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corresponding change from binary to ternary subdivision," or some similar phraseology. This is perfectly true, and is easily understood by one who already knows all about Simple and Compound Times. But how much will it convey to the child of ten years, or to the adult who is having his first lessons in music ? Probably less than nothing. A much simpler and preferable explanation would be on the following lines : " In Simple Time beats are undotted and divide into two smaller notes ; in Compound Time they are dotted, and so divide into three smaller notes." After which brief explanation the teacher should proceed to write examples in music type, and play them on the piano. Explanation should invariably be followed by demonstration.

It is very desirable that the teacher's knowledge should not be bounded by his own special subject. The Specialist pure and simple tends to get into a groove and become narrow-minded, with no interest beyond his own branch of music, and this may lead to mental stagnation. On the other hand, there are also pitfalls for the " All-rounder " ; one recalls the saying about " Jack of all trades and master of none," which contains a great deal of truth.

The ideal for the teacher is a combination of specialism and all-roundness. He must certainly be a specialist in his own branch, but should not confine him- self to that only, whether he makes practical use of other branches or not. In any case, there is no reason why teachers should be trained to teach only one subject ; such training narrows the outlook, and does not improve Musicianship. The more one knows of music in general, apart from one's speciality, the better musician one can become. Moreover, from a purely commercial aspect, the ability to teach more than one subject is a potential source of profit. So many students seem to have no interest apart from their principal study, nor do they show any desire to have further interests. Singers want to do nothing but sing, organists are fanatics where their own instrument is concerned and have no time for anything else ; and so on. This is a most undesirable state of affairs, and it cannot be too strongly insisted that a certain amount of all-roundness in the teacher is more than desirable.

In connection with this matter of Specialism, it must also be remembered that the musician is in any case a specialist in one subject, however broad a knowledge he may have of it. Far too many students seem to think that as they are studying music, there is no need for them to take interest in anything else. Certainly the study of music is apt to take up practically all of one's time, but everyone should try to find room for some other interest, if not as a real study, at least as a bobby ; and a hobby need not necessarily be in the form of a game. An interest in something which is definitely educative is most desirable, as it will help to develop one's mental ability. (Even such a harmless and apparently aimless occupation as the solving of cross-word puzzles is not without value, since it means that the brain is being exercised.) It may be said that the more one uses the brain, on matters that require real thought, the more one's mental ability develops ; and the greater one's mental ability in general, the better

To be continued

 

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