Encouraging Music Study Within the Public Schools
MUSIC is becoming more and more important as a subject of study in public schools and being facilitated in new ways that hold promise of wide spread benefits.
The National Bureau for the Advancement of Music, working in conjunction with the Music Supervisors Federated Conference, recently reported that over 2700 Music Supervisors and 550 School Superintendents have already become interested in piano playing as an educational matter.
Within a few months nearly four hundred cities and towns have established group piano instruction classes in their public schools with many others throughout the country planning to do the same within the near future.
This is a remarkable showing and indicates the progress being made in group instruction work which the Music Supervisors are supporting in the belief that it has a very definite and important part in the general musical educational plan.
The same report tells of more than five hundred school bands and three hundred school orchestras that have been organized and in which many thousands of students are earnest participants.
From another source we learn that within a short period more than a hundred thousand school rooms have been equipped with radio receivers for the Damrosch lecture concerts to students and that in many instances entire buildings have been wired for centralized reception in order that every class room may participate in these educational concerts and music talks.
Those concerned in the musical advancement and cultural training of the oncoming generation are also giving much consideration to the highly perfected talking machine or phonograph of the present day.
They realize that an entirely new range of possibilities in the recording of fine music has been created. And with this new standard of musical reproduction has begun a new and enlarged era of usefulness for the phonograph in promoting the study as well as the enjoyment of the world’s best in music.
Two young amateur singers, a boy and a girl, have each been highly rewarded for being declared winners of the second National Radio Audition in which some sixty thousand contestants took part in a quest for the two best unexploited voices in the country.
The distinguished judges for the final audition which was made possible by the Atwater Kent Foundation were Giovanni Martinelli, Willem Mengelberg, Louise Homer, Yeatman Griffith, George Ferguson, Dr. T. Tertius Noble and Pierre V. R. Key, with the two contestants awarded first honors each receiving five thousand dollars and a two years’ scholarship at a leading American Conservatory.
Another contest recently closed that has been attracting wide attention will bring prizes of ten and five thousand dollars from the Victor Talking Machine Company for the best two original compositions for use by popular concert orchestras.
The contest for still larger prizes offered by this company for the best two original compositions for use by full symphony orchestra is still under way and will continue till May. Both contests have been open to all composers of American citizenship, their purpose being to encourage native American talent, and the results should prove very interesting.