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efforts. Of the two types-the dull but keen and the talented but lazy-the former is much to be preferred : he does in the end repay the teacher.

Whatever one's general practice may be, it is almost always wise, when giving a dull pupil new work to do, to take him through it at the lesson before he begins to study it. This will save much trouble for both teacher and student. The latter especially will have some definite idea of what he has to tackle, and of how to set about it. Special difficulties should be pointed out, and method of practice indicated, so that the pupil is given some basis to work on. Occasion- ally he should be given a new piece to prepare entirely without help, to put him on his mettle-a scheme which often produces quite surprisingly good results. (The same method may be adopted, of course, with any type of pupil.) Finally, the teacher should always have in mind the necessity of unlimited patience, and never show any sign of irritation, except under the strongest provocation.

(b) The average pupil.

This is naturally the type with whom the greater part of one's time as a teacher is taken up. Moderately keen, moderately talented ; rarely doing really bad work, and as rarely doing anything really brilliant. Nevertheless, with proper treatment, the average pupil is often capable of doing something worth while.

As to work, he may be given a reasonable amount of everything. Carefully graded technical work in fair quantities as well as the more recreative things. But, as always, care must be taken to make everything as interesting as possible. With any type of pupil it is a mistake to set the drier kind of technical studies without first explaining why they are necessary. And some vague generalization such as " they do your fingers good " is not enough. The pupil should be told that technical exercises are designed to increase one's technique (i.e., mechanical ability) and so make one able to tackle more advanced and interesting pieces. Any given technical exercise deals with one particular point in a highly concentrated form, and enables one to master that point quickly and surely without other things to distract the mind. The point being thoroughly mastered and the ability to put it into practice achieved, it is, as it were, filed for future reference, and brought into use when necessary.

One can naturally expect a fair rate of progress from a pupil of average ability, but it will vary with each individual. Moreover, because one pupil whom one classes as " average " can master some particular matter with ease, it doer not follow that all others of the same class will do so, and allowance must be made for such individual differences. For example, in connection with the piano, some pupils whose work on the whole is of good average quality find great difficulty in mastering legato pedalling, while others, whose general work is no better, seem to be able to do it with a minimum of explanation and instruction. On the other hand, in dealing with some other technical point -- say staccato -- the positions may be exactly reversed. Such contrasts of. ability are common enough, and go to show the necessity of adapting one's method to the individual.

To be continued

 

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