Music in Schools (1956)

This is the second edition (1960) of Ministry of Education Pamphlet No. 27, first published in 1956.

The complete booklet is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various sections:

1. Introduction (page 1)
2. Primary Schools (11)
3. Secondary Schools (21)
4. Special Schools (32)
5. Junior Schools of Music (37)
6. Festivals and Concerts (39)
Appendix: Accommodation and equipment (44)

The text of Music in Schools was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 21 December 2008.

Music in Schools (1956)
Ministry of Education Pamphlet No. 27
second edition, 1960

London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1960
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

[title page]




[page ii]

First published 1956
Second edition 1960

Crown copyright 1960

Published by


To be purchased from

York House, Kingsway, London W.C.2
423 Oxford Street, London W.1.
13A Castle Street, Edinburgh 2
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39 King Street, Manchester 2
Tower Lane, Bristol 1
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or through any bookseller

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1. Introduction

2. Primary Schools
   (a) Nursery and Infant Stages11
   (b) Junior Stage15

3. Secondary Schools
   Advanced work in the Secondary School28

4. Special Schools
   (a) Schools for Delicate and Physically Handicapped Children33
   (b) Schools for Children with Defective Hearing34
   (c) Schools for the Blind34
   (d) Schools for the Partially Sighted35
   (e) Hospital Schools35
   (f) Schools for Educationally Sub-normal Pupils36

5. Junior Schools of Music

6. Festivals and Concerts
   (a) Competitive and Non-competitive Musical Festivals39
   (b) Concerts by Professional Orchestras41
   (c) Combined School Concerts43

Appendix. Accommodation and Equipment for Music

[page iv]


The illustrations in this pamphlet are reproduced by courtesy of the following:

Recorders in a Primary School.
   By courtesy of "Photo Flash".

Brass Band in a Primary School.
   By courtesy of the Headmaster, Oldbury Court junior School, Bristol.

Brass Band in a Secondary Modern School.
   By courtesy of C. H. Wood (Bradford) Ltd.

Dancing to the Recorders.
   By courtesy of H. L. Smerdon, Esq.

The National Youth Orchestra, 1954.
   By courtesy of Norward Inglis, Esq.

Madrigals in the Garden.
   By courtesy of the Reverend Mother Superior, Convent of the Holy Child Jesus, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Madrigal Group in a Northern Grammar School.
   By courtesy of the Yorkshire Evening News.

Pipe Playing in a Hospital School.
   By courtesy of the Principal, Queen Mary's Hospital School, Carshalton (2 photographs).

Introduction to the Harpsichord.
   By courtesy of the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal, Ltd.

Using the Gramophone.
   By courtesy of H. Tempest, Ltd.

Music Room in a new Secondary School.
   By courtesy of I. D. Campbell, Esq.

String Ensemble in a Preparatory School.
   By courtesy of the Headmaster, Dulwich College Preparatory School.

Opera in a Girls' Grammar School: a scene from Gluck's Orpheus, Act 2.
   By courtesy of E. Grayston Bird, Esq.

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THERE can be few schools in this country where music plays no part, as a subject of the curriculum, as an extra-curricular activity for individuals or groups, or in corporate life. Great diversity exists, however, not only in methods of presenting and teaching music to children but also in the kind of emphasis different schools place upon its value as an educational medium. In one school music may have established itself as an academic subject, in another its functions may be regarded as mainly recreative; some endeavour to draw as many pupils as possible into active participation in singing and playing, others concentrate their efforts on developing a high degree of skill among the more talented. Far more often aims are complicated by the interplay of past traditions and present opportunities, by the shifting of interests that accompanies the arrival or departure of personalities in the kaleidoscopic world of school, and by sensitivity to influences derived from the larger social communities of which the school is a part. The result is a richly variegated pattern that is in keeping with our educational system as a whole, with its capacity for change and experiment controlled, both consciously and instinctively, by a respect for what seems of most value in the legacy of the past.

The spread of compulsory universal education has reduced to a small, though still important, minority those pupils whose attitude to musical instruction is a vocational one. It was otherwise in the grammar, chantry and song schools of the Middle Ages, where most of the boys received practical training in ecclesiastical song as part of their equipment for a clerical life. A boy like Chaucer's 'littel clergeoun' of seven, listening to the older boys practising their Alma redemptoris, and learning it by rote from one of them who could explain only the general sense of the words ('I Ierne song, I can but smal grammere'), might - but for untoward accidents - look forward to the university, there to extend both his theoretical knowledge and his practical skill, as did Nicolas the 'Clerk of Oxenford' with his

       gay sautrye
On which he made a nightes melodye
So swetely, that al the chambre rong;
And Angelus ad Virginem he song ...

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Such informal music-making would give both point and relief to the theoretical treatise of Boethius De Musica that formed the basis of musical study in the quadrivium or second part of the Arts Degree. In a narrower sense, the modern counterpart of these young 'academics' may be sought among the gifted children who specialise in music while at school and afterwards go on to a college of music or to some kind of graduate course in the university. In a wider sense, we all inherit from the mediaeval schools our conception of song, and especially religious song, as a spiritual force binding together the school community on regular or special occasions. This use of music is accepted in every school where singing, and often instrumental music also, enters into the ceremonial of the daily Act of Worship, speech day functions and other times of corporate assembly.

The sixteenth century in England witnessed an enlargement of men's ideas of what made for a full education, and most humanistic writers on the subject made serious claims for the inclusion of musical training, partly on social grounds, but more often because they held in respect the Greek ideal of music as an art, that, properly understood, taught and practised, could help to integrate the personality, bringing into just proportion its physical, mental, moral and emotional elements. Whether the Tudor grammar schools normally provided either theoretical or practical instruction in music is doubtful. Then, even more than now, much depended on the headmaster's personal interests. James Whitelocke, a pupil at Merchant Taylor's School in the second half of the sixteenth century, recalled that Mulcaster, besides teaching him Hebrew, Greek and Latin, took pains 'to increase my skill in musique, in whiche I was brought up by dayly exercise in it as in singing and playing upon instruments' (1). Few can have gone as far as John Howes of Christ's Hospital, who considered 'that children should learne to singe, to play uppon all sorts of instruments, as to sound the trumpett, the cornett, the recorder, or flute, to play uppon shagbolts, shalmes, and all other instruments that are to be plaid uppon either with winde or finger'. (2) The statutes of Westminister School for 1560 provided for two weekly lessons in music, each of an hour's duration, 'as a knowledge of singing is found to be of the greatest use for clear and distinct enunciation'. (3)

But in the main the secularization of schools during the sixteenth century reduced the number of boys - and girls - who received regular

(1) David G. T. Harris: Musical Education in Tudor Times. (Proceedings of the Musical Association, 1938-9, p. 121). Mulcaster's views on the place of music in a school curriculum are set out in his Positions (1581) and The First Part of The Elementarie (1582).

(2) Ibid. p. 122.

(3) Ibid, p. 120. See also Bruce Pattison: Music and Poetry of the English Renaissance, 1948.

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musical training as part of the school curriculum. The monasteries were dissolved, most of the chantries confiscated, and a number of collegiate foundations converted into cathedrals with sound schools devoted entirely to the training of choristers. The separation of song school from grammar school was to result in a neglect of music in the latter almost down to the present day. (1) The widespread musical culture of Englishmen and Englishwomen in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was the product almost entirely of private tuition and domestic practice, though it is true that many of their teachers learnt the rudiments in the surviving choir schools. And in a few girls' schools there seem to have been serious musical studies; Josiah Priest's boarding school, for which Purcell wrote Dido and Aeneas (about 1689), and Mrs. Perwich's in Hackney, with the renowned Susanna Perwich (2) as the leader among several musical pupils, were outstanding seventeenth century examples. On the whole, however, the ethical conception of music as a humanising influence tended to dwindle towards the close of the seventeenth and throughout the eighteenth century, though it never disappeared completely from educational thought. It was replaced by a guarded tolerance of the art as a pastime or, at best, a relaxation from weightier studies. Early in the humanistic period Elyot had emphasised both the recreative and ethical values of music, basing his doctrine on that of Plato's Republic:

'The tutor suffereth not the childe to be fatigate with continual studie or lernynge ... but that there may be entrelased and mixte therewith some pleasant lernynge and exercise as playenge on instruments of musike ... seeing how necessary it is for the better attaining the knowledge of the public weal, which containeth a perfect harmony.' (3)
Milton expanded the same idea in recommending music as a form of relief to an overloaded curriculum, in a passage prophetic of modern lunch-hour activities.
'The interim of ... rest before meat may ... be taken up in recreating and composing their travail'd spirits with the solemn and divine harmonies of Musick heard or learnt; either while the skilful Organist
(1) It is now usual for a cathedral choir school to be organised either as a preparatory or as a grammar school with a majority of boys who are not choristers. Certain of these schools have developed a musical bias. Where no choir school survives or has ever existed, the choristers frequently hold places in neighbouring maintained or direct grant grammar schools.

(2) John Batchiler, The Virgins Pattern 1661:

'Ask Rogers, Bing, Coleman and others
The most exactly skilful Brothers:
Ask Brian, Mell, Ives, Gregories,
Hows, Stifkins, all, in whom there lyes
Rare Arts of Musick, they can tell,
How well she sang: how rarely well
She play'd on several instruments.
(3) Sir Thomas Elyot: The Boke named the Governour, 1531

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plies his grave and fancied descant, in lofty fugues, or the whole Symphony with artful and unimaginable touches adorn and grace the well studied chords of some choice Composer, sometimes the Lute, or soft Organ stop waiting on elegant Voices either to Religious, martial or civil Ditties; which if wise men and Prophets be not extreamly out, have a great power over dispositions and manners, to smooth and make them gentle from rustick harshness and distemper'd passions. The like also would not be unexpedient after Meat to assist and cherish Nature in his first concoction and send their minds back to study in good tune and satisfaction.' (1)
Once separated from its philosophical context, the 'recreational' theory was capable of doing much harm. If music was nothing more than a means of relaxation or a pastime it was unworthy of a place among serious studies. Even the scholarly Dr. Burney could describe the art as 'an innocent luxury, unnecessary, indeed, to our existence, but a great improvement and gratification of the sense of hearing'. The unhappy divorce between music and the humanities that began before Burney's own age and continued, as far as England was concerned, until late in the nineteenth century, helped to banish music from most boys' schools and degrade it to the level of an 'accomplishment' in boarding schools for girls. Even today this fallaciously narrow conception is sometimes held to justify trivial, tasteless music, slovenly standards of performance, and a neglect of the disciplines of the art whose mastery produces so much satisfaction and enjoyment. What saved music for the schools was the recognition of its educative values by the great educational reformers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Froebel all gave it an honoured place in their systems. What was strikingly original about these men's teachings was that they dealt with children as children, and not as adults in miniature; and in their attitude to music they recognised the importance of drawing upon the kind of music most natural to a young child, the simple folk-song or 'nursery song' fashioned, preserved and orally transmitted by generations of women occupied in nursing, tending, and playing with their children. They also grasped the value of spontaneity in singing for young children; it was observed that the pupils of Pestalozzi sang on all possible occasions, and especially when out of doors. The development of these educational ideas coincided with the period when scholars, poets and musicians in various countries, and especially the German-speaking ones, were collecting and studying folk-songs and learning to appreciate their fragile beauty. Although the riches of English folk-songs were still ignored, the value of song not merely as a recreation but also as a humanising and ennobling influence was accepted by leading thinkers in this country before the period of compulsory education. In Robert Owen's school at the New Lanark

(1) Milton: Tractate of Education, 1644, reprinted 1673.

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Mills the children sang Scottish traditional songs and took part in traditional dances. Within a year or so of the passing of the Forster Act in 1870 singing was made virtually a compulsory subject of elementary education in all Board schools, one-sixth of the annual grant being payable only if singing was included in the school curriculum. To be eligible for this proportion of the grant the school had to prepare a dozen songs in the course of the year and sing to the inspector those he asked for. The Code of 1882 introduced a grant of sixpence a pupil if the singing were 'by rote' and a shilling if a successful attempt were made to teach the elements of notation.

