The Etude magazine, Feb. 1929, p. 86
Painting With Notes By PATRICIA BLACKSTONE
EACH piece, no matter how simple, is a beautiful picture to be painted with the notes a box of paints and the little fingers a set of deft brushes.
Perhaps Eleanor is learning to play In the Alps, or Robert has a piece, A Soldier's Dream. The teacher takes the piece and explains what the different musical terms mean. She tells them that facile is just another way of saying "easy" or "fluent" and that largo means "large" or "broad." She pays special attention to the diminuendo and crescendo and gives examples of all these by her own playing.
In order to impress the young minds the more, she gives her pupils pictures describing the titles of their pieces. Eleanor gets a little sketch of the Alps, with the sun playing on its snowy peaks, while Robert's picture is a scene of battle or a hero receiving a medal. There are many ways of describing "A Soldier's Dream." They think of the picture as they practice and at the next lesson tell the stories as they have thought them out. After the stories are firmly set in their minds, the pieces are played often with rare interpretative insight.
"Painting a picture" with notes is of vast help in planning recitals. Instead of being bored by the colorless notes buried at them by unthinking students, the parents, relatives, and friends are kept interested by the varied nature of the program. At the same time an inherent talent, previously unrecognized, is often brought to light, and this, after all, is the teacher's highest prerogative.