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" parrot-fashion." If the pupil gives a poor rendering of a particular passage, his error should be pointed out and explained, and the proper reading indicated. But the teacher should avoid actual demonstration at the instrument unless it is obvious that the pupil cannot be helped in any other way. Naturally, young pupils will need much more demonstration than older and more experienced ones, but even they should be made to think things out for themselves as much as possible. Moreover, the teacher should always give the reason why he considers a rendering to be inartistic ; the pupil should never be given grounds to think that criticism of his work is merely captious.

V-ON PRACTICE

It is essential that all pupils should be taught how to practise. This point is frequently overlooked by young and inexperienced teachers, with the result that their pupils do not make the progress they should. It is obviously quite useless to tell a pupil to go home and practise a piece unless he knows how to set about it. Definite instruction on this important matter should be given at the first lesson with a new pupil, and the teacher should frequently question his pupils to find out whether they are following the method which has been indicated.

In practice, as in performance in general, the first and most essential requisite is complete concentration on the matter in hand. It is not enough to tell pupils not to let the mind wander, or some such vague generalisation. The whole mind must be directed to what is being done ; concentration must be as great as possible. Moreover, it must be realised that the capacity for concentration can be increased-what may be called greater " brain-force " can be acquired. But it can only be achieved by trying to acquire it-a point which must be impressed on pupils. In the case of young students, it is of no use to talk about " con- centration " : they probably will not understand the meaning of the word. But they must be trained to think carefully of everything they do, and to avoid letting the attention wander in the slightest degree.

With such concentration practice is hard work, but it is real practice and is worth while, in that results are more speedily obtained, and a greater and quicker mastery is achieved of whatever is being studied. Half an hour of such work is of far greater value than two hours of " easy-going " practice. The pupil whose practice is half-hearted and lacking in real concentration will make but slow progress, and be a source of dissatisfaction to his teacher.

The next essential is that the pupil must listen to himself. Naturally, he cannot help hearing what he is doing, but there is a vast difference between hearing and listening. The latter implies a degree of concentration which the former does not. If one is trying to produce a certain musical effect, one must deliberately listen to know whether one is successful or not. The mere effort of " trying " is not enough. This leads to a further point-that pupils must be

To be continued

 

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