With what energy the teaching profession applied itself to the task of making the nation's children musically literate can perhaps best be realised from a perusal of inspectors' general reports published during the last three decades of the nineteenth century. At first some districts were more successful than others. An inspector working in Yorkshire could write as early as 1873: 'Singing is taught in all the schools except one, and is generally done well, as indeed it ought to be in the West Riding where the people have a genius for singing'. (1) From another area in the same year the report was more guarded: 'Attention has lately been devoted to vocal music. Singing has never been wholly neglected, and here and there it deserved the name of music; but generally speaking singing was executed with a curious indifference to pitch, or tune or style ... If vocal beauties were obscured defects were happily hidden by the thunder of the harmonium. I cannot say that this description is altogether out of date, though a great and successful effort has been made to improve ... The possibilities of school singing are beginning to reveal themselves. Singing by ear no longer means the slovenly rendering of debased melodies, all possibly in the same key; but it means an ability to appreciate accurately, and reproduce with flexibility and exactness, and compass of voice enlarged by practice, music which abides in the memory from hearing it or seeing it notated ... '. (2) The inspectors at this period were required to investigate the merits of various methods of teaching sight-singing they found in the schools. One produced a classification of prevailing methods under three headings: the 'fixed Do' or Italian system (as used in several continental countries today); the 'movable Do' or 'Lancashire sol-fa'; and the 'tonic solfa' method associated with the name of John Curwen, the Congregational minister who from the middle of the century onwards had disseminated his ideas through lectures, classes and text books. Few of Curwen's teaching devices were original: the modulator, the French time-names, and the solfa syllables were all taken over from other - and in the case of the pitch-names much older - systems. His

(1) Reports of the Committee of Council on Education, 1873-74, p. 55.

(2) Ibid, p. 187.

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work lay in the direction of synthesis; he fused established principles and effective devices into a logical scheme of aural training that could be handled by a competent teacher whose knowledge of music might be slender, and readily understood by pupils who had no instrumental experience. Curwen always stressed the point that tonic solfa was a system of aural training; and those who watched the spread of his ideas in the schools generally agreed that the effect of his method when ably taught was to make the children sing better, and above all make them sing in tune. It was also emphasised, both in the writings of Curwen himself and in the later Codes and Suggestions issued by the Board of Education, that the special notation of tonic solfa was intended only as a series of stepping stones to the reading of staff notation. One inspector who claimed to know little of music summed up the whole situation - perhaps for the future as well as his own time - by expressing 'a hope that no amount of knowledge of the meaning and value of any musical notation may be accepted as fully satisfactory, unless the children can sing their songs in a pleasing manner and with correct method and also interpret an unseen piece of easy music'. (1)

The development of singing in the schools undoubtedly gained impetus not only from official interest in the matter but also from the intense choral activity that was going on throughout the country. John Hullah, one of the pioneers of class-singing instruction among adults, was able to write in 1873: 'A singing class, a choir, or a choral society is now to be met with in every town, almost in every village.' This enthusiasm was reflected in the training colleges for intending teachers, and from the time of his appointment (1872) as inspector of music in those institutions Hullah gave practical as well as theoretical tests from which few were exempt. His reports on training college music are filled with observations that have more than ephemeral value: 'The business of the teacher (tutor) in a training college is not (save incidentally) to form a pleasing choir, but a body of vocal musicians, every individual member of which shall be able to teach vocal music' ... 'As a rule, teachers sing too much, in practical lessons; and they talk too much, and play or sing - or make their pupils do so - too little in a theoretical one. In a word, no so-called theoretical lesson should pass without practice; no practical lesson without theory' ... 'A skilful teacher may, and often does, give a clever and useful lesson on something with which yesterday he was comparatively unacquainted ... But the most elementary singing lesson involves, on the part of him who gives it, a sympathy of eye and ear that can be attained only by long cultivation, can be made available only when it has become part of his being; and when thus attained and made available, can no more be lost or

(1) Reports of the Committee of Council on Education, 1882.-3, p. 410.

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forgotten, like the knowledge of mere facts, than the power of speaking or understanding his native tongue.' (1)

The chief obstacle to progress in school singing was the lack of suitable songs, especially for the younger children. Much of the material contained in school song books was adapted from German sources, or specially written; and original matter was frequently banal, in either tunes or words or both. The same music by Mendelssohn was found in different song collections set to the hymn

'Another day of heavenly rest
and Angels' work is ended'
and to the infants' rhyme
'Oh mousey dear, oh mousey dear
How came you to the pantry here?'
Christy minstrel songs, and the melodies of Stephen Foster, were also popular, one of the latter being married to the cautionary lines:
'I must not throw upon the floor
The crust I cannot eat.'
Unhappily the riches of native folk-song were still unexplored; indeed their very existence was generally unsuspected, and the fascinating treasury of British nursery song, now regarded as every child's birthright and the foundations of musical experience in the infant school, was disregarded in the schools, though widely current outside them. The publication of Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, soon after the middle of the century, drew attention to a vast amount of English song preserved in printed form, and included works by known composers - especially those of the eighteenth century - which have become part of the national heritage; and a series of school song books, of which Hullah's published in 1866 was one of the best, drew upon Chappell for English material and also on Thomson's Scottish Songs, Thomas's Welsh Melodies and Bunting's Ancient Music of Ireland. Shortly after the turn of the century the Board of Education gave official backing to a song repertory based on these traditional sources. Its Suggestions for the Consideration of Teachers, first published in 1905, included as an appendix a lengthy list of recommended English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish songs, with a few rounds. These 'national songs' soon afterwards formed the basis of a school song book, originally edited by C. V. Stanford, that is still widely used. It was unfortunate, perhaps, that the list appeared a little too early to take into account the influence of the movement for collecting folk-song from oral, as opposed to printed, sources. The first volume of Folk Songs from Somerset had been published by Cecil Sharp at the end of 1904, and in 1906 Sharp wrote to the press criticising the choice of songs set out in the 1905 Suggestions. 'Schoolmasters,' he

(1) Reports of the Committee of Council on Education, 1872-3, pp. 362 seq., 1873-4, pp. 285 seq.

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protested, 'in the belief that they are teaching folk-songs, will give the children the songs suggested in the Blue book ... ' (1) Stanford defended the Suggestions list on the ground that it was better to 'begin with a list of those (songs) which have long been acknowledged as the backbone of national music'; Sharp insisted that it was important to distinguish 'between two kinds of music that are fundamentally different from one another ... the one is individual, the other communal and racial'. Within a few years the publication of several collections of folk-songs taken from oral transmission, of further collections of 'national' songs, and of several books that drew impartially on both kinds of source, gave teachers a wealth of fine material for unison singing from the infant school onward, and the repertory of traditional song, augmented not only from British but also from American and European sources, is still in process of active growth. Further, the interest taken by leading musicians in the work of the schools has enriched the literature of unison and part singing in a measure that few other countries can rival. The rise of the school music festival (2) brought first-class composers and conductors into closer touch with the elementary schools, and led not only to a rapid improvement in standards of singing but also to the composition of music for children's voices, much of it, particularly in the genre of part-songs for equal voices, of a fine order of artistry.

The expansion of secondary education in the early years of the twentieth century led to fresh developments. The Board's Memorandum on Music in the Secondary School, issued in 1906, was a slender document, stressing what might be rather than what normally existed at this time in the secondary school. Confidence in the achievements of the elementary school appears in the recommendations on the teaching of notation: 'It is not generally appreciated, except in the Elementary School, that sight singing can easily be begun at about the same age as reading and writing, and that the difficulty, as with these subjects, increases out of all proportion if the beginning is unduly postponed'. And the Memorandum draws attention to the 1905 Suggestions list of songs, with the observation: 'It is generally recognised that the traditional song literature of a nation is the natural foundation on which musical culture should be based. Such songs are the true classics of the people, and their survival, some of them by oral tradition alone, shows that their appeal is direct and lasting'. Yet it was from the secondary school, and from its oldest and reputedly most conservative

(1) A. H. Fox-Strangways: Cecil Sharp, 1933. See also Margaret Dean-Smith: A Guide to English Folk Song Collections, 1954, pages 14-16, for an excellent summary of this controversy.

(2) The Association of Competitive Festivals was founded in 1905; the British Federation of Music Festivals in 1927. The Non-competitive Festival Movement began in 1927. See chapter 6.

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representatives, that some of the most valuable ideas for the growth of school music were to come. Beginning with Uppingham, where Thring made history by appointing a Director of Music, (1) several of the independent public schools had been developing their musical lives in a manner that differed considerably from what was possible at this period in schools supported or aided by the state. With larger financial resources, a more flexible school day, and teams of highly qualified specialist teachers, some of them men of outstanding personal qualities, they were able to build up musical traditions that included individual instrumental tuition, school orchestras, chamber music groups, house music competitions, and chapel services combining in a distinctive way collegiate with congregational singing. Most important of all, perhaps, they demonstrated that the classics of musical literature, if skilfully graded and presented, could make a strong and lasting appeal to the average boy. As the following chapters will show, there are few of these features that have not been embodied in some form in the musical life of the country's schools as a whole, while the independent schools in their turn have often been glad to learn from the experience of the younger state schools, especially in the field of class-teaching.

During the half century that has elapsed since the issue of the first Suggestions and the first Secondary School Memorandum, school music has enlarged its scope so widely that a brief survey can indicate only a few important trends. These may be summarised under the headings of instrumental music, movement in association with music, and training in listening. It is interesting to note that all three, though generally regarded as products of a modern educational outlook, were foreshadowed by nineteenth century pioneers of universal education and indeed can be traced back to still older experiments, as historical references already given in this chapter may have shown. When we read of the amount of instrumental music cultivated in the training colleges of the seventies - ranging from piano classes to students' performances, at the annual inspection, on a variety of instruments including the cornet and the bagpipe chanter; (2) or of school bands having been established (by 1882) in many boys' schools, where they were said to 'give much pleasure and amusement, not only to the performers but to all the children in the school', (3) we realise that the present day cultivation of instrumental playing in schools of every type is a splendid fulfilment of earlier ideals. John Howes of Christ's Hospital (4) would find no more than the realisation of his dreams if he

(1) This term was not in fact used in connection with the original appointment of a 'music master'.

(2) Report on inspection of music in training colleges, 1873.

(3) Report of H.M.I. for S. Dorset and S.W. Hants., 1882.

(4) See above, page 2.

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could return from the sixteenth century to overhear an orchestral rehearsal in a secondary school today; he might indeed gain satisfaction from observing that percussion playing can be a valuable element in the teaching of backward children, since the records of Christ's Hospital contain the following entry: 'Drommes. Paid to George Kinge, and George Pulliard, drommers to her Mtie for iij drommes to instruct the ignorant sort of children ... not apt for theire book, and for theire better preferment in her Mtie affaires when tyme shall serve, the sum of 03 12s. 0d.' (1) If the 'musical drill' of the early elementary schools has long been superseded by infinitely more flexible systems of relationship between music and bodily movement, some of which are still at stages of vigorous experiment, it was fundamentally a reaching back towards educational principles established in the ancient Greek world. And whereas Matthew Arnold, writing as an inspector of schools more than half a century before the gramophone, the radio and the sound-film brought within the range of millions a wealth of musical experience, expressed the hope that 'music, now that instruction in it is made universal, ought to lay the foundation in the children of our elementary schools of a cultivated power of perception', (2) an early eighteenth century amateur had already given a warning, in a homely simile, against substituting a purely descriptive or analytical treatment of music for direct contact through performance: 'And grant that a man read all the books of musick that ever were wrote, I shall not allow that musick is or can be understood out of them, no more than the taste of meats out of cookish receipt books'. (3)

The multiplication of resources, not only through modern devices for transmitting and recording sound, but also through an increasingly generous and varied provision of facilities, has brought the teacher new problems as well as new possibilities. The proportion of bad music to good in the twentieth century is probably no greater than, if as great as, it was in the nineteenth; but it is more accessible, more insistent, owing to the strength of commercial interests, and, because of the rising of professional standards of performance to a generally high level, more persuasive. The pupil is not always to be blamed if he finds a radio or film 'hit' or 'novelty number', cunningly scored and executed with faultless technique, more attractive than a folk-tune deprived of its vitality by an unrhythmical presentation on a decrepit piano, or an orchestral overture travestied by a worn-out gramophone record. In dealing with 'popular' music, especially in the secondary

(1) Quoted in T. H. Vail Motter: The School Drama in England. London, 1929, p. 173.

(2) Report of the Committee of Council on Education, 1872-3, p. 24.

(3) Roger North: The Musicall Gramarian. Ed. Hilda Andrews, London, 1925.

