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Home Work vs. Practice

Ex-president Roosevelt in one of his recent messages said: “The share that the National Government should take in the broad work of education has not received the attention and care it rightly deserves.” Until the last year, the National Government took practically no interest whatever in the musical educational work of the country. During the last year it published a report representing something of the amount and character of the work done by the different music schools of the country. It would not be feasible to have our National Government take absolute control of the educational work of the country. School methods have to be adapted to the needs of a community by those who are on the spot and know what kind of educational work is needed by that community.

Long distance educational advice is rarely profitable or advisable, but in some matters governmental control would be advantageous. For instance, at the present time our school systems have an educational plan which in some districts is robbing the pupil of all opportunity to secure a musical education. The amount of school work given as “home work” makes practice impossible in some cases. This is most unfortunate and most deplorable. In the place of music study the pupil is frequently given studies that have but slight bearing upon his after life. It is downright wicked to crowd a child’s life with so much work that the child can not have some time in which to enjoy the most beautiful moments of his existence.

Perhaps our national crime of ceaseless haste lies at the bottom of this fault. We try to crowd a high school education into our grammar school work. It is commonly said that the college course at Harvard in the days of Benjamin Franklin was no more difficult than the ordinary high school course of to-day. In some cases we have seen pupils who have done excellent musical work up to the time that they entered the high school, but who are compelled to abandon their musical work because of the greatly increased amount of home work. We feel that this is a matter which concerns all of the music students and music teachers of our country. Are we to permit musical education to suffer through an unjust governmental imposition of an excessive amount of home work? We believe that it is the duty of teachers to agitate this matter and we want to render them all possible assistance.


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