they would probably have done as they wished, as exemplified by the man who said to his friends, “I have just purchased a lot and am in doubt where to put my house. Advise me.” Each friend advised him to the best of his ability, when the anxious solicitor of advice announced, “Thank you for your opinion. I shall now proceed to put the house just where I planned before asking you.”


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You are reading Teaching Notes from the July, 1898 issue of The Etude Magazine.

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