Skip to main content
354 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD
of three-beat, four-beat, etc. is a proof of the sense-education due
to musical rhythm. At first the children follow the tempo without
paying attention to the beat.
But there comes a moment in which, suddenly, they feel the
beat, and then they mark it; that is, their movements correspond
only to the first beat of the bar.
Marie Louise, little more than four, was walking to the sound
of a march. Suddenly she cried out to the mistress: " Watch,
see what I am doing." She was making a leaping step, and raising
her arms gracefully at the first beat of each bar.
The study of the value of notes is made only by children of
more advanced age. (For particulars of method see L. A. Benjamin,
op. cit). The interest in such a study will be associated with the
fact that the children have already developed and analyzed in
themselves the sense of rhythm.
Music heard and accompanied by rhythmic movements forms
only one element of musical education, dealing with the succession
of sounds in time and the expressive tone of the phrase.
There follows the study of melody and harmony, which lends
itself to individual performances only when the child has at his
disposal instruments adapted to him not only in their dimensions
but, especially, in their simplicity. He must be left free to use
them, hampered by too rigid a technique. Then, with short initia-
tions or lessons, similar to those which our mistresses give by our
method to make useful the material in general, the child is rendered
capable of carrying out his own performance, deriving from it,
because of the simplicity of the musical instruments, a continually
increasing interest. The musical performances of the children
reach a surprising standard, when, united as a band, they give
concerts, made possible by the fact that each one has made on
his own instrument individual studies from which it is possible
that true musical sentiment may be derived.