Music Education - Amateur And Artist
( Originally Published 1922 )
Whether it is a question. of acquiring the talent of an artist or an amateur, that is only one of degree, for in taking as an example the special career of a lyric artist who has to be both singer and actor, really one does not know precisely where to place the barrier that separates the professional artist from him who gives his time to music for his own pleasure. The methods of study are obviously the same for both,—with some slight differences which will be shown in the course of this work,—since the final goal to be attained is nearly the same. Moreover, do we not see amateurs transforming themselves into militant artists every day, just as we see also professional musicians abandoning their too-ungrateful career to embrace some more lucrative one while still continuing to exercise the art merely for their pleasure or for that of those about them.
The advice that is to follow, the fruit of forty years' experience in teaching, in every degree and under all conditions, is therefore applicable to these two categories without distinction, just as it is to the different branches of the art of music,—composition, singing or instrumental virtuosity,—which any one may intend to follow at the beginning.
I say at the beginning, for it will often happen that the original plans will be modified by the force of circumstances, or by causes that are impossible to foresee before the day when they inexorably force themselves upon us, such as the lack of voice in the adult whose parents prematurely determined to make a singer of him, because he had a pretty voice as a child or " because everybody has one in the family." Do not laugh ; that happens every day.