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they "join in the chorus," and without conscious effort sing it very satis-
“Of all flowers in Scotland
To be found in “Songs of a Nation" published by Silver, Burdett & Co., “Nancy Lee," "Twickenham Ferry," Schubert's "Hedge Roses," and "I Love Little Pussy, Her Coat is so Warm,” are all enjoyed.
Just as the singer has finished, a sweet-faced little girl, bubbling over with happiness, asks if the class may sing "At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away.” It is easy to see why the child recalls this particular song now. Miss Smith, quick to see what is needed to complete a most successful music lesson, plays “Hail Columbia," and the singer joins the children in a march around the room, which changes to three-four time before they are seated. Every boy and girl in the room marches well, without any word being said, because the singer does.
Children are good judges of musical art, and their comments next day, during a talk (wisely directed) about "the beautiful time,” would do credit to many a would-be critic. One boy said “It seems as if music is friends and company to her.”
At the end of the week the class sing “Blue Bells of Scotland" so well that they discuss the matter themselves.
Miss Smith tells the class about bells having different tones, and about chimes playing “Robin Adair.” It is then taught by simply using “boom" instead of the words. Boo is short, and the m sent through the nose and prolonged (to place the tone in the lead) in imitation of a bell ringing.
Along with this, the chorus to "Alabama Coon” is taught, the words suggesting the quality of tone.
Our next, “Come Thou Almighty King” (Italian Hymn), is somewhat more difficult to handle, because many of the class have sung it carelessly in church. But Miss Smith, by her manner alone, impresses the children with the sacredness of the words. She is convinced that suggestiveness is more conducive to good tone at this stage of development than formal directions, which make children self-conscious.
Self-consciousness causes tense muscles which react on the vocal organs, and bad tones are the result.
There is no doubt but certain positions of the body will materially assist in producing a good tone. For instance, if the body above the waist is held with a straight back and strong waist line, with relaxed neck and face, tone comes easily, and by a correct use of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, breath (consequently tone) is more easily controlled.
But directions are so misleading that perhaps no two children understand them alike. One would better keep the child unconscious of his education. Again, the position of intense interest is quite as correct as any.
The surest way to cultivate the voice in childhood, is to make a musical environment worthy of imitation, --- to cultivate the ear to a fine degree, never allow the child to sing loud, especially on the lower tones, and always keep the interest intense.
The last Friday of the second month, Miss Smith brings in a violinist who plays a group of folk songs, she having previously explained what a folk song is; the violinist only needs to announce French, German,” etc., and they are able to listen intelligently.
He then plays their school songs and they sing with him, and try to get a "violin tone,” which is the aim of every vocalist.
Not a word has ever been said against the rag-time street songs the children once liked so well, but they forget to ask for them, and are actually whistling the school songs on the street.
The Map of Life.* Overwork, in all departments of life, is commonly bad economy, not so much because it often breaks down health – most of what is attributed to this cause is probably rather due to anxiety than to work — as because it seldown fails to impair the quality of work.
He who would look time in the face without illusion and without fear, should associate each year as it passes with new developments of his nature; with duties accomplished, with work performed. To fill the time allotted to us to the brim with action and with thought is the only way in which we can learn to watch its passage with equanimity.
As Spinoza bas taught, " the proper study of a wise man is not how to die but how to live," and as long as he is discharging this task aright he may leave the end to take care of itself. The great guiding landmarks of a wise life are indeed few and simple; to do our duty – to avoid useless sorrow – to acquiesco patiently in the inevitable.
The tendency of idleness to lead to immorality has long been a commonplace of moralists. Perhaps our own age has seen more clearly than those that preceded it that complete and habitual idloness is immorality, and that wlien the circumstances of his life do not assign to a man a definite sphere of work, it is his first duty to find it for himself. It has been happily said that in the beginning of the reign of Queen Victoria, young mon in England who were really busy, effected idleness, and at the close of the reign young men who are really idle pretend to be busy.
It is very evident that buoyancy of temperament is not a thing that increases with civilization or education. It is mainly physical. It is greatly influenced by climate and by health, and where no very clear explanation of this kind can be given, it is a thing in which different nations differ greatly. Few good observers will deny that persistent and concentrated will is m re common in Great Britain
han in Ireland, but that the gift of a buoyant temporament is more common among Irishmen than among Englishmen. Yotit co-exists in the national character with a strong vein of very genuine melancholy, and it is often accompanied by keen sensitiveness to suffering.
*Selections from William Edward Hartpole Lecky's book, "The Map of Life, Conduct and Character."
BY JENNIE L. HAVICE. “One of the most helpful of educational movements is the Mothers' Clubs.”—Superintendent Thos. J. Kirk.
HIS department is intended primarily for the mothers who are try
ing to keep pace with the boys and girls. There is need of the
Mothers' Clubs. It was from a pressing need that they were born. The child's three-fold nature must be trained, and it is the purpose of the clubs to so harmonize them that the future will be a golden harvest of bright happy children, so well endowed that the perplexities of the conscientious teacher will be lessened—the Master himself be well pleased. It is not education alone which assists the child to become a wage-earner; the teacher is overwhelmed with duties, and who can so well assist her at once to develop, restrain and instruct, as the mother? "Never was a child born of average mental power, who with proper tutelage and environment was not useful to his fellowmen and to his God."
The children of to-day are said to be just horrid." or if it chance to be the opinion of the masculine mind--it is just too horrid for repetition. There are the stunted, the bad, and the mentally deficient; the wonder is that they do not outnumber the good and the strong.
