Music Composers

Rousseau-Part 4

This book is full of extreme, and sometimes absurd statements; but it set the world the thinking anew on educational problems. The great philosopher Kant paid our author the following tribute: "The first impression which a reader derives from Rousseau is that this writer unites to an admirable penetration of genius a noble inspiration and a should full of sensibility, such as has never been met in any other writer, in any other time, or in any other country. The impression which immediately follows this is that of astonishment caused by the extraordinary and paradoxical thoughts which he develops."

Some of Rousseau's Sayings

  1. "I would rather have Emile with eyes at the ends of his fingers than in the shop of a candle maker." (That is, the fingers should be trained to guide themselves without the light of a candle, or any help that others can give.)

  2. "For the body as for the mind the child must be left to himself. Let him run and folic, and fall a hundred times a day. So much the better; for he will learn from this the sooner to help himself up. The welfare of liberty atones for many bruises."

  3. "When I see a man enamored of knowledge, allow himself to yield to its charms, and run from one kind to another without knowing where to stop, I think I see a child on the seashore collecting shells, beginning by loading himself with them; then  tempted by those he still sees, throwing them aside, picking them up, until, weighed down by their number, and no longer knowing which to choose, he ends by rejecting everything, and returns empty-handed." (This is a perfect picture of the activity of a large portion of our music pupils.)

  4. "Emile has but little knowledge, but that which he has is really his own; he knows nothing by halves. He has a universal mind, not through actual knowledge, but through the ability to acquire it. He has a mind that is open, intelligent, prepared for everything, and as Montaigne says, if not instructed, at least capable of being instructed."

  5. "My object is not at all to give knowledge, but to teach him to acquire it as he many need it, to make him estimate it at its exact worth, and to make him love truth above everything else. With this method, progress is slow; but there are no false steps, and no danger of being obliged to retrace one's course."

The Etude Magazine November 1912





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