Absolute Pitch research, ear training and more
Originally published by Mrs. Evelyn Fletcher Copp, 1915
special thanks to the Center for Musical Antiquities
Is to give the child a fundamental, systematic and logical education in music in a way that is natural and pleasurable, and thus make it possible for music to develop the child physically, mentally and artistically.
2. Rhythmical development.
3. Melody making.
4. Ability to read music rapidly.
5. Thorough knowledge of the keyboard.
6. Knowledge of time.
7. Complete knowledge of the construction of the major and minor scales.
8. Muscle development and nerve control.
10. Practical knowledge of intervals, chords, analysis and modulation, for the purpose of original expression in music.
11. Systematic memorizing.
14. Awakening interest in great composers.
15. Giving a knowledge of musical instruments.
The length of the course for children depends on the age and natural development of the child. Upon its completion he is able to read music rapidly and easily, is perfectly familiar with the keyboard, scales, chords, intervals, time and rhythm, can play in any key, and has systematically memorized at least a dozen pieces. His ear has been developed to a point which is today considered impossible for the majority. He can modulate in fifteen different ways and transpose any composition he has learned into any key. Besides this, his natural love for music has not been forced out of his heart and mind, but has grown and developed with the gaining of this knowledge, while his ear has been so trained and his power to express himself and his own thoughts in music so developed, that his pleasure and his freedom in the art robs it of all drudgery, and the practice of music becomes a natural delight.
The knowledge gained is as useful for any other instrument, or for the voice, as for the piano.
The Method is applicable for pupils of any age over five years, and actual use and public demonstration have proved that all that is claimed for it, is accomplished.
Is to place in the hands of the teacher a thoroughly tested and endorsed system of teaching music which is in accordance with all the modern and psychologically correct methods of instruction.
To arouse the teacher to a realization of the dignity, importance and beauty of her work (without which realization she cannot be successful) especially if she is privileged to lay the foundation, which is of vastly greater importance than any later part of the child’s musical education.
Is to give her a course of instruction which will make her of invaluable assistance to her child, at an age when he is still too young to take the Fletcher Method. Many mothers, from lack of a known way to awaken and develop the musical instinct in their children, allow numberless golden opportunities to escape, and often, instead, judging only from one aspect of the situation, they misjudge and handicap their little ones by calling them unmusical because they appear to lack in voice, ear or time. The cooperation of the musically prepared mother is needed. This Mother’s Course consists of the primary lessons of such subjects as the Rhythmical course and Ear-training course of the Fletcher Method proper. Other lectures in the syllabus are:
The psychological laws carried out by the child in his first expressions of music.
The awakening of the aural sense. How to inspire a desire for its development and develop it. Games used, etc.
The use of the voice as the child’s first musical instrument. Art developed through concentration.
The child is a real child in music-- no longer artificial, but a spontaneous creator-- as a result of freedom in and love of it.
Franklin Taylor, London, England.
Dr. William Cummings, Guild Hall School of Music, London, England.
The late Signor Garcia, London, England.
Wm. MacDonald Smith, London, England.
Antoinette Stirling, London, England.
R.W. Liddle, F. Geo. C. Southwell, Minister.
M. Anagos, Director of the Perkins Institute, Boston.
Lyman Abbot, D.D., New York.
Dr. William Mason, New York.
Dr. Hugo Riemann, Leipsic.
Dr. Gerrit Smith, New York.
Dr. Percy Goetschius, Boston.
W.O. Forsyth, Director Metropolitan School of Music, Toronto.
Dr. Albert Fuchs, Dresden.
Countess of Minto, Vice Reine of India.
Caven Barron, Director London Conservatory, London.
J. Warren Andrews, New York.
Samuel W. Cole, Boston.
Dr. C.L.M. Harris, Director Hamilton Conservatory of Music.
George W. Chadwick, New England Conservatory, Boston.
B.J. Lang, Boston.
John Orth, Boston.
Mrs. L.E. Orth, Boston.
Signor Augusto Rotoli, Boston.
John Philip Sousa.
Thomas Tapper, Boston.
Wm. Tomlins, Choral Director World’s Columbian Exposition.
C.S. Johnson, Boston.
Hiram C. Tucker, Boston.
Jaroslaw De Zielinsk, Buffalo.
Allan Lindsay, Director Troy Choral Club, Troy, NY.
Kate S. Chittenden, Dir. Institute of Applied Music, New York.
Max Weil, Director Weil Conservatory, Halifax.
Gilbert R. Combs, Dir. Broad Street Conservatory, Philadelphia.
Gilmore Bryant, Dir. Durham Conservatory, Durham, NC.
Mrs. Katherine Fiske, New York.
Jean Parkman Brown, Boston.
H. Field, Leipsic.
Harvey Worthington Loomis, New York.
Madam Gardner Clarke-Bartlett, Boston.
Professor Elmer Gates, Chevy Chase, MD.
Leonard Liebling, New York.
Albert A. Mack, Director St. Mary’s School, Raleigh, NC.
Emil Mahr, Boston.
Emil Schoen, New York.
Carl Stasney, Boston.
Eugene Gruenberg, Boston.
Madame Hopekirk, Boston.
New England Conservatory of Music, Boston.
Metropolitan School of Music, Toronto.
Virgil Clavier Piano School, Baltimore.
Cincinnati College of Music, Cincinnati.
London Conservatory, London, Canada.
Hamilton Conservatory, Hamilton, Canada.
Halifax Conservatory, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
St. Mary’s School, Raleigh, NC.
Fontleroy School, Boston.
Durham Conservatory, Durham, NC.
Northwestern University School of Music, Evanston, IL
West Cornwall College, Penzance, England.
The Chelius School, Leipsic, Germany.
Bolton Girls’ High School, Bolton, England.
Sheffield Girls’ High School, Sheffield, England.
Mansfield Girls’ High School, Mansfield, England.
Brookline School of Music, Brookline, MA.
Metropolitan School of Music, Indianapolis.
From the Director of the Metropolitan School of Music, Toronto.
About two years ago Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher directed my attention to her then newly invented system for instructing young children in the elementary principles of music. I was immediately convinced that it possessed unique and genuine merits, and I decided that it should be given a fair trial at the Metropolitan School of Music. The result of two seasons’ experience with the Fletcher Music Method, simplex and kindergarten, amply confirmed my first favorable impressions, and the method has become a highly valued fixture in the school. The advantages of a system which relieves young children of much of the drudgery and mental strain heretofore incidental to the ordinary methods of instruction, and yet thoroughly teaches the important elements of music, are too obvious to require explanation. As director of the first public institution which adopted the Fletcher Method, it affords me pleasure to attest to its efficacy and to commend it to my professional confreres and to the public generally.
Director Metropolitan School of Music.
The Elmer Gates Laboratory
Chevy Chase Circle, Chevy Chase, MD. April 25, 1899.
Dear Miss Fletcher,
Yesterday I gave a talk to the teachers and pupils of the National Park Seminary; among them, by invitation, was Miss Willis who, after my talk, exhibited your Method of teaching music to small children. I desire to express my highest appreciation of this system of teaching elementary music. I believe that it is thoroughly in keeping with the modern principles of education, and I congratulation you upon your achievement.
Leipsic, Germany, April 4, 1889.
Dear Miss Fletcher,
The German Times will have a nice article in the next number, as I was much impressed by the ingenuity with which you have developed your scheme, which ought to meet with unrivalled success. The only obstacle that I can foresee being that which may be raised by perfunctory thinly veneered “musicians,” who teach by rule of thumb, and know but little more of that which belongs to their vocation than they do of what takes place in the distant planets. True pedagogy (in the American and German sense of the world), is as rare as were black swans before the discovery of Australia. I have known many a learned man (and woman, too), who was utterly unable to impart his own knowledge to others. With best wishes for your success, believe me
Toronto, Sept. 29, 1898.
