HOW TO SING A SONG - online book


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and can be taught. It will not grow up of itself, as a component part of character, however longingly it may be watched and waited for. It can be ac­quired only by hard labor and incessant practice; but this labor may be lightened by following the precepts and examples of great artists who have gone before. In each of the arts, there is a codified technique which is known to every sound practitioner and is passed down from generation to generation. Raphael was a pupil of Perugino, and Rubens was the teacher of Van Dyck.
The average aspirant, in the eager period of early youth, is inclined to worry overmuch about the things he has to say, whereas these things are very likely to be negligible. Except in rare instances, like that of Keats, it may be assumed that nobody has anything to say till after he is thirty; and while the tree of character is growing, it is best to leave it alone and not to pluck it up continually for the pur­pose of inspecting its roots. The years of youth may be more profitably spent in learning the technique of some articulate medium of expression. Granted the initial gift of talent, an apprentice, in the decade of his twenties, can learn by constant practice how to draw or paint or write or sing or act. He can acquire an ability to say things, before yet he is endowed with anything to say. Then, later, when the time comes to express himself, because his character at last is worthy of expression, his mes­sage to the world will flow forth fluently and grace­fully. This, of course, was what was in the mind of Robert Louis Stevenson when he wrote to a

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III