Franklin Square Song Collection - online songbook

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The Best.—As to those whose leisure, talent, or determination makes further musical progress possi­ble or essential, the question of greatest importance that presents itself is, How and where shall each in­dividual most judiciously expend time and money to attain the object in view ? Primarily the need is the best instruction from the best masters. Poor teach­ing is dear at any rate. There are two distinct methods of obtaining this instruction. With a full purse and some little influence—for these musical
kings are royal potentates, and must be approached discreetly and diplomatically even to insure an audi­ence—it is a simple matter to secure instruction from a master of acknowledged ability in his special de­partment, at a rate varying from three to five dollars for three-quarters of an hour, or even half-an-hour's instruction. This instruction is presumably of the best, and to it we owe many of our most accomplished musicians both in vocal and instrumental music, who, in their turn, serve art by imparting to others. The
Alfred S. Gatty.
benefits of this method, like that of a private tutor, need no discussion or setting forth; the custom is time-honored, and will always, and very properly, have its advocates in general and its special fitness for individual cases. This training, however, is not possible for the masses, who, indeed, were there even a state fund to insure it, could not be accommodated with individual lessons from first-rate masters. The alternative is class instruction, the principle upon which all graded schools—indeed, all schools, pub-
lic or private—are conducted. The advantages are obvious in scientific matters as well as in common branches; the lecture on chemistry or philosophy, the lesson in arithmetic or geography, is more profit­able as well as more enjoyable in a class than deliv­ered to a single individual; the evil crops out when the class is so large that only general attention can be given the pupil. All the benefits and evils accruing from class instruction in any other branch are like­ly to result from class training in music.— Gray.

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