I have much pleasure in stating, as my conviction, that the Fletcher system of teaching music to beginners is destined to revolutionize the present method in general use. Miss Fletcher’s system is based on correct pedagogical principles as applied to the teaching of children, making the study of music a delightful pastime rather than a task, and consequently produces upon the young mind an impression so vivid that its results cannot fail to be lasting.
Director Toronto Conservatory of Music.
Leipsic, Germany, April 26, 1889.
It gives me great pleasure to recommend Miss Fletcher’s excellent and unique method for imparting to children, in a most simple and interesting manner, the elements of music. In a demonstration given at my studio before several prominent musicians, Miss Fletcher showed in a series of musical games, how young minds can become absorbed and receive fundamental musical training, and accomplish more in an exceedingly short space of time with her method, than with years of discouraging labor with methods that repel children rather than attract them.
Harry M. Field.
This is to certify that we have had the Fletcher Music Method taught in our schools for the last year, and I consider it one of the best methods for children that I have ever seen. It is both interesting and instructive, and I am only too glad to endorse it.
Gilmore Ward Bryant,
Director Southern Conservatory of Music, Durham, NC
The following is a letter to Mrs. Andrews-Sturgeon, one of the first teachers of the Fletcher Method:
I have examined your system of teaching children notation in music, together with dynamics and keyboard facility, and recommend it as a good exponent of the kindergarten system, of which I am a firm believer.
John Philip Sousa.
13 Brompton Squre, S.W., July 10, 1899.
I have had much pleasure in inspecting the beautifully constructed apparatus designed for the Fletcher System of teaching the rudiments of music, and I think the method, as described by you, cannot fail to interest young children, as well as instruct them.
New York, NY, Jan 1, 1900.
My dear Miss Fletcher,
I was deeply impressed recently with the force and simplicity of your method. I have always believed that it would be necessary to sweep away some of the mists of pedagogy before we should be able to point out the stars and constellations of musical truth. There can be no discussion of the value of your method of work, because the results are perfectly in evidence, and cannot be disproven. They speak for themselves. With best wishes for your success in this country, I am
Hon. Pres. American Guild of Organists
Past Pres. Manuscript Society, New York
Perkins Institute and Massachusetts School for the Blind
I am glad to be able to state that Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher of Toronto, Canada, a talented musician and skillful instructor, has hit upon a plan which will afford to all youthful students of the art of music great pleasure and entire freedom from stupid, mechanical drudgery. She has originated a series of songs, games and a variety of apparatus of large and convenient size, by means of which children may gain, in the happiest and most impressive way, a basic knowledge of music in its theoretical aspects. Obviously this method is an offspring of the philosophy of the new education, and by a careful study of its principles no one can fail to be convinced of the naturalness of its arrangements, of its inestimable value, and of the fact that it is destined to bring about a revolution in the teaching of elementary theoretical music.
Michael Anagnos, Boston, 1898.
January 23, 1904
The Musician’s Union of New York City recently refused to play with two skilled harpists until they joined the union, and their action was defended on the ground that music is a mechanical art. It often is. Mrs. Copp believes that it should be a spiritual life. She teaches children to think and to express themselves in terms of music. She converts it from a blind, mechanical copying, into a vital self expression. She aims to make the pupil live the works of the composer which he plays. I have not seen her Method in operation in the school; I want to. But it seems to me more than a method, it is a revolution, and converts musical education from a mere drill and drudgery into an inspiration and a life.
Dr. Lyman Abbott
London, England, May 1899.
Among original methods fundamentally affecting the progress of musical art, I can imagine none more deserving of worldwide success than that introduced by Miss Fletcher. After hearing her own account of her work, one is perhaps not so much struck by the unusual energy and perseverance exhibited by a young lady in inventing and successfully introducing a radically new system, as by the thoroughness of the plan of working. One finds with most inventors of systems that, having found a truth, they are unable to resist the temptation of presenting it as a “central” one and more or less distorting all other facts to fit them in around their own pet discovery. Miss Fletcher is too sincere a student of nature to act thus, and instead of forcing a child’s mind into preconceived methods of her own, she has reverently studied the eager questions asked by the “little tots”, as she lovingly calls them, and has often learned from them the next step to be taken. Thus, without professing to be a scientific psychologist, she nevertheless questions nature in a manner worthy of the best scientists, and the success and excellence she has attained are the best witnesses to the superiority of such earnest and simple methods over those too commonly adopted.
W. MacDonald Smith
Boston, November 19, 1899.
My dear Miss Fletcher,
You are quite at liberty to say that I have given some attention and thought to your plans and materials for the teaching of young children the nomenclature of music, together with rudimentary instruction in the sound side of language, and that the whole scheme seems to me to be admirable. It is a pity that your own energy and tact cannot always go with the use of your material.
It gives me the greatest pleasure to recommend in the highest terms I can command the Fletcher Music Method. It is beyond comparison with any system known to me in reference to giving a quick, sure and solid knowledge of musical symbols and developing children into rapid and correct readers. One great beauty of the Method is, that instead of making the way uninteresting and stupid, or at the best creating a feeling of indifference in the young learner’s mind like the old methods, it becomes an interesting and charming game to the little folk, taking them whither we would have them go, and dealing out the kind of pleasure that ought to go always with study, whatever the kind.
Director Piano Department,
Temple College, PA
Leipsic, March, 1899.
Gern bestatige ich Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher (die in Wiesbaden meine Schulerin war) dass ich ihre Idee einer Vorbildung der Kinder, fur den Musikunterricht durch die Interesse erregenden von ihr dahin erdachten und geschickt eingerichteten Apparate fur eine sehr gluckliche und verdientliche halte.
Dr. Hugo Riemann
Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher was kind enough to bring her apparatus here, and to personally exemplify to me her method of teaching the rudiments of music to young children. It was evident that her system would very speedily enable young students to attain proficiency in all the essential knowledge which is indispensable in vocal and instrumental performers.
William H. Cummings, Principal
The Guildhall School of Music, Victoria Embankment, E.C. (Near Blackfriars Bridge.)
Signor Garcia writes the following letter to Mrs. Wilson, a teacher sent to England by Miss Fletcher during the summer of 1899.
Moer Abri, Cricklewood, July 28, 1899.
Dear Miss Wilson,
I have great pleasure in expressing my opinion on the system invented by Miss Fletcher for teaching the elements of music to young children. It is a happy idea to represent in relief every sign of musical orthography, and to impress on the mind of the child the name, shape and function of each sign by games and stories which are associated with them. The pupil thus unconsciously imbibing the theory of music becomes a good reader, well prepared for the higher studies. But if the plan is ingenious, it requires a clever and experienced teacher to carry it out. I hope that all who are called upon to teach the system may prove as entirely competent as yourself.
Believe me yours sincerely,
Vicars Court, Southwell, England, Nov. 22, 1900.
I beg to state that Miss Plumbe has explained to me the Fletcher System of teaching music, and has given me an example of her teaching. I cannot speak too highly of the system, or of Miss Plumbe’s very lucid and interesting explanation.
R.W. Liddle, F. Gld. C.
Organist, etc., Southwell Minister.
New York, 1898.
The Fletcher Method seems to me well adapted to the rapid and thorough accomplishment of its purpose because of its tendency to immediately arrest attention, to arouse interest, and thus to promote a habit of mental concentration on the part of young children. Games, sports and pastimes constitute a powerful force in our early education, because, through their agency, knowledge is quickly inducted and woven into each personal experience. Miss Fletcher’s Method being based upon this principle, appears to me well adapted to the accomplishment of the desired result, and with ease to the pupil, because the sense of drudgery is minimized.
Dr. William Mason
Miss Fletcher’s method of imparting elementary musical knowledge to children is most original and effective. This method is in perfect accord with established pedagogical principles. I know of no other method where the child’s self-activity is so entirely dealt with. Miss Fletcher’s motto evidently is expression, not repression, thus creating in the child a love for music. It seems to me that with this method one of the music teacher’s greatest problems, viz., that of proper and thorough elementary instruction, has been solved.
