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Enthusiasm And Music Students

No one needs enthusiasm more than the student and the teacher of music. The continual disappointments, the ceaseless struggle, and the frailty of popular appreciation can only be met with a boundless interest in your work. It is enthusiasm that makes one forget the difficulties. It was enthusiasm that carried Froebel through his years of trial and labor; it was enthusiasm that led Paderewski through the dark years of struggle and comparative failure; it is enthusiasm that will carry you to success.

You will find that there is no time or place for anything but optimism in music. It never pays anyone to be “blue,” and the musician who has a tendency to melancholy and pessimism should remember that every moment he gives to looking upon the dark side of things is robbing him of an hour of success.

In the vernacular poems of this country we find a wealth of optimism. These poems represent the spirit of American success. They teem with enthusiasm, wholesome good judgment and optimism. The verses of Will Carleton, James Whitcomb Riley, Eugene Field, Edmund Vance Cooke and Bret Harte come a great deal nearer to the hearts of most Americans than do the verses of Whitman, Poe and Emerson. The musician should go to them to replenish his fund of optimism and enthusiasm. They will do him much more good than the morbid and gruesome utterances of d’Anunzio, Mæterlinck or Wilde. In the following little vernacular verses, from a poem by T. J. Cole, published some time ago in the National Food Magazine, there is a fine sermon for all music students and teachers who feel that their lives are burdened with difficulties peculiarly their own:

“Lookin’ blue keeps sunshine out,
Dwarfs your life from inside out,
Never helps mankind a bit;
Don’t you think you’d better quit?
Give your better self a place.
Show the world a smiling face,
Then you scon will feel it, too,
That the world has smiles for you.
“Lookin’ blue won’t help you higher,
Lookin’ blue will not inspire.
Lookin’ blue shuts up the scroll,
Hides the music in your soul.
Let the sunshine break the ties,
Then the music will arise,
Then the world will catch the strain,
Echo back to you again.”


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