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The Only Real Help

When the genial “Autocrat at the Breakfast Table” remarked, “Everybody likes and respects self-made men. It is a great deal better to be made in that way than not to be made at all,” he made a statement which one of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes’ wholesome wit might well have expanded with profit to all young men and women. As a matter of fact, all great men have been self-made, no matter how much they may have been helped by training received through academic channels. If a collegiate or a conservatory training could make great men the world would be peopled with characters so eminent that there would be scant room for their activities. Much as we who have earned our living through teaching must respect systematized educational work, we cannot deny the fact that even with the best of teachers the pupil will fail unless he learns the great secret of how to help himself.

It is human to depend upon others. Students go to teachers and to conservatories like so many empty bottles, expecting to have an education literally poured into them. Perhaps this is the reason why, out of the thousands and thousands of students who have graduated from leading conservatories, only a few score have ever reached large success. More than this, there are hundreds of instances of “Self-Help” students who have had little or no musical training, but who have scaled the heights only to look down upon hundreds who have been loaded down with so-called advantages. If you can afford a good teacher, by all means have one, but do not forget that you must remain just as much a self-help student with a teacher as you were without one.

The Etude is now starting what its editors consider one of the most important works it has yet undertaken. This is a campaign to help those who are trying to help themselves. Ever since its inception The Etude has been a journal of self-help, self-help, for those with teachers as well as those without teachers. The teacher cannot even begin to include in the lesson all of the one hundred and one things which the pupil should know, and which only a magazine like The Etude can supply. Just now, however, we are going to give special attention to this matter of self-help, with a view of imparting new inspiration, new vigor, new industry and new uplift to thousands ofour (sic) readers who will be benefited  by it. This will culminate in one of the most vitalizing issues of The Etude we have ever published—an issue that should make all earnest students, music lovers and teachers teem with desire to do newer, better and grander things. We want the influence of this work to be as widespread as possible, and we hope that our friends will publish this news among all their musical acquaintances.


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