Mr. Emil Schoen
It gives me much pleasure to testify to the efficiency of Miss Fletcher’s play-methods of simplifying the rudiments of music to young beginners, and to her ability as a teacher. Under her skillful guidance, the little ones not only avoid drudgery, but while mastering the detail of elementary work in a pleasurable manner, they are also aroused to the dawn of that music spirit which, as I believe, is the heritage of every child, and without which mere performance, however elaborate, is empty and worthless.
Williams L.Tomlins, 1898.
Choral Director, World’s Columbian Exposition.
In response to your request for an expression of opinion regarding your Method, let me say: First, the Method has been employed here at the Metropolitan School of Music for about eight years. Second, it has proved entirely worthy of every claim to merit, and consequently we have never thought of discarding it. Third, in my opinion, it should be considered indispensable to every school of music, and as regards young children (beginners), I think the entire course should be obligatory, if only because that it is designed to instill and develop and perfect a real love for music study. But of course it does very much in addition that is of incalculable value.
Yours very truly,
Edmond L. Roberts,
Secretary, Metropolitan School of Music, Toronto.
After careful investigation of the prominent systems for simplifying the rudiments of music for beginners, it gives me pleasure to testify to the unique and superior methods of the Fletcher Music Method. It is evident that a genuine love for children, and a keen appreciation of the numerous and uninteresting difficulties in the way of learning the rudiments of music, inspired Miss Fletcher in her work. The delightful manner in which she has surmounted these difficulties, which all sincere teachers have sought to overcome, must elicit the gratitude of all students and teachers of music.
Mrs. John Vance Cheney, Chicago
My dear Miss Fletcher,
Allow me to convey to you the unanimous delight and interest expressed by the teachers of the Synthetic Guild after your demonstration. Personally, your talk and the exhibition of your appliances filled me not only with admiration, but gratitude. In these days when little children are set at such a multiplicity of studies, and such unreasonable demands are often made upon teachers, it is a relief to know that some one has found an incline plane by which Parnassus may be reached even by the little folks. It seems as if your kindergarten system were a sort of funnel through which true ideas may be carried into every intelligent method of either vocal or instrumental music, and as such all teachers must give you a hearty endorsement.
Yours very truly,
Kate S. Chittenden, Pres. of Synthetic Guild.
Pres. of the Metropolitan School of Music.
Vice-Pres. and Dean of Faculty of American Institute of Applied Music.
The Countess of Minto writes from Government House, Ottawa, Canada:
Lady Minto has much pleasure in stating that having seen an illustration of Mrs. Fletcher-Copp’s Method of teaching music, she considers it the most excellent system for the instruction of children, and one which they all appear to enjoy.
Dear Mrs. Copp,
We all appreciate a word in season; and, as our enthusiasm for your method is just as great after ten years, as it was when we first adopted it in our conservatory, I send you this word to let you know that we find it all it claims to be.
W. Caven Barren
Princ’l London, Conservatory of Music.
London, Ontario, Canada.
For many years I have known about the Fletcher Music Method, and lately there has come under my direct and constant observation some of the results of the Method; and I am very sure that Pedagogically and Musically, from the highest and strictest standard of results of education and of music, the Fletcher Method is absolutely correct. Education in its final analysis means liberation, and that is just what the Method does for the children. It liberates their minds and senses so that they respond, re-act and take in all that music has to offer, both from its intellectual and emotional side. In the proper keeping of the balance between these two things, intellect and feeling, it seems to me that the Method is very strong, and I do not think it would be possible to recommend your work and Method too highly.
I sincerely hope that when you are passing this way, we may have the pleasure of hearing you again. Your talk was an inspiration to your audience, and again I wish to thank you on their behalf.
Very sincerely yours,
William A. White
Syracuse University, Syracuse, N. Y.
The Fletcher Method has been taught in the London Conservatory of Music for a great many years, and I can say without hesitation, that I consider it the finest method of musical instruction extant for the instruction of children.
Its scope is thoroughly comprehensive and it is based on a scientific study of the child mind. The results from the use of this Method are little short of astounding.
The Method has become very popular in this community, owing to its great success at the London Conservatory.
F. Linforth Willgoose, Principal, Mus. Bac.
Associate Royal College of Organists.
London, England, March 13, 1899.
Dear Miss Fletcher:
On behalf of the council and leaders of the London section of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, I beg to thank you most heartily for your paper and demonstration of your musical method at our meeting of last Saturday. It was greatly appreciated… I should be very glad if you would write a report of your lecture and demonstration as soon as possible, and we will insert it in our Journal, which I will forward to you. With many thanks for all you have done,
Yours very truly,
F. Harold Hankins
Incorporated Society of Musicians
President, His Royal Highness, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Duke of Edinburgh, K.G.) Hon. Treas., Charles W. Pearce, Mus. D. Cantab, Hon. Sec.
In answer to your question regarding the Fletcher System, allow me to say that it has my strongest endorsement. Every school where a course of music is pursued should adopt this method.
Yours very truly,
Albert A. Mack
Musical Director at St. Mary’s School, Raleigh NC.
My dear Mrs. Copp,
It has been some time since I placed my daughter under your charge, as a pupil of your Method for teaching children. I will say that I have been greatly pleased with the progress she has made, and with the results of her teaching, which I have watched with great interest. Wishing you still greater success in the future, I am,
Very truly yours,
J. Warren Andrews
I have taught the Fletcher Music Method now for about three years, with increasing satisfaction as to results. It has helped me wonderfully, not only directly with my junior pupils, but in broadening and deepening all my work, and solving many knotty problems of teaching. There is nothing one-sided about it; eye, ear, fingers, brain, memory, imagination, all are reached and made to contribute their share to the general musical culture. Further, it is a delight to the children, who learn easily, love their classes, and, later on, their practice, finding it no hardship, to the great surprise of their parents.
Roberta Geddes-Harvey, Mus. Bac. Trin. College,
Organist of St George’s Church, Guelph, Ontario.
My dear Mrs. Copp,
I have heard you say your Method was only “common sense, nothing wonderful,” but when I think of the many years I taught and how little I accomplished with the average child, and how hard I tried, and now how much I have accomplished in one year, and what happy times I have had with the children, it really does seem wonderful. For eight years I have taught your Method. Each succeeding year brings better results. As no two children are alike, it never grows monotonous. The more I teach, the more value I see in each game and piece of apparatus. As far as I can learn, no other Method, or teacher, gives a Memorizing Course. This in itself is worth your whole fee: and of equal value, perhaps, are your courses in Technique, Notation, Ear-training, Time and Rhythm, Scales, Chords and Intervals and Modulation. No one can estimate the value to the child who learns by this beautiful Method to express himself in music. I marvel that anyone, knowing anything of this System, can have the conscience to attempt to teach music to children in any other way. Wishing you every success,
750 Bathurst St., Toronto, Canada.
My dear Mrs. Copp,
I am about to commence my third year of the most interesting and satisfactory work I have ever undertaken-- teaching the Fletcher Music Method. From the beginning I have had all the classes I could attend to, and the expressions of satisfaction from teachers to whom the children have gone after the completion of the Fletcher course, attest the success of the Method. We can never sufficiently express our gratitude to you for making the instruction of music so simple and natural, and equally enjoyable to both teacher and pupil. I could write hooks on my delightful experience in teaching my boys and girls, and of their love for their music. It is hard to write so little, where there is so much to say in favor of, and nothing against, the Method.
Utica, N. Y.
My dear Mrs. Copp,
It is a pleasure to tell you that during my three years’ teaching of the Fletcher Method, my regard for it has steadily grown in spite of the fact that I considered it perfect to begin with. The absolute knowledge of notation, time-division, etc., is only surpassed by the ear-development and other mental training, which enable a child to come to the piano able to appreciate the beauty of music as well as its construction. The child, while gaining this knowledge, has also been saved very many hours of really useless practice. Allow me to express my gratitude to you that I shall never have to start a child on the musical path in the old way, and heartily wish that a great many may take advantage of this opportunity to learn the Method.