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school, it may be necessary to apply afresh the parable of the tares and the wheat. Any experienced teacher of music will testify to the fact that young people often show a remarkable instinct for assimilating music of high quality when they are given sincere, able and patient help in making direct contact with it. Where questions of taste are concerned, the school need not be the victim of its environment; and indeed there are impressive examples of the school having taken the lead in forming taste. It is of vital importance to the future of our musical education that the variegated pattern of our educational system should be preserved, since creativeness springs from such a background. No school should be discouraged if it can develop only a few of the many kinds of musical activity from which it can choose. Here, as in every other branch of teaching, it is the enthusiasm, skill and taste of individuals that will govern the choice and set the course towards success.


Primary Schools

(a) Nursery and Infant Stages

WHEN a child comes to school he normally brings with him a considerable variety of musical experience. Much of this will doubtless have come from sound radio and television programmes ranging in suitability from such series as Listen with Mother to material of a more sophisticated character preferred by the older members of the family. Snatches of contemporary popular song heard at home and in the street may also have made their impression. More fortunate are the children born into homes where music is a respected part of everyday life, where the adults or older children play instruments, or where the mother is able to pass on the nursery songs that form the one section of our native folk-song that has never entirely disappeared from oral tradition. There will be few children who have not become aware of the raw materials of music, the differences in quality of sound and volume that result from tapping, banging and twanging various objects, and of the satisfaction of improvising rhythms by such primitive means.

The nursery or infant school can play an important part in developing the most valuable elements in these early experiences which are a natural part of the child's life. It is the particular task of the infant school to enlarge the scope of musical activity, including experiments

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with sound, in ways that will create a desire to acquire musical skills and thereby explore the world of music to the limits of individual capacity. To achieve these aims there need be no formal instruction in lesson periods specifically devoted to music, which indeed would be entirely out of harmony with the ideals and methods of modern nursery and infant school practice; the more freely music can enter into the daily life of small children the better, and their own teacher, working in the normal surroundings of her room, is in the best position to realise at what points in the school day some kind of musical activity is possible and appropriate, whether the whole group or a few individual members of it should take part, and what materials are required.

Singing rightly comes foremost among the resources available at any time in the day; it calls for no apparatus apart from the teacher's voice, and experience shows that there are few teachers of young children who cannot learn to sing simply, naturally and rhythmically, the traditional songs that are the children's heritage and should form the basis of all their musical training at the primary stage. Even if the teacher is a pianist she should cultivate the habit of unaccompanied singing, which allows her to get closer, both physically and imaginatively, to the children, though she may find an instrument, which need not invariably be the piano, an aid to ensuring that the pitch of the song is suitable to the range of the children's voices. It is best to present a simple song as a whole, without separating words from tune, and the teacher will be able to do this with confidence if she has memorised it. As the songs become longer it may be necessary to teach them phrase by phrase, a method that helps towards an appreciation of the rhythmic shape of the song and towards breath control. Formal exercises in breathing and tone formation are seldom effective with small children; musical phrasing and pleasing tone develop through imitation of good patterns set by the teacher and by the more talented children in the group.

The inability of some children, frequently boys, to sing in tune is a defect that is often described as 'droning' or 'growling'. It is commonly caused either by difficulties of muscular co-ordination or by faulty listening; seldom is it a sign of true tone-deafness, which is incident in only a minute fraction of the population, nor is it to be regarded as a symptom of being unmusical. On the contrary, the 'droner', though not always conscious of his defective pitch-adjustment, is often enthusiastic to an embarrassing degree. Given the freedom to sing as a normal member of the group, perhaps in proximity to good singers, and encouraged to listen attentively, he will probably gain control of his voice by the time he is eight or nine years old. The 'droner' generally has a normally developed rhythmic sense and can take part in percussion playing, and at the top infant stage his sense of pitch may be helped

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considerably by playing any simple melodic instrument. The presence of several 'droners' in one group is an almost certain sign that the group has heard and taken part in singing too infrequently, and the remedy is obvious. In dealing with the whole problem it is comforting to reflect that the pitch intervals of our musical system are to some extent arbitrary, and that no child is born knowing them; they are learnt by imitation, exactly like the sounds and intonations of the mother tongue, and the process takes longer for some children than for others.

Many excellent books of traditional English nursery songs, with others adapted from foreign sources, are now available, and all nursery and infant schools should have a selection. Particularly welcome are the published collections of those of our native songs that have come back to us from the Appalachian Mountains. Some of the most useful books suffer from overloaded piano accompaniments, which can be omitted or simplified if they cause problems. Many simple folk songs lend themselves to antiphonal singing between teacher and children or between one group of children and another, and some give scope for the children to take the parts of different characters. To this wealth of traditional song-literature may be added a few songs by modern composers, but great care is needed in selecting them; much poorly written or dull material has to be avoided, and some of the best can only be effective if a capable pianist is available. Traditional singing games have a perennial vitality; not so the specially written 'action songs' in which every step and gesture is prescribed and any initiative precluded.

At some time during the infant stage, it may be well worth while to introduce the pitch names (often called 'solfa names') and time names (sometimes termed 'French time names') that have proved their value both in primary and in secondary schools. Unless the teacher thoroughly understands these devices, however, the children will derive little benefit from them. It is important to realise, in the first place, that they are fundamentally aids to the ear; later they can and should be linked with the conventional symbols of ordinary musical notation, but they do not constitute a notation in themselves and should not be treated as such. The spelling out of the names on the blackboard, therefore, or on 'flash cards', is pointless. Further, the whole purpose of the names is to clarify relationships between sounds, and this purpose is defeated if the names are presented as isolated units. They are best introduced in association with easy phrases from tunes the children know, the teacher patterning a phrase of a few notes in which she has substituted pitch or time names for the customary words, and letting the children imitate what she sings. This again involves careful preparation on the teacher's part, and it should be done very frequently, for a few minutes on each occasion, as an enjoyable game. The children will soon gain

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fluency and confidence in manipulating the syllables orally, and with consistent practice will find at the junior stage that they already hold the clues to the notation of music. Whether notation is actually introduced in the infant school depends on a number of considerations: how much oral practice it has been possible to give the children, their general ability as indicated by their 'reading age', and the interest and proficiency of the teacher. Even if no specific teaching of notation is undertaken the children's curiosity may be aroused by placing a few attractive books of tunes in their library or music corners.

The music corner may be in the classroom, in a corridor or in a hall - anywhere that provides free access for individual children, or small groups. It should contain simple instruments such as tambourines, drums, miniature (or even full-sized) xylophones, glockenspiels, tubular bells and, perhaps, a good gramophone with records which they can put on for themselves. The variety of instruments will enable them to discover experimentally a great deal about pitch relationship, tone quality and differences of volume, and the percussion instruments especially can be used imaginatively in connection with movement, dramatic work and singing. This kind of experiment and improvisation should precede any attempt to form a disciplined percussion group, and the melodic training possible through instruments like the xylophone, which produce sounds of definite and graduated pitch, should be regarded as at least equal in importance to purely rhythmic percussion work. The descant recorder has been introduced for a few children at the top of some infant schools, and there are instances of successful teaching of the violin to children when a competent member of the school staff or a visiting teacher has been available. In all instrumental work the small group is preferable to the large class; indeed, the conventional 'percussion band lesson' might well give place to a more flexible treatment in which small groups of players form only part of a varied pattern that can include singing and movement. From these more imaginatively planned activities may spring ideas for seasonal celebrations, informal concerts and the like.

The combination of movement with music has been the subject of much experiment, especially in primary schools, and the whole question calls for clear thinking and continued study. Moving to music may mean several different things. It can take the obvious form of fitting paces to the regular beats of a march. It can denote a fixed pattern of simple steps to a dance tune, a relationship that is predetermined when the music and the movement have evolved together, as in folk dances. Or the relationship may be less precise, as when movement follows the general structure of a piece of music - its phrase-lengths, its climaxes and cadences and so on - without attempting to reproduce its metrical pattern; or it may even be based almost entirely on an emotional

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parallelism, with movement of a free character generated in response to a conception of the prevailing mood of the music. It is often assumed that all children move spontaneously to music that attracts them, but experience shows that they vary in this respect, some having real difficulty in making any kind of response in movement except in a limited way and with conventional steps. For this reason, music may be a hindrance rather than a stimulus to movement. On the other hand, music that dictates an easily-grasped metrical pattern, like that of many traditional tunes, may give scope for individuality if the children are encouraged to carry out the pattern according to their own ideas, whether these lead them to move over a wide area or to confine themselves to a restricted space. A few clear principles emerge from these somewhat complex considerations. First, much should not be expected from young children by way of response in movement to music until they have acquired resources for movement apart from musical associations. Secondly, it is not always as easy as it may appear to extract a rhythmic pattern from a musical texture; and it may be helpful in the earlier stages to use percussion instruments, rather than gramophone records or piano, to suggest movement, with opportunities for the children to supply their own accompaniment when moving, or to play rhythms for other children to move to. Thirdly, any music used for movement must, however simple, have genuine quality; music played with distorted accentuation, or specially written to accompany one narrowly specified type of movement, or amateurish improvisations, should not be tolerated in any scheme of musical training.

Even when music is played with the express intention of evoking a response in movement, it may be found that certain children prefer to sit quietly and listen. This preference should be respected, and for all the children there should be frequent opportunities to listen to very short pieces played by the teacher on the piano, the recorder, or the violin, from gramophone records, or from broadcasts. Many of the shorter and simpler classics are admirably suited to this purpose, as are certain modern works such as the children's pieces of Béla Bartok. It is quite unnecessary that music presented to children should have associations with a story or a picture, or that they should be encouraged to visualise such associations. The range of music young children find interesting is commonly underestimated. On the other hand, their span of attention is short and should not be stretched unduly. Once they have heard something they enjoy they will welcome it again and again, and the familiarity that comes from frequent re-hearing is an important factor in forming sound and pleasurable habits of listening that may last as long as life itself.

(b) Junior Stage

The change from infant to junior status is by no means to be regarded

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as a putting away of childish things; the aim throughout the primary years should be an expansion of opportunities for musical experience both in variety and in the challenge offered to growing skill. The gradual discarding of activities appropriate to earlier stages may be left to the children. Thus a junior child finds increasing pleasure in singing with his class or with the whole school, but he may also, if he is in an encouraging and stimulating environment, continue to sing by himself or with small groups that may require music for their purposes, as for example in improvising drama. He can derive satisfaction from the discipline of group instrumental work, with recorders, percussion and other resources that may be available, but he may also use these instruments for the personal pleasure of exploring their possibilities. His enjoyment in listening to music chosen and presented by his teacher may be increased by opportunities for making his own choice of live or recorded music, and perhaps using the gramophone privately or as the centre of a small group of interested children. These different methods of approach should provide further incentives to learning the value of notation, and the final stage should be regarded as a time for many children to progress steadily towards command of the skills of reading and, ultimately, writing music.

It is not easy, in the physical conditions of many junior schools, to reconcile the natural and growing demand of children of this age for disciplined team work with the enormous range of individual interest and ability that now becomes increasingly apparent. Out-of-class activities, which are nowadays fostered in so many schools, are a great help in giving scope to the keener and more talented children, while judicious planning of the curriculum and time-table can generally avoid the disadvantages attendant on combined singing classes and other forms of mass organisation that present the teacher with unwieldy numbers and submerge the individual hopelessly in the group.

Specialist teaching of certain subjects, including music, has been adopted with intention in many junior schools, and through force of necessity in many others. Inevitably, if there is on the staff a musician of parts he may help in planning, and in general act as consultant to colleagues and children. He may form a school choir, and organise and keep close contact with instrumental work requiring visiting teachers. His room may be a recognised music room suitably sited and equipped for the purpose, even though some other kinds of work may have to go on there. But in any school where there is the desire to let music play its part in an integrated scheme of junior education, free from excessive time-table domination, some parts at least of the teaching must fall to the class teacher, who knows his children individually and can foresee occasions to bring music into touch with other branches of the

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curriculum. It is hardly necessary to mention that where several teachers are concerned in the teaching of music all should be in possession of the scheme of work for the whole school and that periodical staff conferences and other means should be used to ensure, in this subject as in others, continuity of treatment and steady progression towards recognised aims.

