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As the close of the academic year approaches, the University might well begin plans for ameliorating conditions in the Department of Music. While the faculty in music is one of the finest gathered under any one roof, its potentialities are seriously hampered by an ominous shortage of funds. From this main and crippling evil arise numerous and sundry irregularities making the teaching of music at Harvard laboured and uncertain.
Next year owing to a dearth of assistants, the popular survey curse in the history of music, Music 1, will be cut form 300 students to 150. This alone will strike a serious blow at the study of music here and will necessitate especial care in the selection of applicants so as to insure the admission of enough Freshmen for whom this course is fundamental. Inability to gain admission to Music 1 in Freshman year may well result in turning away many potential music concentrators. In like manner, Music A, basic course in the theory of music, is being pared to one half its size.
More mechanical irregularities, too, intrude upon the smooth functioning of the Department. There should be a comprehensive library lodged in the Music Building. Adequate practice room and sufficient victrolas could be well placed in the unused space in the basement. Finally an increase in the budget should be voted to provide for assistants drawn form the ranks of talented graduates desirous of continuing their studies under practical conditions.
These several changes could be affected without too sharp a rise in the Music budget and in each case both the instructor and the students would be greatly benefited; the instructors finding teaching conditions far more agreeable and for the students the improved facilities acting as a strong incentive toward a serious study of the noblest of the muses. It can be earnestly hoped that when the present apprehension in regard to the Freshman riots is dispelled that the University will turn its attention to this very real problem.
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