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player one wishes to be, the more of this work that must be done. As stated above, the talented pupil can be given purely technical work in large quantities. He has natural facility and musical sensibility, and he must be given the opportunity to acquire as big a technique as possible, so that he may make the fullest use of his gifts as an interpreter.

However great a gift a person may have for painting, he has to study the technical details of his art. The would-be portraitist makes innumerable studies of hands, faces, arms, &c., so that when he comes to paint the complete picture he knows exactly how to set about the rendering of every detail. Similarly, the would-be musical performer must study the technical side of his art, so that whatever point of technique occurs at any given place in the piece he is playing, he can render it effectively.

The ultimate ideal to be aimed at is that technique should be automatic. Anything automatic is performed under the control of the subconscious mind (the lower brain), but it has first to be mastered under the control of the conscious mind (the upper brain). All technical matters must first be practised slowly and with intense concentration-the conscious mind working, as it were, at full pressure. By constant exact and careful repetition of the particular action, mastery is gradually acquired, and the control passes to the subconscious, thus leaving the conscious free to attend to matters of interpretation, &c.

IV-FURTHER POINTS ON THE TREATMENT OF PUPILS

Unlimited patience has already been mentioned as an essential part of a teacher's equipment, but this is not to imply that censure is never to be given. The important point to realise is, however, that any censuring must be done coolly : the teacher must never, under any provocation, lose his temper. With the majority of pupils real censure will hardly ever be necessary-never, if teacher and pupil are on the footing which has been suggested. But there are times when it becomes necessary to blame a pupil more or less severely. This should always be done in private, and, as already stated, the teacher must keep entirely cool-an exhibition of temper does untold damage. The friendly relationship which he has been at pains to build up may immediately be destroyed, and also he will lose the pupil's respect. The pupil will in many cases become nervous at lessons, for fear of provoking another outburst.

For fairness' sake it is necessary to allow the pupil to state his case before censuring him. After an example of very bad work the teacher may feel inclined to blame the pupil immediately, in unmeasured terms, while all the time there may be some perfectly good reason for the work being bad-lack of opportunity for practice, for example. To deny the pupil a chance to justify himself is distinctly unfair. But if no satisfactory justification is forthcoming, then the censuring may be proceeded with.

To be continued

 

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