There is a decline of moral instruction in the home, and to this fact is due the lack of moral stamina and the puritan honesty that was the glory of our fathers; therefore, the easy-going, pleasure-loving generation needs a Mothers' Club,-any nnmber of them.
The co-operation of all mothers and teachers to further the work so auspiciously begun is requested. Be a member, organize, report. Circulate the JOURNAL, send in subjects for discussion, or questions to be answered. It is a narrow soul that cannot soar above the confines of an earthly temple, and it can never of itself improve. Here is an opportunity. By making use of the minutes and giving up, not all outside work and social duties, but a good bit of the finery for little ones, and furbelows for grown-ups, there may be time for valuable child study, and not that alone. A study of mother and teacher is quite as important. What mother can do well by the little ones if she is not herself being perfected? “Children need models more than criti
If she has a raging headache and complains that everything always comes at the same time with everything else, she is not in condition to instruct or train the child. For an effect there is a cause. Come and help us.
Next to the influence of the home life comes that of the school in the formation of character, and the thoughtful parent, father or mother, is anxious only that that influence shall be for the highest good.
The teacher has no easy task before her and she needs to face each day's work with a high degree of physical strength and mental poise. Standing thus qualified each day before them, she can patiently, and-yes—lovingly, instill into their receptive minds not only knowledge, put honorable instincts and moral health.
Happy the child who comes to the school from a home of culture and refinement, but none the less to be helped and lovingly taught are the children of ignorant and careless parents from unloving homes. All the more should you patiently teach and morally help such children. One need of great importance to the child under ten years of age is frequent moments of relaxation during the study hours. Fifteen minutes of close application tires the receptive, appropriative mind, and with a weary brain you have a loss of coordinating power and restlessness, and apparent carelessness, results; books drop, feet shuffle, and the schoolroom becomes unbearably noisy.
I would like to ask you to study, as far as you can, the character of the individual child. If you are a person of trained powers of observation you will not find it an irksome task. Among children, as in older people, one mind will grasp a fact readily that another will not at all comprehend until put in another light. Do not give up a child as stupid until you have tried every avenue to his intelligence; if he is hopelessly dull, still remember that patient-teaching in the institutions for that purpose have developed a certain amount of intelligence, even in the born idiot.
There may be some physical reason for a child's seeming carelessness. One little girl I know was a hopelessly bad speller She copied the words from the blackboard daily, and studied her own copy. Her mistakes were many and very trying, until it occurred to the wise teacher that she might not copy the words correctly, as in other respects she seemed quite equal to or ahead of the average child. This led her to inquire of the child how she read the letters on the board and this brought to light a defect in vision. A word to the parent resulted in a visit to the oculist, and the child soon became a good speller. A little boy of nine years of age whom I know, has a quick mind and has also made a rapid growth so that the powers of co-ordination were not well developed. He is one of those boys whom unthinking parents call careless; who break everything they touch, and who many a time receive a punishment for what they can no more help, than the child beginning to walk can help stumbling. The boy advanced rapidly, but his writing and figures were execrable. The teacher recognized the real worth of the boy's mind, she advanced him according to his ability, allowing the physical defect to correct itself, which it is doing, as the child gains control of his muscles.
Under a nervous, impatient teacher, that boy could have been ruined. As it is, bis co-ordinating powers are becoming more and more accurate.
It would appear to me, after considerable thought upon the question, that too much stress is put upon the grade, regardless of the actual amount of knowledge a child is acquiring. In advising some mothers whom I have conversed with recently, not to allow their children to study at home, I have been met with the reply: "O! his teacher says if he does not do a certain amount of work he will be put back in his grade.” I said, “Is that a calamity ?” “Oh, yes, indeed; it would make him careless and indifferent to be put back. It takes away a child's ambition.” I cannot comprehend the subject from that standpoint. I would not allow a child to enter a grade whose work he could not accomplish during school hours; having found him in such a grade, however, I would not hesitate to put him where he could accomplish his work during the five hours allotted every day for that purpose. Do not hold up a change of grade if it is one step down a disgrace. A child's brain is constantly receiving new impressions, and he should have many hours daily of actual play.
The teacher must in many cases stand as a break between the ambitious parent and the child fond of study. The school course is not arranged by you I know, but it is interpreted by you, and so interpret it that the acquisition of knowledge is a pleasure, not a daily grind. The time is coming when, as intelligent mothers, we are going to demand a representation on the Board that has the arranging of our public school course. It seems quite right and just that women should show that responsibility. Five hours a day is enough study for any child out of the high school; with suggestions as to home reading, aided by a carefully selected school library. Children are required to know something about subjects they cannot comprehend. Fancy a child's brain struggling with a problem represented by this answer. The spheres are to each other as the squares of their homologous sides. They have no accurate information, but are struggling with pathetic bravery to tell what they are supposed to know. When showing the difference between zoological and theological, they solemnly declare, "There are a good many dunkeys in the theological gardens" and "Some of the best fossils are found in theological cabinets."
There is too much of a tendency to crowd the brain of growing children with such mental food that they cannot assimilate. We appeal, principals and teachers, to deal with our children wisely. Make the grade work simple but thoro. Give the children as much of the school time as possible for study, and require them to do the work in school hours. We can assure you of the hearty co-operation of the mothers in the mothers' clubs, and I am sure, of all intelligent mothers.
As to discipline, it would be quite ideal if it could be realized as a condition of all school life, that which Charles Dickinson puts into his beautiful poem, "The Children.”
“The twig is so easily bended
My love is the law of the school."
"With forty-nine thousand children in the public schools of Washington, there were but ninety cases of punishment last year. When you and I were