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children should not enjoy the inestimable benefit of the mental training which part-music affords.
In conclusion, we must not omit to note the great variety of the songs which are found to be practicable in Elementary Schools. National songs have always been in use, but some Recommendations of the Board of Education about ten years ago drew fresh attention to the importance of giving the children a working knowledge of these standard tunes. At about the same time many of the older and recently revived folk-songs became available, and have added variety to the programme.
In addition, new interest has been aroused in the Shakespeare songs of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In common use to-day are also the undying melodies of the classic composers, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Rubinstein, Grieg. Healthiest sign of all is the recent stimulation of our native composers to produce songs and part-songs for schools — not limited as in older days to banalities which were supposed to be the only fit pabulum for the budding musical intellect, but real live songs with fine words, and music by such masters as Parry, Stanford, Elgar, Mackenzie, Bantock, Walford-Davies. The outlook is full of hope.
[Though Dr. Borland is one of its officers, the London County Council is not in any way responsible for the opinions expressed in this article.]
DRAWING AND ART
By H. BARRETT CARPENTER
The last forty years have witnessed a change in the teaching of drawing so great as to be worthy the name of a revolution, a revolution not yet complete but holding the promise of greater things still to be accomplished. We may speak of the “new teaching of drawing, but it is rather a return to the pursuit of lost ideals, common sense being called to our aid.
When education was made compulsory the authorities of that day decreed that all children in Elementary Schools should be taught certain subjects, among which drawing was unlucky enough to be named. Unlucky because those who decreed that it should be taught also prescribed a fixed course of instruction. In framing this course no thought appears to have been given to the most important item, the natural development of the child. For practical
For practical purposes drawing was confined to one idea, the cultivation of skill in copying. The drawing might be made from a flat copy or from a solid object, but there was no idea beyond that of copying. In practice the flat copies were often based upon beautiful Greek ornament, but when, for cheapness and convenience of distribution, the copies were reproductions of very far-off copies, there remained little that was Greek and less that was beautiful.
The solid objects were geometric shapes chosen because they are the foundation forms upon which are based many
of the articles made by man. Apparently the solid objects stood for use without beauty, and the flat copies stood for beauty without use. Be that as it may, there grew up in the minds of our people the idea that use and beauty were things apart ; that the ugly thing was so because it was useful, and that the beautiful thing could be beautiful only at the price of being useless—a devil's doctrine if ever there was
The first step towards revolution was taken when it was realized that children took no interest in this dull work, loathed it indeed, but that some of them would contentedly draw things of their own choice. Still, those in authority could conceive of drawing in no other way than as an act of copying, so "recreative drawing copies" were given out, and the children were left to make what they could of such birds, beasts, or fishes as fell to their share. As this was
As this was recreation " the teacher had no need to worry about it, but could get on with marking or other routine work. Dull fat copies, dull objects, and "recreative” Noah's arks, less dull perhaps, but still copies, these were the stones officially offered in place of the bread for want of which thousands of young minds were starved and stunted.
To-day the best teaching is based on the real wants of the child, who, coming into a strange world, must needs learn its ways, the meaning and use of the things he sees, their relation to each other and to himself, and something of the joy and beauty of life. The young child's
eyes are always being turned, this way and that, with interest and inquiry. What can drawing do to satisfy him ? Bright colours catch his
eye, then we will use bright colours to help him to think, and the world of make-believe shall help him to realize hard facts. Let us pin up a large spot of one bright colour and a small spot of another on a sheet of dark paper. The spots stand for this or that, but one is big and one is little, and one stands here and the other stands there. Bit by bit a story grows up round them, but always the one spot is just so big and the other just so much less, and they stand here and there. At the end each child gets his piece of dark paper and his two bits of coloured chalk, and from memory he makes the two spots, one big and one little, and he places them where they should be. He has begun to develop the idea of relative size and relative position. Day by day new stories go with new sizes and new positions, the spots divide into quarters and rings of different colours ; bars of different lengths, different directions, and different colours also come in, and in due time grow into flags, while the spots grow into simple leaves and fruits, or birds and fishes.
The undeveloped hand, unfit for pens or pencils, can clutch a little lump of chalk and draw with it freely and boldly, so that, following nature, mind and body develop together. As control of the arm and hand is developed the simple coloured shapes give place to objects of simple form-round, oval, square, oblong, and so on--but each with its own character, and each having its special position, direction and proportion.
Next comes the investigation of details (explorers' work in a new country), and the fitting of each detail into its proper place. The beautiful patterns of feathers, the great veins of leaves, the sticks of a fan,
the folds of a tie, the twist of a knot of cord—these are types of details that present endless interests to the young mind intent on finding out. So is laid the foundation of the true proportion of parts to the whole. Positions of points, direction of lines, proportion of
spaces—Euclid's order over again. But this is not the only side to be cultivated. There are powers and qualities, more or less common to all, which must be developed, but there are also individual personalities longing to express themselves in their own way, so, side by side with the periods of definite study, there are other periods when each child in his own fashion draws his own version of a story, or his own idea of something that has interested him. At the outset such drawing is symbolic, a loop may stand for man or beast, house or tree, and even after the objects have taken shape the drawings are still symbolic of the measure of interest felt by the child in the thing drawn. Usually the greater the interest the larger the figure, just as we see them in the Assyrian sculptures and in the drawings of primitive
Little by little the ideas of position, direction and proportion develop in the child's mind, and his own version of things becomes orderly while remaining personal.
With increasing grasp of ideas and greater power of hand the growing boy becomes able to face the difficulties of representing solid objects and of seeing them from any point of view, but the question of appearance must not be allowed to shut out the question of understanding. In studying all living things, as well as all things made by man, the idea of structure for a purpose must be present. In drawing them it is not only a matter of measurement, how long or how high,