Confidence in the use of the singing voice, far more than instrumental skill, is important to the junior school teacher, since children at the junior stage, as at the nursery and infant stages, learn mainly by imitating the singing of their teacher. Without discarding the nursery rhymes and songs they have already learnt, they should explore the treasures of the national folk music of their own and other lands. Towards the top of the junior school they may widen their repertory by judicious choice from classical and modern composers and learn, first through antiphonal singing, and later through canons, rounds and descants, something of the joy of part-singing. Much of their singing at all stages should be unaccompanied, so that they sense the need for easy and beautiful tone, true vowels, lively lips, vital rhythm and flexibility in shaping the contour of phrases. The mood of the song must be realised first of all, for interpretation is the target at which all technical skills, and even accuracy of notes, are aimed. It is a mistake to try to 'learn the song' and subsequently 'put in the expression', or to separate words and tune during the first stages of the learning process. Children love contrast of mood and speed - light, fast 'lip-songs' are a particular delight - but pitch and tempo should be congenial to the range of their voices and their natural rate of movement. Many hymn books, not specially edited for children, print the tunes in keys chosen to allow baritones in the congregation to sing the melody in comfort; some hymns may therefore need to be transposed even a third higher for children. Even a good song book may contain tunes that are all the better for an upward transposition.

The treatment of 'growlers' has already been discussed at some length; (1) these children should never be excluded from the singing class, nor silenced altogether when the others are singing A little individual attention usually produces rapid improvement in sense of pitch and control of the voice, and the provision of simple instruments as an alternative outlet for musical expression is particularly helpful in such cases.

There is a place in the music scheme of every junior school for a course in music reading, graded in a way similar to training in reading the mother tongue, and similarly modified to suit varying aptitudes. But such a course can succeed with most children only if firmly based on oral facility in using pitch and time names on the lines suggested in the

(1) Pages 12-13.

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infant section. (1) Once these devices have been translated into the symbols of staff notation - and remarkably few symbols are required to read a very large number of simple tunes - there should be regular and frequent, but not laborious, reading practice. The main effort should be towards securing fluency, and the temptation to engage in exhaustive explanations of a theoretical nature should be firmly resisted. Much can be taken for granted, at least in the earlier stages, and perhaps in the later ones, by all but the ablest children. There is, for example, no need to avoid keys like E major that are convenient for singing on the assumption that the key-signature must first be elucidated, since all that the children require is to be shown the position of the keynote on the staff. The fact that C major is the easiest key to read on a keyboard instrument, on the other hand, does not imply that it is a particularly easy or grateful key for vocal sight-reading. Similarly, if attention is given to phrasing and note-values, much of the apparatus of time-signatures and bar-lines can be taken in one's stride in reading a simple tune. As reading power grows it can constantly be brought into service; the elucidation of a difficult vocal or instrumental phrase, the attempt at reading a suitably chosen phrase in a new song or piece, are obvious examples, and use of the blackboard is important. The first 'readers' in either pitch or rhythm may be anthologies of favourite phrases, the notation of which is recorded by the child with the help of the teacher and with little or no explanation; but as no one can learn to read a language without seeing it often in print, it is essential to provide, at least in the upper half of the junior school, copies of songs and hymn books with the melody line in staff notation. Some teachers like to use one of the many published sight-reading manuals for supplementary material, whose artistic value is greater if it consists of carefully chosen and graded extracts from song melodies and other musical literature. Reading is an individual matter needing individual exercise and assessment. Here again the procedure of the teacher of the mother tongue, who finds frequent opportunity to hear a few children read while the rest are otherwise occupied, might usefully be applied to music reading. Reading in chorus gives useful practice but is deceptive without a close knowledge of the stage and rate of progress of each separate child. Finally, however anxious we may be to develop reading skill at this stage, we should not exclude from the children's repertory songs that are technically too difficult to be incorporated, except perhaps in part, in their reading material. It would be unfortunate if the useful connection between reading and repertory were made so rigid as to preclude any worthy musical experience with a direct appeal to the ear and the imagination.

A child who plays an instrument, whether tubular bells, recorder,

(1) Pages 13-14.

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pipe, or violin, will probably advance more quickly in pitch reading with it than with his voice. At the same time, a child learning to play any instrument should be taught to hear the expected note mentally before he plays it, rather than after due deliberation to strike a bar or tube, press a key, or place his fingers on a string or the holes of a pipe and produce a sound that mayor may not be the one desired. Mention has already been made of the informal use of percussion instruments and recorders. Group discipline has its place with both, but it is not the first stage. Percussion playing, often too hastily discarded at the close of the infant stage, may have fruitful developments in the junior school, especially if the children are encouraged to work out their own rhythmic patterns and produce their own scorings. Recorders are instruments of ancient and honourable lineage with a large repertory of music properly belonging to them; they are invaluable aids to fluency in pitch reading; and they begin to yield pleasure at an early stage of learning. There are schools where boys and girls of ten accompany their own folk dancing, alternating as players and dancers, and playing from the printed score. The combined use of singing and playing in music reading is less commonly heard. Too often, in fact, instrumental work is treated in a separate compartment. It is in schools where children are already enjoying a varied musical life and experiencing the satisfaction that music-making has to offer that the introduction of more difficult instruments, such as the violin, stands the best chance of success. Skilled instruction from the earliest stage is essential, and children willingly accept it. Continued application depends upon consciousness of growing power, and the scheme should include, from its early stages, the provision of opportunities for the children to exercise their new skills among their companions. The advantages of group teaching, not only in economy of teaching power but also in the mutual encouragement of young pupils, are becoming clearer as more instrumental teachers prepare themselves for the particular technique of handling it. Where skilful teaching is available, the 'cello or certain brass or woodwind instruments may be started during the junior stage. The instrumental teacher must be able to demonstrate freely to his pupils and willing to play quite often to them and to the other children. If he is not a full-time member of the staff, the more he can be felt to belong to the life of the school the less will be the disappointing wastage of enthusiastic beginnings.

Creative work is possible not only through instrumental resources but also by means of the singing voice and, as in the infant school, through movement. Children enjoy improvising plays and ballad operas incorporating songs they know, and they may try adapting words of their own to familiar tunes. There is as yet little evidence to show sustained development in children's power to make up their own tunes.

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Perhaps they do so with more confidence instrumentally than vocally; perhaps shape is easier to control if the tune has to fit verses or dance movements. As long as the exploration of these possibilities does not lead to the neglect of other musical activities of tried value, original tune-making may prove to be one way of obtaining a grasp of musical forms, and the desire to write down the results may become an incentive to acquiring a command of notation. We do not yet know how many children are capable of pursuing this kind of creativeness to a point of achievement and satisfaction, and we shall learn the answer only from schools which encourage them to attempt it. The tape-recording machine may be helpful in enabling children to hear and appraise their own 'compositions' at an early stage, without introducing the additional labour of notation.

There will be many occasions when music can be brought into relationship with movement, drama, history, literature, or projects involving interest in work on land or sea; and some of the most fruitful combined work of this character may be carried out in connection with the seasonal festivals. A concert for its own sake has a place, so long as the children's interests are not unduly subordinated to impressing audiences. School music festivals have done wonders in helping teachers to know what can be achieved in taste, variety and skill. They are exciting events, and so may be incentives to children's keenness, though sometimes they have been allowed to influence unduly, or even to dictate, the musical activities of schools. Operettas written for children are all too often open to the objection that the quality of the music is poorer than the songs they normally sing. It is perhaps not necessary to emphasise the freshness and variety that music can contribute to the daily Act of Worship.

Opportunities for listening, on which stress has already been laid in discussing the infant stage, should continue in the junior school along with active music-making. The widest possible variety of 'live' performance is to be desired, as long as it is competent; and gramophone and broadcasts are invaluable provided that the quality of reproduction is faithful.

The various series of music broadcasts offer a refreshing enlargement of repertory and a range of resources not easily available in the classroom. It is important that the quality of reproduction should be good, that close attention should be paid to the age range for which they are planned, and that children should have copies of the appropriate handbook. The handbooks are cheap and attractive, and have many uses after the series of broadcasts is ended. In some village schools where each teacher copes with a wide age-range, groups of children may listen without her aid.

Every teacher of juniors will find it worth while to discuss with the

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children the music they hear out of school, especially through sound broadcasting and television programmes, as only by doing so can he appreciate his pupils' cultural background, and realise the full nature and extent of their experience of music, to which his own contribution in school supplies but a part.


Secondary Schools

IT has already been suggested that some of the most noteworthy developments in musical education during the past fifty years have taken place in the secondary schools. The 1944 Education Act not only made it possible for all children over the age of eleven to share the fruits of pioneer work carried out in the older secondary and independent schools, or stimulated by the Hadow Report of 1926; it also led to the birth of new patterns of secondary education, whose youthful vitality enabled them both to be influenced by, and in their turn to influence, traditional ideals and practice. This was perhaps especially true of the teaching of artistic subjects, including music, at the post-primary stage. The younger types of school were quick to realise the power of music to draw together and strengthen a community through the corporate singing of fine tunes, to inspire and control rhythmical movement, to give the individual as well as the group a command of satisfying skills, and to create its own world of disciplined imagination in which to strive after perfection brings immediate and lasting rewards.

This re-affirmation of the value of music in the secondary school has led to a re-assessment of teaching aims, methods and materials. The mere task of equipping so many new schools has raised, throughout the field of secondary education, such questions as the proper size and siting of music rooms, the choice of pianos, record-players and wireless sets, and the adequacy of existing song books, sheet music and text-books. Publishers, film and record companies, composers and authors have been faced with new demands. The desire to bring to as many children as possible the thrilling experience of part-singing and instrumental performance has provoked vigorous and healthy revaluation of methods of teaching the notation of music. Above all, the range of

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intellectual ability and diversity of home background now to be taken into account, together with the present-day tendency to draw the school into close relationship with the outside world, confronts the teacher with the necessity of deciding upon his attitude towards the music his pupils hear and absorb, consciously or subconsciously, through sound broadcasting and television, the cinema, the gramophone and other sources beyond his direct control.

It may be useful to begin with some general principles that apply to musical training in all types of secondary school, leaving for later consideration modes of treatment relevant to special conditions, as for example those that obtain in the upper forms of the grammar school. Whatever their differences, the secondary schools have many problems in common: examples are the variation in standards of musical attainment among entrants drawn from several contributory primary schools, the incidence of the changing voice among boys during their secondary school life, the advantages and disadvantages of amalgamated music classes, and the timing of out-of-class activities in areas where many pupils travel from afar.

One of the major factors controlling the scope of work possible in any school is the status of the teacher himself, including not only his musical qualifications but also the nature of the contribution he is expected to make to the teaching strength of the school as a whole. Difficulties of staffing are probably most acute in the largest and smallest secondary schools. A large school can usually count on the services of at least one full-time teacher with specialist qualifications, but the broader his vision and the stronger his enthusiasm the more rapidly he may be overwhelmed with the volume of work his energy inspires. Out-of-class activities especially tend to multiply at an embarrassing rate. It is necessary to foresee this and provide, when and where the burden is greatest, some relief for what can easily become an intolerable strain on the specialist's time and nervous stamina. It must also be remembered that where part-time assistance is available from visiting teachers of instrumental music, the full-time teacher will have to give attention to organising and co-ordinating that work, besides following up pupils' practice, checking their standards of attainment and drafting them into orchestras and other forms of ensemble playing. It may be that the music specialist shares in the teaching of other subjects. Indeed, some of the most valuable musical work has been done by teachers heavily committed to other branches of the curriculum, though there is always a dilemma to be faced when the claims of an important academic subject prevent a teacher with divided responsibilities from developing the music of the school as far as he would wish. To the problem of providing any music teaching whatever in the small secondary school the part-time visiting specialist may sometimes be the

[Text continues below the following illustrations, which were on unnumbered pages between pages 22 and 23.]

Recorders in a Primary School.

Brass Band in a Primary School.

Brass Band in a Secondary Modern School.

Dancing to the Recorders.

The National Youth Orchestra, 1954.

Madrigals in the Garden.

Madrigal Group in a Northern Grammar School.

Pipe Playing in a Hospital School.

Introduction to the Harpsichord.

Using the Gramophone.

Music Room in a new Secondary School.

String Ensemble in a Preparatory School.

Opera in a Girls' Grammar School; a scene from Gluck's Orpheus, Act 2.

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only solution, Some of the best results in rural areas have been achieved through the appointment of a well-qualified specialist to teach music in several schools in an area, including perhaps both primary and secondary schools.

Assuming that adequate teaching power is available, one of the first considerations will be how to make effective use of the previous musical experience of entrants from a number of primary schools, perhaps differing widely in their musical aims, resources and achievements. It may help the teacher to reflect that some at least of his first year pupils will be looking forward to the excitement of new subjects or of fresh treatment of familiar ones, and to adopt a bold and vigorous policy. He will probably obtain a ready response to some less hackneyed folk and traditional songs, and to some classical and modern unison songs with interesting piano accompaniments, and an early introduction to simple part-singing.

