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NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

(Ed. Note--The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters and only under special conditions, at the request of the writer, will names be withheld. Only letters under 400 words can be printed because of space limitations.)

To the Editor of the Crimson:

Your editorial of June seventh states that Music 1 has solved the problem of the Freshman Reviews by appointing to give them a graduate student who, since he is not connected with the course and does not know the contents of the examination, "has been able to stress without compunction what he considers to be the high points of the course."

Although this is a noble hypothesis, it has unfortunately no foundation in fact. In the first place, the review which I gave at Mid-Years for the Freshmen was done with full and exact knowledge of the contents of the Mid-Year examination (I am an Assistant in Music 1 at Radcliffe). In the second place, it will become apparent after a little reflection that it would be impossible to give a successful review unless one had attended all the lectures in the course and had a knowledge of the contents of the coming examination.

I do not mean by this that the review should be in the nature of a pre-digested meal: It is this type of review to which the Crimson has so rightfully objected in its campaign against the Tutoring Schools. As a matter of fact the Union Committee has perhaps unconsciously sought to avoid this procedure by scheduling the review only thirty-six hours before the examination. It is perfectly apparent that any attempt to do the work of a half year of Music 1 in thirty-six hours would be worse than hopeless.

The review for Music 1 was merely an attempt to organize material and to point out salient facts about each period in the history of music. This type of review Music 1 was proud to predicate on three important factors: first, that its students were genuinely interested in the course; second, that the instructors had made the subject seem so alive that the students were drawn automatically toward doing the listening; and third, that it would be impossible to pass the type of examination given in Music 1 without having done the listening.

Professor Merriman used to say in History 1 that he thought reviews were valuable only if the students had done their work before going to the Tutoring Schools. Of this hypothesis we of Music 1 are quite sure; and therefore our review becomes both a necessary and a legitimate part of the course.

I shall give the review in the Union tonight with a full and exact knowledge of the contents of the final examination. But what is more important, it will be given with the certainty that the students in attendance have fulfilled Professor Merriman's request. And as a representative both of the Music Department and the Music 1 staff, I shall try to keep in mind Professor Hill's first requirement of a teacher: "Remember that your students are, first of all, human beings." Richard F. French

(Ed note: The Crimson regrets its error as to Mr. French's status in the Department of Music. But the contention that, with only occasional exceptions, instructors have shown themselves unable to "organize material and point out salient facts" still stands. And we have been corroborated by other instructors in our opinion that graduate students familiar with Freshman courses could handle the job efficiently.

Of course the Crimson is not seeking "predigested meals" handed out to lazy students. Our conception of the review's purpose has never varied from Mr. French's. We differ only as to the means to that end.)

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