|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
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