The Free-Reed Journal
Articles and Essays Featuring Classical Free-Reed Instruments and Performers

Holding Up YOUR END

By Sydney Boyce Dawson In Collaboration With Galla-Rini

This article was reprinted in its entirety from the August 1940 issue of Accordion World (New York).

Nearly every week brings letters from pupils asking if their teachers are giving them the right exercises or pieces. The question these pupils wish to ask is, "Do you think that I have the right teacher?"

After a pupil has selected a teacher, how is he to know whether he has chosen wisely? The following is a test for grading your teacher. Some tests have been popular during the past few years. These tests are not always satisfactory, however, for they are sometimes taken haphazardly. To be correct, the test must tell both sides of the story. You may consider your teacher as being inefficient and not capable. That is your side of the story, but what of the teacher's viewpoint? Possibly if he had the proper cooperation from you, it would be a different story! No matter how good a teacher is, he is working under a handicap unless the pupil can answer "yes" to the following questions:

Very often people will go to a good doctor, yet fail to get satisfactory results, because they do not have faith in the doctor or do not carry out his directions, yet they blame the other doctor and not themselves.

In making the following test, do not read over or study any of the questions until you are ready to mark down the grade. The questions are graded 0 to 5: Never 0; Seldom 1; Sometimes 2; Generally 3; Often 4; Always 5. For example, the first question "Do you feel like practicing at the practice hour?" if your answer is, "generally" then grade 3; if "always," grade 5.

As soon as you have read the question and understand it, mark down the grade. This is important, for if the question is pondered over, the grading will not represent true reactions.

After you have answered all the questions, total up your score. If the total is below 65 there is something wrong. It may be the teacher or it may be that you are to blame. Study the questions carefully and see if you can discover the trouble. This is the first half of the test. Keep the score as it will be needed in the second half of the test. Correct all of your faults so that the next part of the test will give you a true rating for your teacher.

The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. staff gratefully acknowledges volunteer Benjamin Lang who assisted in the production of this article, as well as Stanley Darrow and the comprehensive American Accordion Musicological Society library.

Invitation to Contributors / Submission Guidelines
Back to The Free-Reed Journal Contents Page
Back to The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. Home Page