Yours very sincerely,
London Conservatory of Music.
My dear Mrs. Copp,
I want to thank you for the opportunity you gave me to examine your marvelous Method. It is distinctly unique, and thoroughly admirable throughout. One of the merits in the acheme which seems to be of the most emphatic advantage, is the fact that the children who use it do not feel that they are doing a duty or learning a lesson. Every point of knowledge which the child gains comes to him, not as a task performed, but as a natural result of some delightful experience, and he will never lose what he gains under your Method, any more than he will forget how to skate or to catch a ball.
I wish I were a youngster again so that I might participate in that beautiful music game you have invented. As it is, I am sorely tempted to become possessed of the fascinating toys and escape to some friendly garret where I could engage in a round of musical solitaire. I am convinced that the escapade would leave me a better craftsman.
How any music teacher could ever allow young pupils to struggle on in the old stultifying grind, after seeing your ingenious invention, is beyond my comprehension. You are indeed the Froebel of music, and the importance of your educational work cannot be over-estimated.
Confident that your influence will become daily more far-reaching,
Believe me enthusiastically yours,
Harvey Worthington Loomis
421 West 57th St., New York, Feb. 27, 1906.
From my personal observation of the Fletcher-Copp Method, I can say that I have found in the scope of its progressiveness one of the very best preparations for musicians along all lines of musical work.
Madam Caroline Gardner Clark Bartlett.
I wish that every beginner in music could be trained by the Fletcher Music Method. The pupils who have come to me from Mrs. Sturgeon, taught by this Method, have been in all respects much better prepared for the playing of heavy compositions and advanced harmony than any others. It is time we left the old dead copying methods and dealt with the vital living thing-- music itself. This the Fletcher Method undoubtedly does. I know of nothing that takes its place.
Jennie Eva Morse.
579 Fine Arts Bldg., Chicago.
My dear Miss Fletcher,
During the time that I have taught the Fletcher Music Method it has been demonstrated to me that the aims of the work can be fully realized. I consider the Method a most superior one, embracing as it does the principles of a broad musical education, and adapted to the needs and understanding of the child in such a way that unusual results may be obtained. We are already assured of its steady growth, and I earnestly hope that the time will come when every child who will study music in any form can receive the benefits of this inestimable work.
Very sincerely yours,
Sybilla Orth, Boston.
My dear Mrs. Copp,
After teaching the Fletcher Music Method for over four years, I am perfectly convinced that it appeals directly to the mind and heart of a child, and am most thankful to you for this delightful highway into the land of music.
Ethel E. Howe.
My dear Mrs. Copp,
I want to send you just a line to tell you again of the satisfaction I feel in the work which I have accomplished through your Method. There is one thing which I am constantly finding, and that is that the Fletcher Method has been of great benefit to me personally, as it has opened so many avenues of thought and work which I had never thought of, and which I know are helping me to do better work every year.
Wishing you all success, I am,
Mary B. Merrill.
My dear Mrs. Copp,
It has been my privilege to have taught the Fletcher Music Method for the last twelve years, and I cannot speak in too high terms of this wonderful system.
A number of my first pupils are still with me taking piano lessons, so I can testify to the lasting good of the Fletcher Method. Children begun in this way understand so thoroughly what they are doing that they naturally play more intelligently, and the great love of music being imbued from the first, this also shows in their playing.
The benefits to both teachers and pupils of the Fletcher Music Method are invaluable, and I wish it and its originator every success.
Yours very sincerely,
Elizabeth Davidson, Montreal.
It gives me very great pleasure to testify to my appreciation of the Fletcher Music Method in evoking the interest of blind children in their study of music.
For three years I have used this Method and have been marvelously surprised at the progress these little sightless children have made and the interest which they manifest. It is by far the finest and most efficient system of musical instruction I have any knowledge of, and it gives me great pleasure to testify to its true worth and the success which has attended it wherever it has been employed.
Eleanor Maud Hamilton,
Kindergarten for the Blind, Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Having taught the Fletcher Method for five years, I believe it to be the most satisfactory one, and a lasting inspiration to the child, morally and spiritually as well as musically.
Minnie J. Green.
Dear Mrs. Copp,
As you are so soon to go to England, may I not say to our cousins across the sea-- through you-- how very much I wish more of the English music teachers could study the Fletcher Music Method. The slight acquaintance I have had with one or two English teachers convinces me that I am not an enthusiast, more than others, in my conviction as to the absolutely good results of teaching children according to this Method. After a teaching experience (in private lessons) of more than twenty years, of various grades of pupils, I entered the study of Fletcher work from curiosity and experimentally. Now that I have used it with children since the first year of its being taught at all, I would far rather now give a beginner in music gratis lessons than not have him know its principles, simply for the permanent influence it cannot fail to have on his whole musical future, if rightly taught.
The work is fascinating, of course, to the child; but, from my point of view, that is a very small point. The pupil has, from the beginning, been stimulated to such keen observation in an unconscious manner, that at the end of one, two or three years, this observation, coupled with the general intelligence the children have gained, makes them very alert over various other subjects only remotely touching music.
This intelligence is so marked in my vicinity that not only the day school teachers, but also those who are in the habit of observing children, say that they can easily pick out the Fletcher children from among the others. With best wishes for your trip,
My dear Mrs. Copp,
My twelfth year’s work as a Fletcher Music Method teacher has closed, and I wish to tell you that it has been each year an increasing success. I have found the Method to be all and far more than it claimed to be. I have watched its working with the same pupils for four consecutive years, and realize what a means of education music becomes when taught in this way. The systematic course in memorizing, or in modulating, or in ear-training, or in any one subject in the Method, has been worth the whole cost of the course to me alone.
Emily A. Sturgeon.
August 16, 1910.
Dear Mrs. Copp,
It is eight years, I think, since I began to teach children music in the “Fletcher Method,” and each year’s experience has increased my appreciation of it, and revealed more and more its advantages over the old method of teaching children. These advantages are many; perhaps the most striking are the ear-training, the keen interest shown by the children from the earliest lesson, and the ease with which they gain a knowledge of the theory. Indeed, I should consider it a wrong (which could not afterwards be repaired) to teach a beginner by any other Method that I yet know of, when the child could have the advantages of the “Fletcher Method.”
Among the many admirable points of the Fletcher Music Method, two stand up conspicuously. First, the loving interest in music developed in the child, and second, the all-roundness of the musical education given.
The more I teach Fletcher Method, the more I find in it of inestimable value to both teacher and taught.
Ida M. Cheales.
1 Walpole Road, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Eng.
I can only say after my second term’s work, that it was quite worth the journey to America, and all the time it took me.
Amy Teantom, Liverpool, Eng.
I have found the Fletcher Music Method a very great success. All my small pupils enjoy the lessons immensely. It is so much more interesting to teach, and the results are so much better than those achieved by the old method, that I can never be grateful enough to you for having shown me the better way. Since learning the F. M. M. I have had on an average thirty pupils.
43 Glisson Road, Cambridge, Eng.
Evelyn A. Fletcher-Copp, the originator of the Fletcher Music Method, besides years of study in Canada and the United States, has had the benefit of five years’ musical training abroad with such well-known masters as Dr. Hugo Riemann, Oscar Brucker (Kammer Virtuoso), Herr Director Albert Fuchs, Wilhelm Sadony, Henriette Schmidt and Dr. Orland Mansfield, and others, and has, since 1899, three times returned to Europe and successfully introduced her system in London, Berlin, Leipsic, Brussels and Dresden.
Already the demand in these foreign centers is so great that Mrs. Fletcher-Copp has arranged to personally teach a Normal class every second year in Europe.