Given a working knowledge of pitch and time names and constant reference to music copies, notation can have an increasing and very real significance for the majority of pupils, though the number who become able to give a completely accurate rendering of a piece of music at sight may be limited. Where there are really able pupils, as in a grammar school, from which many of the future leaders of musical activity may be expected to come, the teacher may be able to go further and faster, strengthening individual knowledge and powers of initiative in ways that will increase his pupils' enjoyment as well as his own. Whatever may be the calibre of the pupils, they will derive more profit from the study of music reading if their efforts are directed to the reading of music of intrinsic worth and interest rather than to the routine performance of exercises. The introduction of part-singing always re-emphasises the value of skill in music reading, for the use of copies, even when many details of the notation cannot be comprehended fully, helps the ear and the memory in learning more quickly, more permanently and with greater accuracy.

The writing down of music, whether it takes the form of simple dictation or of free melodic composition, can give great value if the pupils are ready for it; but ability to write depends upon ability to read, and the premature introduction of such work is wasteful of time and effort. On the whole it is well to resist any attempt to apportion the time available for class music rigidly between 'music' and 'singing', or to set aside lessons under the misleading designation of 'theory'. This kind of subdivision often frustrates the planning of lessons that should be varied and flexible but also unified, every lesson period having as its principal aim to bring the pupils into closer touch with music of permanent value, both as listeners and, wherever possible, as performers.

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Much of this work, and particularly the training of eye and ear, is almost out of the question with classes larger than the form unit. In many schools it has been found possible to allot two or even three weekly periods to class music in the first two years of the secondary course, before the claims of academic or vocational specialisation have begun seriously to assert themselves, and at a stage when much can be done to lay a foundation of musical knowledge and skills. A reasonably ample allowance of time in these two years will also enable the teacher to discover pupils of special musical aptitude, to learn which of these have opportunities for additional study of music outside the school, and perhaps to introduce selected pupils to instrumental work on an individual or group basis.

In the third and fourth years of the secondary school there will probably be some change of emphasis in class music arising, in boys' and mixed schools, from the beginning of the 'changing voice' period, and also, in grammar schools, from the introduction of options in the curriculum. In some mixed schools boys and girls are separated for music classes after the second year, for at least part of the course. This generally involves the grouping together of pupils from different streams, or even, in a small school, from different years; but the advantages are considerable. Boys in general have given of their best as treble singers by the time they reach the third year, and then have to begin learning the management of the voice afresh as well as the reading and holding of vocal parts in a new clef. If the boys are freed to solve these problems on their own, the girls are not withheld from learning progressively more difficult choral music and from exploring the wealth of classical and modern part-music for equal voices, which is their right. From time to time it should be possible for the boys and girls to come together for mixed singing, whether for an occasional period or even for a whole term in a year. The grammar school has clear advantages in dealing with this problem, as more of the boys are likely to stay long enough in the school for their voices to settle as fairly mature baritones, basses and possibly tenors.

Training in listening to music, generally with the aid of broadcasting, the gramophone, and perhaps the sound film, enters into most secondary school music courses. The term 'musical appreciation', as often applied to such training, is somewhat misleading, since 'appreciation' in its true sense - an evaluation of the qualities of a work of art - should permeate every musical activity, whether it be the singing or playing of the simplest folk-tune or the study of a symphony. Some of the most valuable teaching of this kind will occur incidentally in the class singing lesson; in building up the climax of a fine hymn tune, for example, or in realising the integrity of a Schubert song with its eloquent piano accompaniment, or in determining the tempo best

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suited to bring out the character of a traditional ballad. In choosing and presenting pieces of instrumental or vocal music for listening it is vitally important to be aware of the full extent of the pupils' background and to avoid an artificial approach. Through the cinema and broadcasting, young people have become accustomed to modern idioms of composition, if only in their derivative applications to modern light music scoring; and with an acquired taste for vivid orchestration and twentieth century rhythms and harmony they may take far more readily to Ravel, Stravinsky and Walton than to Brahms, Beethoven and Haydn. For this reason, if for no other, it is seldom advisable to plan an elementary course on the chronological lines of a text-book. Every teacher must find his own starting point by exploring the state of his pupils' knowledge, and work forwards or backwards as their interest develops. Here, as in the teaching of singing, every opportunity should be seized to demonstrate the helpfulness of musical notation. A rhythmic pattern, a melodic extract, or a point of instrumentation can be shown on the blackboard and perhaps copied into the pupils' notebooks, and where possible other visual aids, such as those so well provided in the B.B.C. pamphlets, should be brought into service and may lead to the following of miniature scores. In the early stages this can be done by projecting a simple score for string orchestra or string quartet on a screen, and later more difficult scores can be introduced which include one or more transposing instruments. Eventually individual scores can be used. If biographical or other factual information is likely to help towards an understanding of the music it may be provided either through the teacher's comments or, with pupils of suitable ability, by directing them to books. Interest may also be quickened by pointing out connections with literature, history, geography and other subjects of the curriculum and by looking at pictures and other visual material. But the main emphasis should always be on first-hand experience of the music itself. It is hardly necessary to add that the convenience of mechanical means of reproducing music should never be allowed to rob the pupils of opportunities to illustrate relevant points through their own performance, nor should the teacher himself hesitate to use any skill he may possess in playing and singing.

Beside the children who will have begun to study the piano or other instrument with private teachers, many now come from their primary schools with some elementary instrumental experience acquired there. Recorder or pipe playing may well be continued and developed, as a class or group activity, to a high standard, or may lead to orchestral wood-wind playing. Percussion also may find a place, not only for the less able but for any children, as a means to understanding music by the simplest kind of participation. Some children may have been members of primary school violin classes, but generally speaking the

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majority of string pupils will be beginners. The school should make use of any competent instrumental performers there may be on the staff, since their professional training as teachers will predispose them to study and appreciate good methods of group instruction. A regular member of staff is also able to give the short and frequent lessons which are desirable. When visiting teachers are employed, their work is more effective if they can pay more than one visit a week to the school. Although some schools have succeeded in producing complete and well-balanced orchestras or brass and military bands, the choice between strings, wood-wind, brass or various combinations of them will quite rightly be influenced by the teaching skill available and by local conditions and interests rather than by any conventional ideas of what should properly constitute an 'orchestra' or 'band'. This will necessarily involve considerable re-scoring of music to suit the particular collection of instruments when the players are ready to do combined work. A practicable size for a violin class is eight, for a 'cello class four or five pupils. It is possible to start a group of pupils on the viola where the numbers are large enough; violists however are more often found by encouraging promising violinists with good musicianship to transfer to the larger instrument. Obviously it is better to start with one string group than not to start at all, but where possible the aim should be two classes at least, to allow for the regrading that will soon become necessary as the pupils develop at their different rates. Early discouragement through too wide a range of ability within a group can thus be avoided, and premature wastage checked. As soon as possible the instrumental group should be drafted into a junior orchestra from which the more advanced orchestra and chamber groups may be fed. Where the grading of instrumental work culminates in a 'first orchestra' of really high quality, membership of such a body may carry prestige equivalent to that of a place in the school teams for the major games. It is always advantageous for the school to possess instruments of its own, including the larger and more expensive ones, which can be lent to pupils, at least during the early stages of their tuition. The local education authority's music adviser might be consulted by maintained or direct grant schools where the introduction of instrumental class teaching is under consideration. Group lessons are taken in some schools outside normal class hours; in others, the pupils concerned are withdrawn from some of the general class music lessons; in others again, a rota system allows them to be withdrawn from other lessons with a minimum of disturbance to normal work.

Although work of distinction is being achieved under conditions that are far from ideal, the accommodation and siting of musical activities should always be taken into account in planning new secondary school buildings. Ideally, the music room should be large enough for

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choral or instrumental forces to rehearse comfortably in it, and should be equipped with a piano (or better still two pianos), electric record player, stacking chairs and tables and music stands. An adjacent store-room, large enough to serve as a workshop for carrying out minor repairs to instruments, is an advantage. There should be a good supply of sets of song books and sets of sheet music, and libraries of gramophone records and books of reference. The room should be made as attractive as possible by the provision of pictures, not necessarily connected with music, but the amount of display material at any one time should be limited. Books on music should also find a place in the school library. Apart from the excellent books of reference available nowadays, an increasing number of books is being published calculated to appeal to young people and to encourage them in the early habit of reading about music and musicians. A school library may also include musical scores, orchestral, vocal and pianoforte, for the abler pupils. A plea may here be made for generous musical equipment in the small grammar school. There may be insuperable difficulties in the way of providing a specialist teacher throughout the week; but given a variety of instruments, a radio set, a gramophone and well stocked libraries of books, scores and records, the older pupils at least will be able to teach themselves a great deal. All secondary schools, whatever their size, will require song books and sheet music, including material of various grades of difficulty for mixed voices. Where a standard hymn book is in use the older pupils and the teaching staff may well be provided with copies of the full harmony edition. Even if the piano is not taught in the school there can be a collection of piano music, including duets, from which pupils who learn privately may borrow. Collections of miniature scores and of gramophone records should always be properly arranged, protected and stored.

Music societies and clubs can contribute much to the life of any school. Voluntary music clubs, run mainly by the pupils, may range from the quasi-informal lunch-time gramophone society to the music society which acts as a focal institution for the whole neighbourhood, arranging recitals by professional artists and admitting adult visitors to its membership. Schools often find it stimulating to their musical life to hold their own festivals, competitive or otherwise. To ensure that the greatest number may benefit from the occasion, the emphasis should be on group activities of all kinds, choral and instrumental. These events are of course most valuable when as much as possible of the work connected with them is undertaken by the pupils, the senior ones being allowed scope for practising the skills of conducting and accompanying choirs. The teaching staff, for their part, often learn a great deal on such occasions about their pupils' musical interests outside the school and in addition gain experience from the remarks of

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an independent adjudicator. Operatic productions, sometimes fashioned from folk and national songs, and by no means limited to comic opera, have been found to be within the powers of a number of secondary schools. The linking of music with mime can be a preliminary exercise for opera or can remain as a valuable experience in itself. The introduction of choral, instrumental and recorded music into the daily assembly has already proved its worth in many schools.

Advanced Work in the Secondary School

(i) Choral Singing

A high standard of class singing will rightly and almost inevitably lead to the formation of choirs for the performance of music too difficult for an unselected group to achieve. In a big school it is better to have both a junior and a senior choir, to enable as many of the good voices as possible to take part in choral work, and to allow for the selection of really advanced music for the senior choir. In mixed schools a senior choir of boys and girls, adequately prepared by sound work in class, can often perform S.A.B. or S.A.T.B. works almost to adult standards, and should be given at least an acquaintance with some of the standard choral masterpieces. Occasionally, the senior choirs of neighbouring boys' and girls' schools can combine for joint performance to their mutual profit. Members of staff, parents and former pupils of the school are often able and willing to join in the choral activities of the school, and should be encouraged to do so.

The example of independent schools that have built up a tradition of performing some of the major classics of choral music is being increasingly followed in maintained and direct grant grammar schools. The expenditure of effort is justified by the quality of the music - the counterpart of the epic poetry of Greece and Rome or the drama of Shakespeare - by the enthusiasm generated among the large numbers of pupils who participate, and by the rapid advances made in choral and sight-reading technique. Mixed schools, and boys' schools working either alone or in conjunction with neighbouring girls' schools, have in this way given creditable performances of Handel's oratorios, Bach's cantatas and Passion settings and works by modern British composers. The madrigal group makes a special appeal to older pupils of real musical sensibility and considerable sight-reading powers. Its repertory need not be restricted to Tudor and Jacobean music but can cover the whole field of part-singing in the smaller forms. Schools with an interest in dramatic music are finding a wider field in the additions now being made, through the composition of new operas for amateurs and the adaptation of older works, to the formerly slender repertory of good

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operas that could be attempted by young singers and school orchestras.

(ii) Keyboard and Chamber Music

The value of chamber music in a secondary school is great, not only on account of the training in team work it affords and the wealth of literature belonging to it, but also because it enables the best players in the school to extend their powers to the utmost and thereby to raise the standard of instrumental music all round. Even if technique is not adequate to the easier works of the Viennese composers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the vast literature of the baroque period of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries is available with all the freedom it allows in choice and grouping of instruments - including the recorder family - and the secure foundation of keyboard harmony which is an essential element of its texture.

