Friends Can Help

Advice of friends is a source of value or injury to the singing student.

Advice has its influence. Every word spoken about one's voice and

singing helps or injures. If placed in a circle which condemns every

effort we make we are held back by that very influence from doing our

best. Every judicious word of praise helps us upward. A pupil who is

struggling by himself, without a word of cheer in his own home circle

has a
hard fight of it. For that reason it is very necessary that pupils

whose desires are similar, and whose aims are toward the highest, should

be gathered together. They help by their words, and often by their

looks, the anxious student. "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves

together," applies. After a pupil's recital, a judicious teacher will

tell his pupils the kind things which the others have said. If unkind

things should be said (but a teacher who is himself kind will not hear

unkind things) he will keep those to himself, guiding himself, however,

by those comments in the future treatment of that criticized pupil. In

this connection, a word to the members of the family of the student. A

mother, who steps into the practice-room occasionally when she hears

good singing and says, "That was good. I see you are improving," aids

the student as much as a half-dozen lessons will aid. A brother who

banters his sister about her singing when he really enjoys it, knows

not, oftentimes, that his banter hurts and harms. To be sure, the

partiality of the home circle may foster false hopes, but since nearly

every one can learn to sing well if rightly trained, that will do less

harm than cold indifference and cruel banter.