The Power of the Rural Voice Teacher

Right here I wish to emphasize my belief that the task of developing a generation of better singers and of creating a more discriminating public in vocal matters rests even more upon the average teacher in a small town or city than upon the metropolitan masters. If this is not apparent at first thought, just consider that the classes of the metropolitan masters are made up, for the most part, from the exceptionally gifted pupils of these “average” teachers – young singers of such unusual endowment that professional aspirations awaken within them as a natural reflex from the preferment shown them in their home environment, and who gravitate to the big musical centers where wider opportunities await them. Thus, while the teacher of the interior city, gathering his class from his own immediate locality, may consider himself lucky to have in his list a very few pupils of such natural endowment as to make possible their development into singers of more than mediocre ability – and doubly lucky if the choicest of these elect do not fly to the big city before he has an opportunity to definitely shape their vocal habits – the metropolitan teacher is blessed with pupils of far greater ability and must be deficient indeed if from among them he cannot occasionally develop an artist who will bring him fame.

Wilcox, John. “How to Remedy Common Vocal Faults,” Etude Magazine: May 1922.

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