Mrs. Fletcher-Copp’s motto is that the teacher should always be the most eager student, and she consequently spends much time in investigating all methods or ideas which appeal to her as of psychological value to children. The advantages to teachers of being brought in contact with the latest European musical ideas (as well as American) which this regularly recurring visit entails, are obvious. This constant investigation is also of vital importance to the Method, causing it to grow and improve from year to year. Already it has placed it far in advance of what it was when first made public, and Mrs. Copp is determined to keep it as far in advance of all methods of teaching children music in the future as it was conceded to be at the time of its introduction into this country.
The musical apparatus necessary in teaching this system has been patented in the United States, Canada, England, Germany, Belgium, Italy and other foreign countries, and can only be obtained by teachers who complete the course of study with the originator. Owing to the large demand for teachers of this system, normal classes are taught in New York, Boston, and London, England.
Realizing the inadequacy of teaching by correspondence, and recognizing the great value of her system musically, Mrs. Fletcher-Copp continually refuses applications to those who desire to study by mail, and her certificate of authorization to teach her Method can only be obtained by those who study with her personally.
In connection with this system, and for the benefit of its teachers, the Fletcher Musical Association has been formed. The object is to promote unity and strength of purpose among the teachers, and to keep every teacher in touch with all new and good ideas which bear on the teaching of music to children. These Association meetings have proved of inestimable value, and a source of great encouragement to the teachers. L’union fait la force.
Branches have been established in London, England, Chicago, Toronto, Canada, besides Boston and New York.
This is a paper edited three times a year for the benefit of the Fletcher music teachers. Contains new games, lists of books desirable to be read, articles on the different subjects, and much useful information.
1st. Because the Fletcher Method is acknowledged to be the most scientific, modern and most artistic of all music methods, and consequently is a joy to both the child and teacher, and of great educational worth.
2nd. Every child who loves music can succeed if a rational method is adopted, and it is the teacher’s privilege, provided that the love is there, to remove all other obstacles, such as “weak muscles,” “poor ear,” “bad memory,” “nervousness,” “inability to read,” etc.
3rd. In order to progress with the times the music teacher must have leisure and money to devote to her own personal advancement. The Fletcher Method Teachers obtain higher prices than other music teachers of children, in nearly all American cities the price varies from $12.00 to $20.00 a term of ten weeks, two class lessons a week. In Canada from $6.00 to $12.00 a term, and in England from 13/6 to 3 guineas a term.
4th. Fletcher teaching is done in classes, and two classes of five pupils each, consuming a total of four hours a week of teaching, progress more rapidly than if the same ten pupils took ten hours of the teacher’s time, each child having two private half hour lessons a week.
5th. There are many deficiencies in the teacher’s own musical education to rectify and as we believe in the statement “Physician, heal thyself,” we consequently learn to do ourselves what we claim to teach our children. Therefore Fletcher Method teachers have to develop their own ears; have to learn fifteen Methods of modulation; have to be able to analyze the simple music they would give the children to play, and it is not possible for me to do more than to teach them all this and prepare them to pass on the same instruction to the child in the 200 hour course.
6th. Although it would be a financial gain to me to have a dozen or more teachers teaching my method to teachers, and would in a way completely do away with the almost necessary cheap imitations of the Fletcher Method, I prefer the policy which I have followed for the past twelve years, and which has made the Fletcher Method musically and artistically the first in the land.
I do not teach by correspondence, for I do not see how such subjects as ear-training, rhythm, technique, memorizing, modulation, transposition and composition can be taught artistically and practically except by personal instruction.
The cost of the course of two hundred hours’ lectures with the use of the patented set of apparatus and necessary books is $200.00. In the Summer School this course covers a period of eight weeks. It is true that the Fletcher Music Method is the most expensive; the most difficult of attainment in that it must be studied under my personal direction, and is the longest course for teachers. On the other hand, it is worth every effort that it may cost the teacher, and if she desires the best and the one most sought after by earnest parents and educators, she must choose the Fletcher Method.
The Fletcher Method not only makes practically all previous instruction, but opens up immense possibilities to the earnest and aspiring teacher.
The demand for teachers has been so great that a bureau has been opened in connection with the system, to which teachers desiring situations, parents desiring teachers, or institutions desiring teachers, may write.
For further particulars apply to Mrs. Evelyn Fletcher-Copp, 31 York Terrace, Brookline, Mass.
Mrs. Evelyn Fletcher-Copp is open for engagements for illustrated lectures on her System before Women’s Clubs, Musical and Kindergarten Associations, Conservatories and Educational Unions.
The following are some of the societies before which she has lectured during the past.
N.Y. State Music Teachers’ Associations, Binghamton, N. Y.
National Music Teachers’ Association, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York.
Syracuse University, Syracuse.
Toronto College Of Music.
Metropolitan School Of Music, Toronto, Canada.
Conservatory Of Music, Toronto, Canada.
Temple College, Philadelphia, Pa.
Cambridge Training School, Cambridge, England.
Royal Normal College And Academy Of Music For The Blind, London, England.
Incorporated Society Of Musicians, London, England.
English Institute, Brussels, Belgium.
Fine Arts Building, Chicago, Ill.
Soper School, Steinway Hall, Chicago, Ill.
Steinert Hall, Boston, Mass.
South Side Women’s Club, Chicago.
Wednesday Morning Mothers’ Classes, Pratt Institute. Brooklyn, N. Y.
Kindergarten Union, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N. Y.
College Of Music, Auditorium Bldg., Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Brooklyn Women’s Club, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Philadelphia Musical Academy, Philadelphia, Pa.
Broad Street Conservatory, Philadelphia, Pa.
Ethical Culture School, New York City.
State Board School, London, England.
Lecture Under The Patronage Of Her Excellency, The Countess Of Minto, Orme Hall, Ottawa, Canada.
Lectures In Berlin, Dresden And Leipsic, Germany, And Many Others.
New England Conservatory, Boston, Mass.
Two Lectures Before The International Council Of Women’s Clubs, Toronto, Canada.
Ithaca Conservatory Of Music, Ithaca, N. Y.
Metaphysical Club, Boston, Mass.
Musical Therapeutic Association, Carnegie Hall, New York City.
Oberlin Conservatory Of Music, Oberlin.
Peabody Conservatory Of Music, Baltimore.
Minneapolis Conservatory Of Music, Minneapolis.
Kansas City Conservatory, Kansas City.
Green Acre Conferences.
Winchester, Mass., November 3, 1899
A demonstration lecture was given by Miss Fletcher under the direction of thirty-two of the local teachers at Steinert Hall, Boston, on the afternoon of October 23rd. Miss Fletcher was received with enthusiasm, and after she had read a short paper about the work, forty children filed in by music, and took seats arranged for them in a circle upon the stage. These children represented the work from the “child’s standpoint,” and to the large audience of about five hundred people, presented a lovely picture.
The audience repeatedly expressed enthusiasm with the work of the children, and also their appreciation of this method and its originator, Miss Fletcher, who proved to them that she rightly deserved the title given her, “The Froebel of Music.”
Ottawa Evening Journal, Nov. 9, 1901
The announcement that Mrs. Fletcher-Copp would lecture on the popular Fletcher Method of musical instruction drew a large audience to Orme Hall yesterday afternoon. Mrs. Fletcher-Copp is a delightful speaker, and in the short space of an hour gave a remarkably clear and comprehensive outline of her system. She spoke with much enthusiasm, and maintained, in spite of the numerous assertions that have been made to the contrary, that there was a royal road to learning. Our children and grandchildren would do many things which we thought impossible; and in the realm of music the average child could now do things which were once regarded as the exclusive prerogative of genius. Children taught by the Fletcher Method acquire “positive pitch,” a thing once regarded as unteachable, and they read music often better than old and practised musicians.
Her Excellency, the Countess of Minto, was present at the lecture, attended by Capt. Bell, and accompanied by Miss Grenfell and the Ladies Eileen and Ruby Elliot.