Although under unusually gifted teachers keyboard class teaching has had some success, individual methods are still the only proved medium of teaching the most popular of all instruments, the piano; and most boarding schools, and as yet a minority of others, are equipped with teaching and practice rooms for piano study. Realising that the beginner, as well as the advanced pianist, is stimulated by opportunities to join with others in various kinds of ensemble playing, teachers in these schools should always encourage duet playing at one or two keyboards and chamber music groups in which the piano can enter into partnership with stringed and wind instruments. Pianists might also gain the valuable experience of filling in from score missing parts in the school orchestra or playing a continuo part from figured bass.

(iii) External Examinations

When the organisation of the school allows music to be selected as a subject in the examinations for the General Certificate of Education a group is usually formed for this purpose two years before the prospective date of examination at ordinary level. The examination course will be most fruitful if the teacher bases the study of musical forms on actual works rather than on text-book examples, and when dealing with prescribed periods of musical history, encourages the hearing, performing and score-reading of works and discourages hasty generalisation and the quotation of critical opinion at second hand. If elementary manuals of musical history are used they should be supplemented (and on occasion corrected) by reference to specialist books containing the fruits of careful and up-to-date research. The teaching of harmony to ordinary level standard is not unduly difficult provided that the pupils selected have some musical sensibility and adequate time is allowed in the allocation of lesson periods. It is reasonable to expect music to be given parity at least with a foreign language, since the necessity for constant and abundant practice is the same in learning

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music as in learning French or German. In those sections of the external examination that demand the oral and written reproductions of themes and a knowledge of prescribed works, the specialist course will be covered more easily if there has been systematic aural training, including contact with a wide range of musical material, in the earlier years of the secondary school course. The most gifted pupils, a few of whom may be considering music as a career or as part of a university course, may aim directly at the advanced level in the external examination. (1)

(iv) The Grammar School Sixth Form

If music is to justify a place in the grammar school curriculum it must be organised and taught in ways appropriate to the abilities and interests of grammar school pupils. As a subject it must be broadly conceived in the light of a cultural pursuit related to others - artistic, scientific, literary and historical. It must be allowed to reveal something of its rich diversity of media and forms, and there should be, wherever possible, scope for advanced work, whether in specialised scholarship or in performance. It is difficult to defend the inclusion in a grammar school curriculum of any subject that terminates for good and all in the third or fourth year of the course. Some pupils at least may require a music course that continues uninterruptedly throughout their years in the school; many more will profit by renewed contact with the subject in the more mature atmosphere of the sixth form; and any senior pupil, whatever the nature of his specialised studies, should be able to count on finding the means for sustaining and developing, in his spare time, any interest he may have discovered in singing, playing and listening to music. For every grammar school pupil who will adopt one of the arts as his profession there will be at least a score of his contemporaries to whom, in their future work as teachers, administrators, social workers, or business executives, opportunities will occur of exercising judgment on questions of taste, of enlarging or restricting the artistic experience of others, and of setting personal examples of a full and harmonious life.

Towards one group of its pupils the grammar schools hold responsibility of a special character. Nearly all future teachers, whether of primary or secondary school children, pass through the grammar school; and those who enter a training college for intending teachers with a view to specialising in primary school work need already to have a good command of a number of practical skills that they will be required, in three years' time, to transmit to the next generation of children in the primary school. The infant teacher who is unused to singing, who has not even the elements of skill on some instrument, is seriously handicapped: and she can hardly build up

(1) Means of providing advanced tuition where facilities do not exist within the school are suggested in Chapter 5 (page 38).

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confidence to do what is required if her crowded two years of professional training have been preceded by several years in a grammar school where music has been taught perfunctorily, restricted too narrowly in its aim, or perhaps sacrificed altogether at an early stage to the claims of other subjects. In the junior school also there is a grave shortage of teachers who can make music a vigorous, adventurous and satisfying experience for children who are in their turn about to enter the grammar school. The training colleges can do much, and are doing much, to improve the situation; but the grammar school has perhaps even more power to break the vicious circle. The general sixth form, in which a large proportion of intending primary school teachers are often to be found, is an obvious place for the renewal and enrichment of musical experience, especially on the practical side.

The grammar school will also contain in its ranks from time to time a few pupils who intend to specialise as teachers of music in secondary schools, or who hope in some other way to make the teaching or practice of music their career. Only the child with really outstanding gifts - independently and authoritatively assessed - should be allowed to embark on exclusively specialist training at an early age, though the exceptionally gifted may find it best to seek entry to one of the national schools of music, by scholarship or otherwise, at the age of sixteen. Intending teachers of music, as distinct from performers, should be advised to remain in the grammar school and strengthen their general qualifications until they are eligible to enter a training college or one of the national schools of music or, if their academic and musical qualifications are strong enough, until they secure entrance to a university. Some university colleges offer choral and organ scholarships which provide attractive experience in addition to small emoluments. A high proportion of the gifted and specially interested pupils referred to in this paragraph, and the preceding one, will no doubt be studying music privately as well as in school, and this probability might be taken into account both in planning the school course and in drawing up homework programmes.

If the sixth form can meet as a whole for at least one weekly music period, some valuable choral work may be undertaken, especially in a mixed school; and in addition there may be some critical or historical study, with discussions on questions of taste to which all, whatever their special studies, can make contributions. Connections already made between subjects on an elementary level can now be strengthened: the student of French, for example, whose acquaintance with French music stopped short with Frêre Jacques and Sur le Pont d'Avignon and never extended even to the fringes of Lully and Rameau, Bizet and Debussy, Ravel and Faure, would be missing much of significance in the culture of France. It is at the sixth form stage that the resources of a music

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section in the school library, including scores and works on musical history, biography and criticism, will be most keenly appreciated.


Special Schools

THE value of music in the personal development and social experience of children in need of special educational treatment cannot be overstressed. Indeed, music has particular benefits for these children, in whom it can stimulate a vivid response and so help to generate mental vigour which will react favourably on other work. Music can make an immediate appeal without the struggle to recover or acquire techniques lost or not learned because of interrupted schooling, and can thus be presented at the level of the children's chronological age, except to those who are of very limited ability. By participating in music, a sense of achievement can be experienced, through which nervous and badly co-ordinated children gain poise and confidence. For those in residential or hospital schools, music provides a link with the outside world, while for those whose handicap is grave and permanent, it may help to compensate for that which will never lie within their scope or power. What can be attempted depends on the nature of the child's disability and on the type of school and its organisation, but most aspects of music undertaken in primary and secondary schools can be introduced in special schools.

Specialist teaching is not always possible, nor is it always desirable, in schools for handicapped children, where organisation is frequently more complex than in the ordinary day or boarding school, although the presence of a gifted musician on the staff can inspire and lead the work of class teachers who include music as one of their subjects. The problems facing the teacher are many. Frequently the age range of a class is wide, the school population may be fluctuating, so that much of the work has to be planned for short periods of schooling, and, because the number of contributory schools may be legion and the majority of children will have suffered from broken schooling, the co-ordination of previous experience and the finding of a common core of knowledge may be well-nigh impossible.

Nevertheless, in many of these schools a fairly wide range of work, with singing, listening, aural training and music reading, may be undertaken; and in some of them movement and drama with music may play

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a useful role. Singing gives all pupils opportunites for taking an active part in music. The great variety of traditional music of this and other countries, especially of songs with choruses and cumulative songs, will prove invaluable. Classical and modern songs also may be taught. Because the physical weaknesses of some of the children may preclude the development of good vocal tone, the choice of song should be governed by the imaginative experiences offered, so that whatever technical imperfections may have to be accepted, good interpretation and a feeling for style and phrasing will give the children the satisfaction of taking part in an artistic performance. The provision of copies of song books, light in weight and convenient to hold, and of sheet music should be considered important, for after learning to follow and recognise the rhythmic pattern and melodic outline of tunes, pupils can thereby proceed to a more precise study of music reading. The approach to notation, and the development of aural training, music reading and writing depend very much on the musical ability of the teacher. Where a competent musician is available, a good deal of such work, much of it individual according to the age and ability of the child, can be done. Interesting experiments with simple instruments, making up tunes to sing or play on pipe or recorder, with, for some, an attendant interest in music writing, scoring pieces for percussion, and learning to follow an orchestral score, are all possible. Instrumental work may begin with percussion playing and may develop in a number of ways according to the type of school and the child's capabilities. Frequent opportunities for listening to music should be given by means of broadcasting, gramophone records and, best of all, live performances by visiting artists, by teachers and by instrumentalists from neighbouring schools.

(a) Schools for Delicate and Physically Handicapped Children

In schools for the delicate and in open-air schools all the work outlined can be attempted, but any class may contain children who will stay only for a short time, as well as those who will remain for a long period. A number of these pupils may suffer from respiratory disease.

The population of schools catering for the severely crippled and otherwise physically handicapped, will, on the whole, be more stable, so that a progressive course can be planned. For these pupils, some of whom will never be able to take a full part in the life of the outside world, music may become one of their greatest and most easily available pleasures. Where it is possible, the teaching of a musical instrument is to be encouraged. Pupils who are confined to wheeled chairs can learn to play the piano; usually such teaching is an 'extra', but in view of the valuable contribution it can make to a physically handicapped child who has musical gifts, it should be

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considered as part of the curriculum for those who would profit by it. In all eight schools for epileptics in this country, class singing is taught, while in some schools instrumental tuition and orchestral playing have been successfully introduced. It has been found that music, particularly instrumental work, together with movement and dancing, can be wholly absorbing, and so, in common with other activities which fully engage the children's interests, can contribute notably to their well-being.

(b) Schools for Children with Defective Hearing

In schools for children whose hearing is impaired, music is introduced as a means of self-expression through singing and dancing and also as part of the general auditory training. The ability to reproduce pitch varies from those who are able to sing in tune, both alone and in groups, to those who sing rhythmically on a monotone. Enunciation of words in singing, particularly with the younger pupils, is frequently far clearer than in speech, so that singing can make a valuable contribution to their speech training in general. Even those who appear to have little sense of pitch and, indeed, some children who are totally deaf, have considerable powers of perception of rhythm, and dancing is a regular part of the time-table. Percussion instruments are used not only in music lessons but also as an aid to the development of rhythmical speech.

(c) Schools for the Blind

Music has always played a large part in the education of the blind. It is not that the proportion of blind children who show musical ability is any higher than that of sighted children, but that it is the only one of the fine arts which can make exactly the same appeal to the blind as to the sighted, and any innate artistic sense is likely to find this outlet. Doubtless, also, the development of the faculty of hearing to compensate for the loss of sight, which many blind children show so markedly, draws them towards the art of sound. To achieve success equal to that of the sighted in one of the normal activities of the human race is of very real psychological value to the handicapped, and music would be worth its place in the education of the blind for that reason alone.

Most schools very rightly set themselves the task of providing individual tuition in music for as many children as may desire it. This is largely in the form of pianoforte lessons; understandably so, since performance on a keyboard instrument is complete in itself and gives a desirable sense of independent achievement. It is also the most suitable instrument for those blind children, and they are many, who find in the actual physical manipulation of the keyboard an outlet for the activity of hand and finger which in so many other ways is denied

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them. However, there has been a striking growth in recent years of other instrumental teaching, both string and wind, which has proved its musical and social value completely, and which it is hoped will become general in schools for the blind.

In the organisation of class work, it has to be remembered that these schools are not large, and that forms are small. To provide classes of a suitable size for singing, it is often considered advisable to group two or more forms together; this should be looked upon as a necessary evil rather than as a positive good, and kept to the minimum in the interests of suiting the song repertoire to the age of the children. For all other music classes, the form unit is the best size. This enables the planning of a properly graded course in general musicianship through music and movement (most valuable at the infant and junior stages), percussion, recorders, ear-training and listening; Braille musical notation, much more easily grasped when learnt in connection with an instrument than with the voice, may be introduced into the music class as soon as the children have sufficient skill in reading ordinary Braille.

Otherwise, there is little that was said in Chapters 2 and 3 which does not apply equally to schools for the blind. As boarding schools they have ample opportunity for the development of out-of-school activities; the secondary departments, keeping pupils till sixteen years of age, can achieve part-singing with changed voices more successfully than many of their sighted counterparts, and in those places where a training department is under the same roof the choral work can be quite outstanding. Recent developments in string and wind playing also hold out exciting possibilities for the future.

