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Sleep and Nerves

“There are more ways of opening a door than kicking it open,” said a dear old lady. We hear in these days of all sorts of wonderful treatment for disordered nerves. Medicines, baths, exercises, psychoanalysis, tonics, and dozens of other things have been prescribed. For most nervous conditions, however, there is a splendid remedy, and that is sleep. It is certainly the simplest and possibly the best.

Music students and music teachers have to consider their nerves quite seriously, especially in the matter of public performance. If the player will only look ahead just a little much of the suffering that comes before performance can be avoided. See to it that you get plenty of sound sleep for a week before the event. Sound sleep is not possible unless you have plenty of fresh air and unless you have been careful of your diet.

The literature of sleep is surprisingly great. German savants have given great attention to it. Dr. Freud’s investigations in the sphere of dreams have, for instance, revolutionized the treatment of certain forms of insanity. There is no need, however, for our readers to investigate sleep scientifically. The main trouble with most musicians is that they don’t begin to get enough of it. Listen to the wisdom and humor of Cervantes in Don Quixote.

“Now blessings light on him that first invented this same sleep! It covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a cloak; it is meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, heat for the cold, and cold for the hot. It is the current coin that purchases all the pleasures of the world cheap, and the balance that sets the king and the shepherd, the fool and the wise man even.”

 

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