The lecture was arranged by Miss E. Marie Elliot and Miss Laura McLaren, to whom the musical public of Ottawa is much indebted for the opportunity of hearing Mrs. Copp. Rev. Canon Pollard introduced the lecturer.
The Musical Record
The demonstration given in Steinert Hall last Saturday afternoon by Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher of her own music method was largely attended, and the deep interest manifested by the audience showed how important this method is in the eyes of all who are open to advanced ideas in learning.
Boston Times, July 2, 1899
Miss Fletcher’s success on the Continent was phenomenal. She gave two demonstrations in Brussels, one in Berlin, two in Leipsic. Of one of those given in Leipsic, the German Times of that city says: “The lecture (which Prof. Martin Krause also attended) lasted over two hours, without being tedious for a moment, and one could easily recognize in her one imbued with the imaginativeness and the power of finding similes for everything, which are such essential qualifications in teaching, whether the learner be young or old. Miss Fletcher is, in fact, a pedagogue in the best sense of the word, and her system one which must commend itself to everybody who knows that to teach the child one must be able to think with, not for, it; in short, that one must ‘stoop to conquer.’
“Miss Fletcher’s stay abroad was necessarily short, owing to her pressing engagements on this side, but the work waiting for her there is tremendous.”
New York Press, April 2, 1902
Under the distinguished patronage and immediate presence of Her Excellency, the Countess of Minto, Mrs. Evelyn Fletcher-Copp lectured to a representative and large audience in Orme Hall, Ottawa, on Friday, November 8th, at 4.15 o’clock. We were so fortunate as to secure Rev. Canon Pollard, a warm, sympathetic admirer of the Fletcher Method, for the chair. His introduction of Mrs. Copp to her critical audience formed a most pleasing prelude to her most interesting lecture. I say “critical” advisedly, for the most skeptical among the men musicians and others curious or doubtful were present. Mrs. Copp was not many minutes speaking before she held her audience. Barring the inevitable “tea” that a few stragglers departed to. the attention was absolute and unmarred-- the comment on all sides, as the lecture was finished, being, “Why did she not keep on longer?” “I quite forgot I had another engagement, I was so entertained and instructed.” She is one of the few women who can grace a platform, and has something original, put in an original way, to say to you.
Buffalo, N. Y., July 7
My dear Miss Fletcher,
It gives me great pleasure to convey to you the thanks of the Program Committee of the N.Y.S.M.T.A. for the excellent paper you delivered before the convention last month. Personally I am greatly interested in the advancement and spread of your system, which I consider to be the clearest and most natural method of music teaching in the kindergarten.
Very sincerely yours,
Jaroslaw De Zielinski,
Chairman Program Committee, 1897-1898.
The Sunday Herald, Boston, Dec. 5, 1897
A MUSICAL KINDERGARTEN.
New Method of Teaching the Piano Devised by a Girl.
Revelation to Blind Pupils.
“The unhappiest and most uncomfortable hour in my whole days,” sighs the tired and tried mother, “is when I am worrying my little girl into practising her music lesson.”
That complaint is echoed by almost every mother of almost every child who is set to learn the piano. There is nothing against which the average child so rebels as against the practice hour. No matter how great a lover of music he may be, he has not yet reached the stand of the philosopher, where he can see that the present unpleasantness is leading toward future pleasure. And so he rebels against the drudgery, and the poor mother is made a double martyr, suffering both for herself and him.
There is probably no science which is attained through such sloughs of despond as that of music. Its beginnings are the most unmitigated drudgery. This is especially true of piano playing. The child has had, precisely the same training that is given to the adult, although not ixi such quantity, and the result has been to give him a distaste for the study, which should be, under proper conditions, the most delightful and interesting of studies.
Neither is it impossible to find those conditions. Indeed, they have been found, and the discoverer of this method, which is to revolutionize the entire manner of teaching music to children, is a bright Canadian girl--Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher.
Miss Fletcher is a born musician, and she comes from a musical family. She was born and educated in Canada, and was sent to Germany to study the piano and violin. She was in training for concert work, but at the end of her fifth year in Germany she came home, intending to return and study until she was prepared to make her public appearance as a finished performer. However, her father died quite suddenly, and it became necessary for her to turn her studies to account by becoming a teacher. At first she taught only advanced pupils, but when she was engaged as an instructor in a large and fashionable boarding school in Toronto, she had to take beginners as well. She found that there was no method for teaching these beginners other than that employed for the older and more advanced pupils, and that seemed so beyond their comprehension. Loving music as she did, it hurt her that it should be made the most unpleasant of all tasks to the little ones, and she set to work to devise a way that should turn a disagreeable task into an agreeable pastime.
The fame of it spread among educators, and one of the most enthusiastic advocates of it was Mr. Anagnos, who saw in it tremendous possibilities for the blind. He was enthusiastic for her to come to Boston to give an exhibition of her work. The New England Conservatory offered her a room for her demonstration classes, and she is already showing her work to the Boston public. It will be but a short time, probably, before musical kindergarten classes are opened in the near suburbs and cities.
It is no wonder that those who study it, or even those who watch it carefully without studying it, grow enthusiastic over it. It means an entire revolution in the teaching of the piano method to children, and robs the practice hour of all its terrors, alike to the mother and the child, while it facilitates the work of the piano teacher, and brings results that are wholly satisfactory in an incredibly short time. It is a distinct advance in educational methods, and it is the work of a thoughtful, earnest, clever, musical girl, who is still in her early twenties.
THE FLETCHER MUSIC METHOD OPENING.
On Saturday morning, December 11, the opening Exhibition of the new Fletcher Music Method was given in Sleeper Hall by a class of children under the direct supervision of Miss Fletcher. The average age of the children was between six and seven, and they had been under Miss Fletcher’s instruction six weeks. It was impossible, therefore, to demonstrate the system in its complete results, but enough was shown to give convincing proof of its efficiency, for the children manifested a degree of knowledge of the rudimentary elements of music, and a ready familiarity with points whose real difficulty might make older students hesitate, that took the audience completely by surprise. It was a critical audience assembled for the purpose of studying the system impartially, but the demonstration stood the test, being received not only with favor, but with genuine enthusiasm that bodes well for its future success.
The Boston Evening Transcript
Monday, December 13, 1897
MUSIC TAUGHT BY MEANS OF GAMES.
Simple System by which Small Children Easily Acquire the Foundation of a Musical Education.
Sleeper Hall, at the New England Conservatory of Music, was filled Saturday, when a practical illustration of the Fletcher Kindergarten System of teaching elementary music was given by Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher, the inventor of the method. It interests the child by means of musical games that aid him in grasping the principles of music. Miss Fletcher has based the system on the child’s point of view rather than from that of the adult pupil. The imagination of the child is aroused, and his interest in the games is such that there is no drudgery in the work, and the knowledge gained becomes permanently fixed in his mind. To illustrate her system, Miss Fletcher showed how to teach children to read music easily and rapidly; to give them a thorough knowledge of the keyboard of the pianoforte; to make them familiar with time and musical signs; to develop rhythm; to know how to build the major and minor scales; to make the fingers and wrists flexible; to train the ear to sound, and to create an interest in the great masters of the past and present.
The progress of the pupils who have been under their teacher’s charge only during six weeks as an experiment, bears out the opinion of Richard A. Dana, President of the Conservatory, Professor George W. Chadwick, and others of the faculty as to the value of the system.
The Commercial Tribune, Cincinnati
Sunday, Nov. 5, 1899.
One of the interesting episodes of the early year at the College of Music happened yesterday afternoon and evening, when Miss Evelyn A. Fletcher, the inventor of the Fletcher Simplex Method, demonstrated to a crowded auditorium (in the Lyceum) the salient features of her system… She demonstrated the value of her system, which is to be introduced into the College of Music curriculum the coming week, to the full satisfaction of the College teachers, nearly all of whom were in attendance.
The Musical Courier, May 19, 1899
MORE OF THE FLETCHER METHOD AND ITS ORIGINATOR.
Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher, who sailed for England February 1, to introduce there and on the Continent the Fletcher Music Method, of which she is the originator and patentee, returned to this city last week on the American Liner City of Paris.
In spite of conservatism of the people abroad, Miss Fletcher and her music method was as well received there as in America. She was unable to give all the demonstration lectures requested, but was obliged, because of the demands made upon her, to lengthen her return visit to England from the Continent enough to prepare a class of teachers for the work. The most important lectures in England were delivered before the Incorporated Society of Musicians, the Royal Normal College, the Academy of Music for the Blind, the London School Board of Teachers, and in Cambridge before the Teachers’ Training College.
On the Continent she lectured in Brussels, Berlin, Leipsic, and Paris. The following is an extract from the Leipsic letter of March to the German Times of Berlin. It speaks for itself:
“In response to an invitation from Harry M. Field, I attended a lecture given at his chambers by Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher, of Toronto, on her ‘Fletcher Music Method.’
“Now it would seem at first sight a matter of quasi-impossibility (except with unusual gifted ones) to impart this knowledge-- warranted fast colors-- to children of from five or seven to f our-teen years of age, but the demonstrations given by the originator of this music method satisfies one that not only is it possible, but more especially rational. It fits the young child out with sound knowledge, both abstract and concrete, before it takes its first piano lesson, thereby giving it an immense advantage over those who have not had the benefit of the preparatory work. The lecture (which Prof. Martin Krause also attended) lasted over two hours without being tedious for a moment, and one could readily recognize in her one imbued with the imaginativeness and power of finding smiles
for everything, which are such essential qualifications in teaching, whether the learner be young or old. Miss Fletcher is, indeed, a pedagogue in the very best sense of the word, and her system one which commends itself to every one who knows that to teach the child one must be able to think with, not for, it; in short, one must ‘stoop to conquer.’ This remarkably clear-headed Canadian, who was a pupil of Harry M. Field, and studied under Dr. Hugo Riemann, holds patents in Germany and other European cities for all her materials.”
This is the opinion of one who has heard what Miss Fletcher has to say, and has seen the woman herself. It is of as much importance to know what has actually been accomplished with the Method in the hands of Miss Fletcher’s teachers. It is an actual thing shown by the work of the Fletcher classes wherever they are tried, that the results among the children, not the bright, exceptional child, but all the children, are every bit as satisfactory and as remarkable as the claims made for the Method. Imagine two children of seven or eight years of age standing together in one corner of the class-room disputing over the originality of a little composition which one of them had just brought in from home. The little composer declares that it is original; that she had never heard it anywhere or copied it from anything. It was a very simple thing, just a few notes on a piece of paper, but the part that interested us was that neither of the children had heard the sound of this bit of music from voice or instrument. They read it mentally from sight, and heard it mentally. How many people who are not almost, or quite, professional would be able to do as much with printed music without the aid of the piano. Another boy, during a rhythm lesson, when the music was played unrhythmically, shuddered, and begged that it should not be played in that way; and when the true rhythm was again expressed exclaimed, “Ah, now I know what music means, it never meant anything to me before, but it always will mean something to me now, and I shall know why.” And this boy came into the class declaring that he hated music, and dreaded studying it. Not long ago the same boy brought a rather ambitious composition to class written in bass and treble, and when it was played for him on the piano, remarked, “That’s not bad for an amateur.” One small boy rushed into his mother’s room, exclaiming, “0 mamma, baby is crying in high G.” And another boy found music in the hum of the trolley. The children listen gladly for every sound, and try to give to each, his own musical value. How many of us know every note on the piano by name, tone and sound? Most of the children do. Some of them who are just at the beginning of the second term know every note, and eagerly pick them out on the “real piano,” as they call it, much as they would play a game. The children beg for a longer lesson than the usual lengthened hour. And the mother of one child, who had finished the whole course and was going on with piano lessons, called the teacher up on the telephone, and asked if she had requested her daughter to practice two hours a day on the piano. The teacher, knowing the child to be but seven years of age, and busy with her studies, replied, “ Certainly not.” It seems the child had studied this way from mere interest and pleasure. We all know that “It is the poor workman who quarrels with his tools,” and the more one understands of his work beyond the mere material into the soul of it, the more his love and enthusiasm for it grows. This is the case with the child; the tangible material makes the mental impression so much greater, and the grasp of the meaning so much easier, that the child is free to win the, soul of the art he is studying. It is impossible, without witnessing it, to realize the genuine love and enthusiasm, and the intelligent and happy understanding of music which a child taught by the Fletcher Music Method knows. He feels that music is a friend, a power of expressing himself and life, and eagerly avails himself of it.
-Maud E. Woodruff
The Boston Transcript,
Friday, December 24, 1897
Whenever an original idea is put before us in a complete form, we are apt to exclaim, “Why has no one thought of that before?” This is what came to our minds after enjoying the privilege of watching the work of several children-- all under ten years of age-- who were being taught the rudiments of music by the clever and original Fletcher system of musical kindergarten.
During the last decade-- yes, a quarter of a century-- the child idea has reigned supreme. It has been justly called the Children’s Age, and the most astute brains and largest hearts have been busy studying the needs of children, and planning to meet those needs. So it is rather remarkable that no child-like-- that is, natural-- system has been devised for teaching music to the little ones -- music, the most difficult of all studies the child is allowed to take up. it is a singular fact that the same methods have been employed to teach music to both adults and children, while natural or kindergarten methods have been applied to nearly all the arts and sciences in existence except music which is too abtruse and intangible as now taught.
Why fatigue the child’s brain and create at the outset a distaste, even positive hate in some, for the most divine gift of mortals-- music?
Thus came the thought to a clever young woman who had received a thorough musical education, both on this continent and in Europe, and who set herself to devise some way to meet the capacities and the needs of the little folk that came under her care when she began teaching. So the present system grew, a progress of evolution directly suggested by the children’s progress, step by step. The results obtained by the system are simply wonderful, and the short time required to prepare the children by it for going to the piano, violin or other instrument, seems incredible.
What has the child gained by this method? It has developed along natural lines in the mechanical and mental fundamental processes of musical education, and, which is even more important, it has developed esthetically, for its interest in music and its love for it have been greatly increased hereby. It will listen with more pleasure and even intelligence to musical performances than many adults, for the children thus taught have been admitted within the mystic portals of the “why” and the “how,” and feel at home there. Without really knowing it they have imbibed those foundation principles of music which may be called its mechanics, and which are the bug-bear of adult beginners, and these children have passed unconsciously through the “drudgery” of music in a way to fill even advanced performers, trained by the usual tedious method, with envy. This seems a rash statement, but it has been proved again and again.
Let the music teacher think what this is going to mean to him or her. What delight to receive one of these intelligently trained little persons for a pupil, and have the happiness of escaping the drill in scales, intervals, time and sight-reading. Think of. being able to give a child of seven years a composition that would tax a fourteen-year-old girl, trained in the old way, ,to read and have the be given to technique, expression, and the higher mission of music notes placed correctly at once. The time of the teacher can then be given to cultivation of the heart and soul. The results then attainable can scarce be computed.
After a generation of children have been thus trained, we can confidently expect a musical atmosphere that will make possible the production of the much longed for and long waited American national Hymn, in which the music as well as the words shall be truly and typically American.
Success, New York, January, 1898
A GIRL’S ACHIEVEMENTS.
The whole system of teaching music to children has been revolutionized by a young Canadian girl, and what has been heretofore a disagreeable task, the very drudgery of the teacher, has been turned into a most delightful pastime. There is no music teacher but dreads the initial work with children, and the more sympathetic she is, the deeper the dread. There is no mother who does not find the effort to make the little ones practice the worst quarter of an hour she has during the day, but Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher, of Toronto, has changed all this.
It will have world-wide use. Miss Fletcher has had her system patented not only in Canada and the United States, but in all the European countries.