(d) Schools for the Partially Sighted

The problem of those who teach partially sighted children is that of a modification of sighted methods rather than of those used in teaching the blind. Braille is not used as an educational medium; though a knowledge of staff notation can and should be taught, the extent to which music can be read from the staff at the moment of performance, vocal or instrumental, will vary from child to child. The necessary adaptation of the methods outlined for normal schools runs parallel to that made in other subjects, and a resourceful teacher can find many useful analogies to help him.

(e) Hospital Schools

Here, even more than in other special schools, the lack of homogeneity in age and experience has to be reckoned with. In some hospital schools children may be grouped according to age, but, in others, grouping according to medical needs may extend the age range from that of pre-school age to adult years. Moreover, the music teacher must accept the many interruptions for medical and nursing attention, which

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are the main reasons for pupils being in hospital. Further, there is the material difficulty of working in a long ward where it is almost impossible to find a focal point to which the children's attention may be drawn. It is not easy to give pupils a sense of ensemble in singing; children in bed are sufficiently isolated from each other to feel they are singing alone. In some hospitals, beds may be wheeled close to each other, but where this is not permitted the few patients who are mobile may sit between beds or form a small choir or nucleus of tone at the focal teaching point. Where a teacher can accompany songs on an appropriate orchestral instrument, or where a few pipe or recorder players in the ward can accompany, additional interest is brought to choral work. The provision of special low-backed pianos is desirable for ward teaching if the instrument is not to prove a barrier between teacher and children.

Percussion playing may be the only instrumental work possible for some patients. Very small children whose only physical activity in their hospital cots is the use of their arms show a highly developed rhythmic response to music through percussion, while older pupils who are lying in such positions as make any music reading or other instrumental playing out of the question, are able to join in both by making suggestions for scoring and by playing in an ensemble which may include percussion, pipes or recorders and voices. Players of recorders or pipes quickly gain facility in reading music, and experience much satisfaction from ensemble playing with occupants of neighbouring beds, or with other children who are sufficiently mobile to join one unable to leave his bed. The introduction of these instruments also gives pupils pleasure outside lesson hours, as they are able to practise and play together in some of their leisure time. Where these opportunities are given, pupils will make tremendous efforts to play, despite the fact that some of those in orthopaedic wards or hospitals may be confined to positions in which playing any instrument might appear almost impossible. Once a child is sufficiently recovered to take lessons in the school-room, it is possible for anyone who has learned to play an instrument before entering hospital to practise and perhaps to have some instruction. Special arrangements may have to be made for the secondary school pupils who have been preparing before admission to offer music as a subject in the examination for the General Certificate of Education.

Bringing together all pupils who can be moved into a central meeting place provides both a stimulus towards music making and the satisfaction of communal musical performance otherwise denied the child in hospital. The value of such occasions both musically and in other ways cannot be over-estimated.

(f) Schools for Educationally Sub-normal Pupils

Among the many difficulties facing the teacher of the educationally

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sub-normal are the children's limited span of attention, their slow assimilation, their poor retention and, for many, their inability to read words fluently, or, indeed, at all. Nevertheless, many dull children experience emotional satisfaction from their musical activities. Some show markedly improved concentration, and many develop poise. With some of these pupils a sense of pitch and of rhythm is slow to develop; others possess as much ability as a normal child, while some are gifted with lovely voices. Every opportunity to develop such talent should be given, since the educationally sub-normal child will, by the exercise of what he can do well, become so much the more stable and confident.

Songs should be chosen for their imaginative quality; apart from narrative songs where all verses are essential, they should be short, and varied in mood. Songs with refrains and cumulative songs should be included, and where a class has sufficient ability, some classical and modern songs can be introduced. Interpretation should be the principal aim in performance; good tone quality and other techniques will probably be subsidiary and may be later developing. Some knowledge of notation can be taught to a number of these pupils, many of whom can read rhythm fluently. Some are able to make headway with pitch reading, and where this has been associated with learning a recorder or a bamboo pipe, progress, though slow, has been maintained. Individual improvisation, either with percussion or pitch instruments, provides a valuable direct musical experience which need not be related to notation but which can provide an incentive to learning musical symbols. The value to the educationally sub-normal child of movement to music is considerable and can lead to short periods of listening without movement. The integration of musical activities with dramatic work frequently produces happy results.


Junior Schools of Music

UNDER this heading are included the many activities, whatever names they may go by, which are organised by local education authorities to supplement for one reason or another the tuition given in the schools. The value of gathering together regularly the abler pupils from the schools of an area for various kinds of musical pursuits which they would not be able to experience at an advanced level in their ordinary surroundings has become more and more widely recognised. Means of bringing about such centralisation will depend on local needs, problems of transport and distances of travel, but there are few places where the

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provision in the schools is so exceptionally high that something of the kind would not fully justify its existence.

At present a 'junior school' most commonly takes the form of an orchestra, drawn from the schools of a borough or of a whole county, meeting perhaps weekly where communications are easy, or termly or even yearly for a week-end where they are very difficult, and designed to give the players the experience of being part of a full orchestra which they would otherwise miss. Not only is this valuable in itself, but the added confidence and knowledge which the pupils gain are carried back into the schools and help to improve standards there. Such arrangements often expand into what may properly be described as a 'junior school of music'. A team of experienced teachers under good leadership can provide at a convenient centre more advanced group or individual instruction than is available in the schools; it is even possible to provide complete tuition for very small groups of individual pupils on the less common instruments, or for pupils from very small schools, more economically this way than by sending teachers to widely scattered spots to teach only a handful at each place. The termly or yearly event cannot of course do more than act as a refresher and as an inspiration in prospect and retrospect, but where it is planned as a week-end of intensive work it is proving of great value.

Choral work, well covered in most schools, may reasonably have a place, particularly in the form of madrigal groups. A few selected pupils brought together from a number of secondary schools can and often do reach a very high standard of ensemble singing.

Another function properly undertaken by a centralised junior school is the provision of advanced tuition for examination purposes for the occasional pupil in a small grammar, or other, secondary school which cannot carry a fully-qualified music specialist on its staff. It should be realised, however, that unnecessary removal of the more advanced academic work in music from the schools is a weakening of the educational structure. But a junior school of music may well supplement private teaching by providing for the more intensive technical training of children of school age who reveal special aptitudes in singing, playing or composition. Some local education authorities are able to use the facilities afforded by the junior departments of the national schools of music for this purpose, arranging for gifted pupils to attend for individual or group tuition on Saturday mornings or at other convenient times. Other authorities which can obtain the services of expert teachers prefer to run their own junior music schools, supervised by the authorities' advisers. In either case the closest co-ordination with the musical teaching in the schools, and also with local private teachers, is of vital importance.

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Festivals and Concerts

(a) Competitive and Non-competitive Musical Festivals

MUCH of the advance that has been made during the past half century both in the standard of performance and in the quality of music heard in the schools is due to the influence of the musical festival movement. The two types of festival, competitive and non-competitive, have different objectives. A well-run competitive festival offers a school the opportunity to match from time to time its best efforts against those of other schools from further afield with resources similar to its own, and enables it to assess its attainments when judged by high and purely musical standards. The non-competitive festival, on the other hand, is, or should be, supremely conscious of the conditions and needs of schools and should choose its director accordingly; it welcomes groups of widely differing character, offers them the opportunity of learning from one another, and provides the means for them to come together in a spirit of co-operation to enjoy the thrill of combined singing. Each type of festival serves its purpose; there is no reason why the two should not continue to promote the interests of music in their several ways and to fulfil the purpose for which they are intended. The choice of participation in either, or in both, may reasonably be left to the discretion of schools, who will see to it that the necessary preparation is done without affecting the proper development of their musical life as a whole.

It is not proposed to discuss here the aspect of the competitive festival that is concerned mainly with individual performance, although it is recognised that this often influences the music of a school, either directly or indirectly. But there is a growing tendency, largely in those places where the local educational authority gives its backing to a festival, to devote more and more time to choral and instrumental groups of all kinds, and under such conditions non-competitive classes for schools are sometimes included. Indeed, there are various ways in which the patterns of the two kinds of festival may be merged to suit local conditions; a largely competitive festival may for instance culminate in a combined performance, or a non-competitive festival may include performances by individual schools in its concert programme. Such variations of pattern are welcome if planned with real purpose. But there is one feature common to all festivals of which the value to all the participants, teachers and children, is great; that is the contact with the director or adjudicator, who, if he does his work well, gives in his comments, his rehearsing and his conducting an impressive demonstration of good music teaching.

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The non-competitive festival, with its usual sequence of audition, massed rehearsal and concert, may require somewhat more detailed treatment. To obtain the greatest educational value from the occasion, it is best to bring together a group of schools with some common bond - the catchment area of a country grammar school, for instance, or a coherent section of a county borough. A choice of music can then be made by a committee of teachers, most conveniently called together by the music adviser where one exists. By pooling knowledge and experience in this way a selection of music may be made that is sufficiently varied and interesting and contains enough that is fresh and challenging to form an integral part of the schools' music schemes for at least a term. In this way the festival can be regarded as the culmination of the work of the schools and not an imposed additional labour. It is well if a meeting between the director and the conductors can be arranged before the preparation of the music begins so that problems of interpretation can be resolved. This co-operation between the teachers of an area, many of whom often feel that they are working in isolation with little opportunity of contact with others whose problems are the same as their own, has proved again and again to be a most valuable feature, and has had a marked effect on the work of their schools. Preliminary rehearsal by the director is also valuable in helping to attain good standards of performance, but when, for financial reasons, a choice has to be made between a preliminary meeting with teachers and preliminary rehearsals the former should be given the preference.

The core of the day's activities is the audition session, to which each school makes individual contributions. Neither marks nor an order of merit are awarded; the director writes comments and constructive criticisms on a sheet of paper, which is later handed to the conductor. An informal meeting between the local conductors and the director during the day, often most conveniently over the tea-table, is a valuable opportunity for giving more detailed criticism and advice. The amount of time devoted to the massed rehearsal should be as short as possible. Provided that the music has been carefully prepared on the agreed lines, an enthusiastic and energetic director can add the final touches without the expense of much time and loss of spontaneity. The concert for massed voices is a fitting culmination to the preparation which has been going on in the schools during the preceding months. It should be a red-letter day in the year, leaving a lasting impression upon performers and audience. It is sometimes forgotten that the concert comes at the end of a full day's musical activity; it is therefore unreasonable to ask children to give a lengthy concert of two hours' duration or more. The audience is composed mainly of parents, who in their eagerness to hear as much of the children's efforts as possible are apt to expect a long

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programme. The concert should not exceed one and a half hours in length, and speeches should be discouraged. It is often possible to divide the massed choirs into junior and secondary groups, or even to subdivide still further. Each group can then prepare some songs for sectional singing and additional songs for massed singing. This arrangement has the advantage of restricting the number of songs to be learnt, and, where each group can have its own session for audition followed by a rehearsal of the set songs, of reducing the number of expeditions to the hall.

A warning that the inclusion of infants in such an event is unsuitable from every point of view should hardly be necessary, whatever the appeal of their performance to an unthinking audience may be. For young children informal music-making in their own schools is much more suitable. Such an event is best when it is planned as an experience for children, teachers and parents.

Bearing in mind the amount of time and care devoted to the preparation by children and teachers alike for the festival, it is fitting that the children should have the benefit of expert accompaniment for all the sessions. The success of performance depends in no small measure upon the support of a thoroughly competent musician playing on an instrument worthy of the occasion. Where the services of an efficient orchestra can be called on for the concert, with a preliminary rehearsal, the additional thrill to the children of the unaccustomed and exciting accompaniment which it can provide is well worth the extra labour and expense involved.

The growth of instrumental teaching in the schools will, it is hoped, increase the number of school orchestras capable of playing simple accompaniments to songs besides providing orchestral items in the programme. Further variety can be added by judicious scoring for recorders and percussion. The inclusion of simple music-reading tests as a feature of the non-competitive festival might become more general. We may also look to these festivals to help in keeping alive our native heritage of traditional singing games.

