Musical Appreciation Class

Musical Appreciation Class

L’Umile Pianta, 1914, pp. 75-77

Before giving two specimen lessons showing how to cultivate musical appreciation in our pupils, Miss Cruse read a short paper, in which she advised the use of two books by Mr. Stewart Macpherson: The Appreciative Aspect of Music Study, price 6d., and Music and its Appreciation, 3s., both published by Joseph Williams, 32, Great Portland Street, W. Mr. Macpherson is the greatest authority on piano teaching in schools, and to read his books is most helpful. He says that the object of this sort of lesson is so to train appreciation of music in each individual that trained concert audiences will be the result: after all, it is the few only who can become concert players.

There is a Mr. Fowler also, who travels about England with magic lantern slides, who is a very good man to hear in this connection. Miss Cruse believes that no one is unmusical, the difference lies between those who have been musically trained and those in whom such training has been neglected. From her own experience at Scale How she has found that often the best C.P. lessons were given by the so-called “unmusical.” A full education in this respect lies in having two programmes, one for the pupil to do himself, the other for him to hear. The paper was summed up in the point, that as much intelligence is necessary to understand a piece of music as to understand a book.

Lesson to Classes Ib and II.

Last term’s songs were played, the children gave their names, form, and pulse measure. After this Miss Cruse said a few words about Mendelssohn, whose work is to be studied during this next term. Next the accompaniment, then air, then both together, were played, and afterwards the reasons were given for certain shades of expression. The Christmas pieces were next mentioned, and the idea of the title explained. One of them was played through for the children to name pulse-measure, then again that they might notice how many times the principal theme occurred.


The training in concentration lies in the fact that the children are taught to listen intelligently, and to try and find out for themselves the composer’s underlying idea.

Lesson to Classes III and IV.

After recapitulation of last term’s songs, Mendelssohn was named, with his date and connection with Hamburg and Berlin.

At this point Miss Cruse explained how the “Elijah” is taken on Sundays. First, the pupils find the libretto of each part in their Bibles, and then each with a copy follows first the air, then the accompaniment as each is played in turn. Next, they sing themselves.

After this the new song was played. The theme was emphasized, the pupils led to imagine the scene, the time marked, the words of the first part given, and then they sang the song twice, first with the air only, then with the accompaniment. It was suggested that when possible it is a good plan if one of the pupils can accompany the singing, and where the score is too difficult, to modify it.

The last part of Mendelssohn’s Concerto in G minor was then begun, and first the word “concerto,” i.e., solo with orchestral accompaniment, was explained, and then Miss Cruse played, stopping at intervals to explain where the different instruments took part.

There was no discussion.

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