Nothing else in education has of later years aroused so much enthusiasm as this new musical system devised and perfected by an earnest, clever girl in her early twenties.
The Presto, Chicago, May 12, 1898
Talking about inventions, however, reminds me that what promises to be the most clever and far-reaching of the age as regards music, is that of Miss Evelyn Ashton Fletcher, formerly on the staff of the Metropolitan School of Music, Toronto, but now, with the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston. The former was, two years ago, the first public institution to adopt Miss Fletcher’s ideas, but now there is good reason to believe that they will become known wherever music is taught. Her invention consists of what is known as the Fletcher Music Method.
As it would take too much space to give details of the materials employed, I will not attempt anything on that line, but those who are interested either from a professional or commercial standpoint will realize the importance of Miss Fletcher’s invention from the fact that I was permitted to read a letter to her which amounted virtually to an offer of $10,000 for the right to operate the system in Belgium alone.
NOTE.-- This offer was for one game only, not for the system.
The Beacon, Boston, October 1, 1898
Miss Fletcher has patented seven games, but she has endless games of her own invention, which those teachers studying under her can use with the materials she supplies. A perfect knowledge of the keyboard is gained in a very enjoyable way. Miss Fletcher, knowing the inherent tendency of the child to tear to pieces and rebuild, provides a keyboard so constructed that the learner has the happy privilege of taking it to pieces and reconstructing, it, using the knowledge he has previously acquired from his earlier game lessons. In connection with this game, also, the child builds the intervals, and learns their names, also the principal chords in their different positions, thus acquiring the foundation of the study of harmony.
A special feature of this method is the ear training, which is often entirely lacking in early lessons on the piano. Miss Fletcher’s pupils have only to see a note to connect it with the sound, or vice versa--hearing a sound, the ear conveys to the mental vision the position of the note sounded on the staff, Technique is taught for fingers and wrist in as fascinating a way as any other subject, and thus by the time the child reaches the piano, eyes, ears, and fingers are all obedient servants, ready to do his bidding, and the training has been a pleasure.
That this system will eventually bring about a remarkable change in the musical atmosphere in America, it needs no prophet’s vision to foretell. Miss Fletcher is receiving applications from different schools and conservatories for teachers of her system, and so far the demand is greater than she can fill. This shows that the Fletcher Music Method will open a tremendous field for young musicians of ability.
The Melrose Journal, Friday, January 7, 1898
A method of teaching music to children, which is within their powers, has at last been devised. Hitherto the brains of the little ones have been forced to grasp the difficult principles of music taught to them by the self-same methods as to adults; the result has been that the child, thus unnaturally treated, dreaded the hour of practice, and even grew to detest music, the thing it was born to love as it does flowers and all God’s gifts.
By this new natural method, which is engaging the earnest attention of educators, the inborn love of music is fostered, and the child thinks the hour for the music lesson the most delightful of the day.
The influence of such broad and universal culture of the musical instinct of the rising generation on the musical atmosphere of the future can be seen, though scarcely estimated in its magnitude.
When the alphabet of music becomes as much a part of the children’s education as the alphabet of speech, we may begin to look for musical epics and a much longed for national anthem.
The days when inexperienced and untaught musicians were acceptable as teachers of the young in music are quickly passing. The fact that such a teacher charges little, and comes perhaps to the home for the lesson (which is certainly a convenience), will not save her. The small fee must of itself condemn, for as long as it exists what chance can there be of a surplus of means which will permit of further musical advancement on the part of the teacher? And another point is, that it will in many cases necessitate the accepting of every pupil, and so deprive her of free time for personal advancement.
From the parents’ standpoint, the cheap and inexperienced teacher, though perhaps a present convenience, proves often to be more expensive than an expert would have been. The laying of the foundation of a child’s musical development can be compared to building a house. If we employ a cheap builder for the sake of economy, may we not later have to pay out more than the original cost of a solid foundation in repairs?
Aristotle, Plato, Lycurgus, Plutarch, Bacon, Locke, Lord Brougham, and all the modern educators, agree on this point-- that childhood is the most vital period for the formation of character, and that the “foundation for national prosperity and perpetuity are to be laid down in our infant schools” (Sarah B. Cooper).
Is this not as true in music as in any other subject of education?
The hope for new things in the musical world (and who will deny the need of a great reform?) must come through the children.
The success of the Fletcher Music Method has stimulated others to teach music upon what they call kindergarten principles, and although Mrs. Fletcher-Copp has no desire to monopolize this field, and would be the first to welcome and assist any system of merit, she is desirous of not having her Method confused with these other so-called kindergarten methods.
This impetus to others to originate simple methods of teaching children is in itself a good that has been brought about by the Fletcher Music Method.
For the first year of the teaching of this Method, acting upon the advice of a prominent kindergartner, who assured the originator that the Method was “perfect from a kindergarten standpoint,” Mrs. Fletcher-Copp called the Method a Musical Kindergarten Method. She soon realized, however, that this was a great mistake, on the following grounds: First, the term “musical kindergarten” not being copyrightable, is susceptible of being brought into disrepute by attempted imitations of Mrs. Copp’s Method, which was the first system of its kind in the United States, England and Canada, to be endorsed by musicians and adopted in musical institutions, and to receive favorable criticisms from musical critics. Second, the very name “kindergarten” has prejudiced, in some cases, kindergartners to such an extent as to prevent investigation of a system that they invariably thoroughly admire and endorse, when they have been able to get over this first stumbling block. Third, the very name, “musical kindergarten,” attracted to the system applications from a number of people having the idea that a kindergarten method would not require much musical knowledge. Because the Froebel system is in no way protected (except in so far as all great truths are protected) and has been represented in many cases by those not educated enough to grasp its great truths, there has been a good deal of prejudice against it, which it is unnecessary for the Fletcher Method to take upon its shoulders by being associated in name. Again, although the Fletcher method is true to the Froebel philosophy, it is also as true to every logical law of education; and although the course for children can be given from five years of age (the mother’s course being for children much younger), still it is as valuable for children up to the ages of fifteen and sixteen as to those younger; older children object to studying anything called a musical kindergarten method. So, since the first year of the teaching of this Method, the name was changed to “The Fletcher Music Method, (Simplex and Kindergarten).” The materials, invented by Mrs. Fletcher-Copp, are thoroughly protected by patents, and these, with her certificate of authorization to teach her system, can not be obtained by correspondence any more than a university degree could be obtained in that way. Nor is any person authorized to give the Normal course of instruction but the originator.
THE MUSICAL COURIER, OCT. 12, 1910.
Phone 1177-1 Back Bay,
Most of us have often heard the expression that there is no royal road to knowledge. This has been thoroughly disproved in one case at least by the publication of thirteen little pieces entitled “Musical Thoughts for the Piano” which were written unaided and without correction by pupils of the Fletcher Music Method, ranging between the ages of eight and fourteen years, and thus given to the public. Perhaps the clearest elucidation of the opening remarks comes with the following explanation of her compositions given by one of the children to her father: “I only wrote the melody-- these three measures, and then transposed it to its relative minor, and after that, put it an octave higher, and then modulated back to the original key. I thought I could repeat the first part for I noticed that Mozart did that in his Minuet which I have just taken.” As may be seen it was only the original thought of the three measures which seemed of value to the child. Adults, however, who have studied, know that just to “transpose,” and modulate and observe the form of Mozart’s compositions demands the musical knowledge, insight, and intelligence which many teachers would gladly see in their ten-year-old pupils. With this as an introduction the little pieces follow with some such original explanation prefacing nearly every one. The whole idea is unique as there is no record of any such collection ever having been published before, and it is well worth the serious consideration of parents and educators, not for what these little compositions mean as musical literature-- that is not to be expected-- but what the Fletcher Music Method stands for in the way of developing the creative talent inherent in all, and giving that talent the technical clarity of expression which we have been taught to associate with the adult only, and that after long years of study and preparation.