MUSIC AS A HELP TO HOME HAPPINESS*
By MRS. GUSTAV L. BECKER
S ERVICE is the keynote of the age in which we live—social service is what distinguishes it from the ages that led up to it.
How is your music to serve this age of service ? All those hours of practice—so many lifetimes every week, if you count all the students in America alone—are they to pass like vapor, or to merge, every one of them, into the great spirit of the time?
Let us direct our attention to the girl who takes music lessons with no idea of the concert stage or of giving lessons, whose work is to be strictly non-professional, yet who spends hours and years in the study of music. What is she to do with the hours and years—play a few pieces for a few brief seasons and then—"give up her music" ? It seems to me that she, like all of us, holds those hours and years in trust, to serve the present age.
To begin with, as she is part of a family, she might serve the family to which she belongs—say, her father. There are far too few girls who play for their fathers after dinner. You think he might be bored ? Try and see; he likes to be proud of you, and, unless he is a pianist himself, he will be proud of all you can do on the piano. Even if he should go to sleep under it, that is good for him, too. You think that he might not appreciate the music you play, or that Grieg and Brahms would be "too much for him." Likely enough, but need you always play Grieg and Brahms? It won't hurt you to add to your repertoire some few pieces that will really please father—your teacher will be very glad to help you— and if you don't know what will please him, you have not
* Used by permission of The Etude.