(b) Concerts by Professional Orchestras

For many years it has been thought desirable that school children should be given the experience of hearing large-scale orchestral music at first hand, and in some large centres of population much private as well as public money has been devoted to providing it. The costliness of such enterprise increases, and for economic reasons the largest available halls, holding the largest possible audience, have to be used. The circumstances of a hall full of very young people, inexperienced in continuous listening, may appear artificial in comparison with normal concert-going; but children of secondary school age may gain much enjoyment and profit from the occasion with its visual excitement of a

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mass of instrumentalists, the stereophonic appeal to the ears of music which most of the audience will have heard previously only in broadcast transmissions or from gramophone records, and the spoken comments and explanations of the conductor. It is to be hoped that concerts of this kind will continue and multiply, but a number of considerations must be kept in mind if they are to be fully effective.

In the first place, it is a mistake to think that anything less than the very best available performance is good enough. Children are accustomed to hear, from records and broadcasting and at the cinema, the most polished performances of popular music, and are subconsciously influenced in their preference for it by its slickness of presentation. In attempting to widen their range of taste, better music must be put before them in just as stylish a way, and if the orchestra and conductor are obviously on their mettle, the resulting tenseness of atmosphere they create will compel attention, although the hearers will not know why. Secondly, the programmes must be chosen with great care. No single item should be lengthy, there should be plenty of contrast, and the whole programme should be short and taken through without a break except perhaps for very brief comments and demonstrations. A total duration of not more than an hour or an hour and a quarter is advisable. Thirdly, the children must be well prepared for what they are to hear. A music adviser or organiser or music advisory committee will see to it that teachers are well supplied beforehand with the necessary scores and records when available, of the music to be played, and will provide annotated programmes to recall the most salient points at the time of performance. Finally, a conductor must be chosen who knows how to make contact with children; sometimes it is more suitable for the talking to be done by another person, thus leaving the conductor to concentrate on his main business. Some organisers find it worth while to include one or two songs for the audience to sing. This is good if the songs are thoroughly prepared, and if it gives the children an opportunity to experience the thrill of performing with a big orchestra.

Valuable as such events are, they are in the nature of things rare in the experience of anyone child, and it is only in populous areas, and where suitable halls can be found, that they are practicable. But the bringing of a small orchestra or even smaller groups of instrumentalists into the schools themselves or to some convenient centre of a country district can have an even more compelling effect through greater intimacy and the absence of a distracting and unfamiliar background. As far as primary schools are concerned, visits of small chamber groups are the ideal introduction to the world of concert-going. (1)

(1) At least one large local education authority has found it worth while to employ a string quartet on full-time contract, with regular playing in schools as one of its principal functions.

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All this special provision should not take the place, for the more musical children at least, of attendance at normal public concerts. In centres where this is possible, the keen teacher will see to it that groups of selected children go with him as frequently as can be afforded to hear music as members of the general public. As long as the programme to be heard is not wholly unsuitable, there is little fear that the children will not be able to enjoy much that it would be inadvisable to include in a concert planned for an audience composed entirely of children; the atmosphere of concentrated adult attention will help the children to listen, particularly if they have been well prepared, for much longer and to more difficult music than could be expected of unselected children at other times. It is good for older children to see for themselves that concert-going is a normal activity for many adults.

(c) Combined School Concerts

It is becoming increasingly common for schools to get together to perform works which for one reason or another they could not achieve individually. This is in a way an extension of the aims of the noncompetitive festival, and in some places has arisen directly from experience with that movement. Reference has already been made to the possibilities of combined work, in Chapter 3. It is perhaps particularly valuable in the case of single-sex schools, as it can widen the range of practicable works and reduce the number of special arrangements of major choral works 'for female voices' which must be used if girls' schools, working on their own, are to have any experience of choral masterpieces. Nor need such combined activity be confined to purely choral music. Operatic productions are often successfully achieved, in spite of the greater difficulty of planning the necessary rehearsals; and the range of skills that can be drawn on for the designing and making of scenery and dresses when both boys and girls are set to work enables a completely 'home-made' production to be planned. Combined orchestral work, though not yet common, can also extend the players' experience. Boys' schools are often stronger in woodwind and brass, and girls' schools in strings; their collaboration, either purely orchestral or in connection with choral or operatic work, can often produce something approaching a normal full orchestra and, as in the case of choral work, again reduces the number of special arrangements needed when music in the standard orchestral repertory is attempted.

There are occasions when a large number of schools are asked to combine for special events on a regional or national scale. These are often designed to be somewhat in the nature of a pageant, with massed and individual contributions, both choral and instrumental, perhaps combined with drama and dancing. When imaginatively conceived, they can offer experiences to the participants wider in range and more unusual in the choice of music, particularly when the project has

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historical significance, than often come their way in normal circumstances. The possibilities of combined work on this scale for attempting extended choral works ought to be more generally realised; as in concerts connected with the normal school music festivals, secondary schools should play an especially vital part and should demonstrate what an effective contribution can be made by the changed voice singing of the older boys.



Like any other practical subject, Music needs suitable accommodation and a considerable amount of initial equipment. The following schedule indicates the kind of accommodation and equipment that should be treated as an essential minimum; additions will of course need to be made as the subject develops.



The hall will be used for the daily Act of Worship, for school concerts, and for other corporate activities involving music. Attention should therefore be paid to the acoustics (especially to avoid the overdamping that sometimes occurs when speech alone is taken into consideration), and to the height and other dimensions of the platform or stage. For form or group lessons in music, however, a hall is generally unsuitable; such lessons should take place in properly sited and equipped classrooms in secondary schools, and usually in the normal classrooms in a primary school, though some primary schools have already been able to set aside a room wholly or partly for music.

Classrooms used for Music

One of these will be required for each member of staff teaching music full-time, or almost full-time, as a class subject. The rooms should be large enough to accommodate complete secondary school forms, allowing plenty of space to sing into, and for the piano and other essential equipment to occupy suitable positions. It should also be possible, when necessary, to accommodate a small choir or orchestra.

These conditions imply a space larger, when possible, than an ordinary classroom for 30 pupils. The proportions of the room are important because they have a bearing on its acoustic quality and in this connection it is necessary to use materials that do not result in

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excessive sound reduction. The general problems of sound absorption and insulation involve skilful siting of music rooms where they will cause no interference to others and will not themselves be disturbed. Careful placing of windows is needed to guard against damage to instruments from the direct rays of the sun or from draughts. The well-being of instruments, of records and of sheet music also depends to a marked degree on efficient methods of heating.

A low dais or movable platform for the piano is often useful.

Instrumental Teaching and Practice Rooms

A teaching room, and possibly practice rooms also, may be required in schools where instrumental teaching is to be given, especially if lessons are given during class hours. Sound insulation and mode of heating are again important. A convenient teaching room size for instrumental work is about half that of an ordinary classroom for 30 pupils. In such a space a teacher with piano and two or three pupils with violins and music stands can be accommodated in comfort. For a practice room the area should be not less than 60 square feet. Boarding schools will usually need a much more generous provision than day schools.


Adequate fitted storerooms for music equipment should be associated with the main music room and the smaller instrumental rooms. The fittings should include shelves and racks for various instruments, and the store-room should be large enough to provide space for the largest instruments such as double-basses.



The large secondary school will need in its main hall a piano of sufficient length of string to support the voices of the entire school at Assembly and on other corporate occasions. It must also be adequate for school concerts and recitals. A good grand piano of 6 foot length or more is usually the only effective instrument for these purposes, and should not be regarded as a luxury. It may well be included in the general school equipment rather than be charged against allowances for the equipment of the Music department. Smaller instruments, of good quality, will be needed elsewhere in the building, including any rooms where class singing and individual tuition frequently take place. Piano stools, adjustable if possible, should be provided.


A three- or four-speed record-player of good quality is needed for every school, and in a secondary school one record-player should be

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at the disposal of each member of staff teaching class-music as a specialist. It is seldom feasible for this piece of equipment to be shared with other departments.

Other Mechanical Aids

These may be shared with other departments. Some at least of the following will be desirable: sound radio, television, tape recorder, sound projector, film strip projector.

Gramophone Records

Even if records can be borrowed from a central stock (e.g., a L.E.A. Library) the school should possess its own working collection. An initial allowance to cover 10 long playing records (33 1/3 r.p.m.) in a primary school and 50 in a secondary school would be reasonable. The actual number of records covered by the allowance could be increased by buying some extended play (45 r.p.m.) recordings.

Chalk-boards and Display Boarding

Every teacher concerned with the subject in a junior or secondary school, whether as a specialist or as a general form teacher, should have at his disposal at least one chalk-board clearly painted with five-line staves. Blank chalk-board surfaces also are essential.

Display boarding is invaluable in the Music room, and may also be found useful in the corridor or other circulation space adjacent to the Music room.


Furniture for a music classroom should be capable of easy rearrangement. Stackable chairs with firm seats and light stackable tables are recommended. Chair and table legs should be fitted with rubber tips. For class recorder playing a light music rest can be used on a table top.

If the room has to do duty as a form base lockers should be provided to obviate the need for locker-type desks.


An adequate capital allowance should be made to enable each school to acquire at least one of the groups of instruments listed below; the choice will depend upon the interests of the teaching staff appointed to the school, as well as upon the ages, abilities and aptitudes of the pupils.

(i) Percussion Instruments

These need to be of sizes suitable for the pupils who are to use them, and to include if possible some good melodic instruments, such as chime bars, tubular bells, or xylophones. The instruments should be

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of first-rate quality. A special trolley is recommended for storage and for moving the instruments from room to room in primary schools.

(ii) Recorders

A set of descant recorders may be needed if this form of instrumental music is to be used for group work as part of the general class-music scheme. It is usually found that a number of children prefer to buy their own instruments, but it is important that all instruments used together should be of the same make. If it is intended to develop recorder playing beyond the rudimentary stages in either a junior or a secondary school at least two trebles and a tenor should be obtained. A bass recorder may be added to complete the consort. Arrangements for safe storage of recorders are important.

(iii) Brass Band Instruments

The suggested minimum number for a band is:

5 B flat cornets
3 E flat horns
2 B flat baritones
1 B flat euphonium
1 E flat bass
All instruments should be of standard (low) pitch. It is important this minimum should be available at the outset of the enterprise, as one of the advantages of brass work is that it allows for a reasonably balanced ensemble to be secured at a fairly elementary stage.

(iv) Stringed Instruments

A successful scheme of string teaching usually leads to, and indeed partly depends on, a number of children being willing to buy their own violins not later than the beginning of the second year of tuition. The school should therefore aim at acquiring a basic stock of violins for use in class for a limited period with each group of children. The number suggested is eight for each class; some teachers prefer to start two classes simultaneously. Children in primary schools may need school instruments of three-quarter or even half size. All instruments should be properly fitted with chin rests and string adjusters, and provision should be made for the replacement or renewal of strings, bridges, pegs and bow-hair.

A stock of the larger sized instruments will be needed by any secondary school intending to develop string teaching. Two violas, two 'cellos, and a double bass are the smallest practicable unit. The 'cello may well be started in the junior school, using small instruments.

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(v) Orchestral Wind Instruments

It is not usually advisable to obtain orchestral woodwind instruments as initial equipment. If orchestral brass (as distinct from a brass band) is to be built up, initial equipment might take the form of two trumpets and two trombones, or two trumpets, French horn and trombone, constituting in themselves a satisfactory ensemble. The trumpet, like the violin, is an instrument that pupils are often willing to buy for themselves.

Miscellaneous Equipment

Metal music stands will be needed for all types of instrumental work, except piano teaching. One stand for every two players might be regarded as reasonable initial provision.

At least one tuning fork (A=439) should be available, and a clockwork metronome is very useful.

Songbooks and Sheet Music

The allowance made for printed material in junior and secondary schools should cover song books and sheet music in sufficient variety to suit the different ages, aptitudes and interests of pupils in the school. On no account should 'words only' editions of song books be accepted. The provisions of the Copyright Act should be known and strictly observed.

Hymn Books

Individual copies of hymn books are desirable, and if it is not found possible to provide all junior or secondary pupils with the 'melody line' edition of the hymn book, one form set at least should be available for teaching purposes. In secondary schools some copies of the full harmony edition will be needed for older pupils and staff.

Miniature Scores and Textbooks. The School Library

Class sets, or rather half-form sets, of miniature scores, as well as single copies, should be treated as essential for middle and upper forms of grammar schools and for some upper forms of other secondary schools. Text-books of harmony and musical history will be needed mainly for specialists preparing for external examinations, but a much wider selection of background material should be provided in the school library.

Instrumental Music

Much of the success of instrumental training will depend upon the early provision not only of suitable individual and class material, but also of graded ensemble music. Percussion and recorder ensemble music also should be allowed for.