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Is Instruction Really Necessary?

One of our readers asks, “Is musical instruction really necessary? Cannot a bright student work out his own musical salvation by means of books and attending concerts?” It would be quite impossible for anyone to believe more in self-help than we do. All the great men in art, music, science, philosophy, politics and commerce are men who have helped themselves. If you depend solely upon your teacher you are not likely to succeed; but from this you have no reason to infer that a teacher is not necessary. A good teacher will save you years of time in your study, will insure you against fatal mistakes in your career and will inspire you to do many things that you might not otherwise have thought possible. Of course, if you are so situated that you cannot secure a competent teacher, you are very unfortunate, but you should by no means despair. The Etude itself is a teacher and carries instruction into the hearts of thousands of musical homes, but even The Etude is made more valuable by the assistance of a good teacher.

Of course, musical instruction is necessary unless you are obliged to take the chance of failure that those who depend entirely upon their own efforts always assume. Much can be accomplished without a teacher provided you are on the right track.


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