Another point. The ideal teacher must have real personality, and this is a thing of slow growth, but which can be developed under expert guidance. There must be sympathy, tact, and humour. In adopting the attitude of the giver instead of the receiver the young teacher is too apt to put away the remembrance of childish difficulties, and to forget the restless vitality which made her, as a child, long to fidget, and do anything but learn.
There is another thing to bear in mind. The majority of amateurs are never subject to the same criticism as the professional. Everything is ‘watered down’. ‘Very good’ has often been the verdict of the critic, but an unspoken addition has been—’for an amateur’.
Now in a training department one of the most valuable points of the training consists in the outspoken comments. And this does not only refer to musical work, but to personal faults. We all know that if a mannerism does not interfere with the unity of a strong personality, it may be left alone. But there are some mannerisms which merely express the weaknesses of those who possess them, and which spoil the expression of the personality. These must be cured, and will be faithfully dealt with in the training department.
Lastly, if the course of training be taken in connexion with a school, opportunities will be afforded of getting an insight into general organization and schemes of work for children of all ages.
An accusation often levelled at the musical members of a staff is that they keep to themselves, and do not identify themselves with the general school life. In some cases this may be due to lack of willingness, but in the large majority it is due to lack of training in, and realization of, the unity of such life.
A student who takes every opportunity given to her during her year of training will not only learn how to organize the general musical life of a school, through the medium of ear-training and song classes, recitals, music clubs, &c., but will be ready and proud to show initiative in other directions.
We cannot do without the visions of our artists, and a country or a school, is the poorer when full use is not made of the driving force of artistic inspiration.
THE ORGANIZATION OF MUSICAL WORK IN SCHOOLS
The musical work in a school falls roughly into four divisions:
1. Ear-training, leading on in later stages to harmony, counterpoint, &c.
2. Voice production and songs.
3. Instrumental work.
4. Concerts, music clubs, &c.
To take these in order: