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The History and Development of Music in the Chicago Public Schools

Loyola University Chicago Loyola ecommons Master's Theses Theses and Dissertations 1942 The History and Development o Music in the Chicago Public Schools Isabelle M. Barry Loyola University Chicago Recommended
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Loyola University Chicago Loyola ecommons Master's Theses Theses and Dissertations 1942 The History and Development o Music in the Chicago Public Schools Isabelle M. Barry Loyola University Chicago Recommended Citation Barry, Isabelle M., The History and Development o Music in the Chicago Public Schools (1942). Master's Theses. Paper 43. This Thesis is brought to you or ree and open access by the Theses and Dissertations at Loyola ecommons. It has been accepted or inclusion in Master's Theses by an authorized administrator o Loyola ecommons. For more inormation, please contact This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Copyright 1942 Isabelle M. Barry THE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF MUSIC IN THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.' 1 BY ISABELLE M. BARRY A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN LOYOLA UNIVERSITY, FEBRUARY 1942 ,VITA ' ;,Isabelle M. Barry was born in Chicago, Illinois, January 17, She was graduated rom St. Mary's High School, Chicago, Illinois, June 1910,and r,ceived a teachers certiicate rom Chicago Teachers College, Chicago, Illinois, June The Bachelor o Music degree was conerred by American Conservatory o Music, Chicago, Illinois, June 1927 and the Bachelor o Philosophy degree with a major in Education was conerred by Loyola University, August, From 1912 to 1927 the writer taught in the public elementary schools in Chicago. From 1927 to 1936 she taught Music in Roosevelt High School, Chicago. Since 1936 she has been engaged as a Special Teacher o Music in Elementary Schools in Chicago. During the last ive years she has devoted her time to graduate study in the ield o Education....,, ii INTRODUC'I'ION CHAPTER TABLE OF CONTENTS.... ;. I. A Survey o Public School Music in the United States -Page II. The Changing Status.o Music in the Chicago Public Sthools III IV. A Survey o the Courses o Study _ - 6'7 V. Music Books That Have Been Used in the Chicago Public Schools 91 VI. IV I 29 The Development o Instrumental Music in the Chicago Public Schools _ _ 104 VII. Musical Activities Found in the Chicago Public Schools 114.' VIII. Contributions o School Music Activities to the Community_ Sill~~RY AND CONCLUSIONS - - BIBLIOGRAPHY, iii INTRODUCTION.' The purpose o this thesis has been to gather together all the authoritative dita pertaining to the music department o the Chicago public schools, and to arrange this material into secti~ns both logically and chronologically so that it might prove to be a ready and easily accessible source o reerence to those interested.. The data have been drawn largely rom records o the Board o Education o Chicago, namely, the Proceedings o the Board o Education, the Annual Reports o the Board o Education and the courses o study o the Chicago public schools. Since the problem is purely historical, no criticisms have been oered nor have comparisons been made, but, as a basis or appraising movements, procedures,and materials, the works o authorities in the ield o music education have been consulted and a brie survey o music education in the United States - appears as Chapter I. IV .CHAPTER I.A SURVEY OF PUBLIC SCHOOL MUSIO IN THE UNITED STATES The Singing School. Publi~... ~chool mus ic in the United States can trace its beginnings to that unique American institution, the singing school. As early as 1720, Reverend Thomas Symmes urged tte promotion o singing schools to improve the singing o the psalms, and soon they began to appear, irst in Boston and gradually spreading through all the colonies. They were taught by private teachers, many o whom taught music merely as an avocation. However, the singing school advocated singing by rule and art and with the advent o European trained musicians the instruction and perormance were greatly improved. In 1827 Lowell Mason came to Boston as a choir leader and immedia.tely began to make notable improvements in the singing school. The ollowing quotation rom a pamphlet o the Massachusetts Educational Exhibit (1893) by James C. Johnson is signiicant. About the year 1832 the Boston public was electriied by the announcement o a concert by a juvenile choir o two hundred members, under the charge o Lowell Mason, Bowdoin-Street church. Lowell Mason at the organ. The singing was heavenly,--such as had never beore been heard in America. The occasion is worth noting as the irst public event that gave the impulse to a new departure in the study o song (8:3). I The Music Convention. Out o the singing schools ~ grew the musical conventions where music teachers, choir leaders and members o the singing schools met not only to sing but to discuss me~hods and other problems. Lowell Mason, quick to sense the value and 1mport~nce o the convention.~ idea, organized a convention in 1836 at the Boston Academy o Music, which institution had been ounded January 8, 1833 by a group o public minded citizens.led by Mayor Samuel A. Eliot and which was the irst school o muslc pedagogy in the United States. Since those who attended the conventions came or dierent purposes--some or choral practice, others or teaching methods--the conventions tended to develop two dierent organizations, namely, the normal institute which specialized in pedagogical principles, and the choral societies, such as the Worcester Festival (1858) which developed rom a singing school convention into a choral estival and is still unctioning. ~ Adoption o Music ~ ~ School Subject. In 1830, William C. Woodbridge started an organized agitation toward the introduction o music in the schools. He had recently visited many European schools and was convinced o the success that could be attained by applying the principles o Pestalozzi to the teaching o music. He sought the cooperation o Lowell Mason who, ater experimenting with the children under his direction, thoroughly accepted the new St. Louis, Lynn and Cambridge, 1852; Worcester, 1854; and San Francisco, 1857 (1:7). However, the growth o the public school music movement was very slow due largelyt9 the la.ck o adequate.. 47 leadership. It is true that we can recall many nrunes o pioneers in this ield, but considering the vast number o public schools in the United States the number is relatively small. Notable Public School Music Educators. Among the pioneers Lowell Mason holds the outstanding position. Other prominent and successul teachers were Luther Whiting Mason o Louisville and Boston; Charles Aiken o Cincinnati (1842), an advocate o the movable do system; Willia.m Hodgdon o St. Louis (1854); Benjamin Jepson o New Haven, Connecticut (1865), who published the New Standard Music Reader; Geroge B. Loomis o Indianapolis (1866), who published his system o teaching in a series o books called Loomis'.P:i:ogressive Music Lessons; Milton Z. Tinker, Evansville, Indiana; J. E. Bailey, Nashville; Nathan L. Glover, Akron (1872); N. Coe Stewart, Cleveland, prominent or his institute work, and Orlando Blackman o Chicago (1863). About 1885 music was placed quite generally in the hands o the grade teacher and the problem o how to teach music reading becgme a very important one. It was a challenge to music educators and as a result several methods were developed. Hosea Edson Holt and John W. Tuts produced the Normal Music Cou~ (1863), which was based on master~' o the major scale; Luther Whiting Mason revised the National Music Course (1885); John A. Brockhoven and A. J. Gantvoort edited the Model Music Course (1895); F. H. Ripley and Thomas Tapper. brought orth the Natural Course i~ iusic (1895) and in 1899 Francis E. Howard, amous or his The Child Voice in Singing compiled the Novello Music Course. Sterrie A. Weaver, o Westield, Massachusetts evolved a method o teaching sight reading using only the 'blackboard, his voice and those o the children. Books were used only or testing (1900). Thaddeus Giddings, Director o Music in Minneapolis schools since 1912, has had remarkable success with his method, based on the philosophy that we learn to read by reading. all must sing through. The course o study lists twenty-one books that Other names amiliar to all or their outstanding accomplishments are: Frances Elliott Clark o the Victor Company; Charles H. Congdon; Hollis Dann, who inspired the irst National High School Chorus; Edward Bailey Birge, author o History o Public School Music inthe United States; Will Earhart, Karl W. Gehrkens, Peter W. Dykema,Osbourne- McConathy, Glen Woods, Charles H. Farnsworth, Paul J.. Weaver, Otto Miessner, George Gartlan, Charles H. Millep, FrankA. Beach and John W. Beattie. Most o the above mentioned have been active in the proessional organizations which have so deinitely molded modern trends in mllsic education. The school music section o the National Education Association was organized in For the next twenty-three years it grew in interest and importance and in April,1907, at ~.~eeting held in Keokuk,.~ ~ 's Iowa, at which one hundred our members were present, ~ Music Supervisors' National Conerence was born, altho~gh no such action was contemplated when.the meeting was called. Sometime later the name was changed to the Music ~ducators' National Conerence. This organization, together with its ailiates, the sectional conerences, and its journal and year-books give to the music teachers a wealth o material, the ideas o the inest music educators and opportunities to present problems or discussion and solution. Trends in Public School Music. ~~en music was struggling or a place in the school curriculum,its sponsor~ argued rom a practical rather than an aesthetic basis. Its utility as a means o relaxation to enhance programs was a avorite argument. Then too, because textbooks were! ew and supervisors had no criteria by which to judge, each did as he saw it and much variety was the result. However, rom 1885 to 1900 there was a decided movement toward note reading. The next period swung toward the song method and the development o appreciation. In 1911 the Victor Company organized their educational department. Also during the irst decade o the twentieth century the beginnings o the - development o school orchestras andbands was noted. movement received a decided impetus during the World ~ar This bands were needed or marching and orchestras contributed much to the community sings. Elementary schools o the p~esent decade boast o three and our part choruses, orchestras, bands and a growing practice o melody writing. when In the high school curriculum are ound a cappella choirs, boys' cqpruses, girls' choruses, instrumental groups both large and small, classes in theory, harmony, composition, history, appreciation, voice, piano and band and orchestra instruments. Edward B. Birge aptly expresses the place o public school music in the ollowing quotation: School-music is no longer cloistered. Its spirit is that o cooperation and helpulness. School and community are rapidly coming together. The spirit which is making America musically powerul today is the same spirit,adapted to changing conditions, o which Lowell Mason was the embodiment (2:229)...., CHAPTER II THE CHANGING STATUS OF MUSIC IN THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS a r4' Almost since the conception o the public school system in Chicago, music has been o suicient importance to engage the serious consideration. school authorities The ollowing, quoted rom Historical Sketches, appended to the Twenty-Fith Annual Report o the Board o Education, is probably the irst oicial action taken by the Board o Education with reerence to music in the Chicago public schools. In December, 1841, the ollowing report was submitted to the Common Council: The undersigned,inspectors o the Common Schools o the City o Chicago, and also members o the com- ~ mittee appointed or the purpose respectully represent: That a meeting o Inspectors and Trustees o Common Schools o this city was held at the oice o Wm. Jones, Esq., on the tenth day o December, in order to ascertain and examine into the propriety o introducing Vocal Music into the Common Schools o the City. Upon a ull consideration o the subject, it was unanimously agreed that the introduction o Vocal MusiC, under the supervision o a competent teacher, into the Common Schools o the City, would, be o great importance and tend much to the improvement o the scholars, and be o great advantage to the Schools. We thereore respectully recommend the subject to your Honorable Body, and trust that you will take such action in the matter as its importance demands. Signed by N. H. Bolles, Wm. Jones, John Gray and H. S.Rusker. 8.' The irst teacher o Vocal Music was Mr.N. Gilbert, who was appointed in December, 1841, at a salary o.,16 a month (110:70). 9 ~. In the spring o 1843,owing to inancial diiculties, the instruction in vocal music was discontinued, and a music teacher was not again employed until January, 1848,. t4, when Mr. F. Lombard was appointed. From this time until the all o 1860, music was taught regularly under the direction o the special music teacher. Mr. Frank Lombard continued in charge o instruction in Vocal Music till December, 1853, a.nd was succeeded by Christopher Plagge. Mr. Plagge resigned Marc~1854 and was succeeded by Mr. J. L. Slayton, who served till July, In September, 1856, Mr.Tillinghas~ was elected Teacher o Vocal Music at a salary o $1,000 per annum, and remained till the middle o October, 1860 (110:72) The ollowing is the report on music made by W. H. Wells, Superintendent o Schools, February 1, 1859; Music. The movement in avor o introducing vocal music as a branch o Public School Instruction in this ~ country,was irst made in Boston, in At the present time there are very ew good schools to be ound in which this branch does not receive more or less attention. The time devoted to music in the Public Schools o this city is not suicient to enable the pupils to master the subject, but the progress made during the past year has been very commendable, both in the theory and practice o this important art (95:46) Again, on account o the condition o th~ inances o the City, the services o the music teacher were dispensed with until November, 1863, when the Board, having accepted a subscription o $500 rom the Musical Union (100:118-22) appropria.ted a like amount and employed two music teachers, Mr. Charles Ansorge or high school and Mr. Orlando Blackman or grammar and primary schools..' That the period during which there was no special music teacher was deplored by the authorities is evidenced by the ollowing quotatlol1 rom the Superintendent's Annual Report o December 31, 1861: Music. It is now more than one year since the Board dispensed with the services o a teacher o music in the public schools. I. not aware tha t any member o the Board expected or de'sired this arrangement to be permanent, and I cannot rerain rom expressing the conviction that the interests o the schools are suering seriously rom the lack o a uniorm and eicient system o instruction in this important branch. It is true that many o the teachers are able to conduct exercises in singing very successully, and in some o the divisions, the singing was never better than at the present time; but it is obvious that, in most o the schools, these results cannot be expec~ed without the constant aid o a proession~l;, teacher o music. Permit me then to express the hope that this subject will receive early attention o the Board o Education. More than one-third o the teachers are now able to instruct their pupils in the elements o music, and the number might easily be increased to two-thirds, i the other teachers would make some special eort to qualiy themselves. Though there is no reason to expect that we shall, or many years to come, be able to sustain this branch satisactorily, without the aid o a music teacher, it is highly important that each teacher should be able to cooperate with the special teacher and conduct the singing exercises in his absence. Has not the time already arrived, when, in selectin~ teachers or the schools, the musical qualiications o the candidates should be taken into consideration (97:22)? When the music was again put in the hands o a special teacher (November 1863), the music classes had become so munerous and so large that, even with the addition 10 - 11 o an assistant, the music teacher could not manage eiciently ' To cope with this emergency, the ollowing plan was adopted. 1. The upper divisions o the Grammar Departments are taught directly by the Music Teachers. 2. A series o graded exercises or the lower Primary Grades has been prepared or the use o teachers in those grades The teachers o the Prtma~y Grades and o the lower divisions o the Grammar grades o each o the s.chools are taught by the Music Teachers, they being allowed to dismiss their divisions one hour each month or the purpose o receiving such instruction. 4. Pupils in all the grades,~en the lowest, are taught to read music and to beat time. 5. The music teacher occasionally Visits the lower grades and gives direct instruction to the pupils (98:89). l Q. In the introduction to the Chicago Public School Course o Study (1869) W. M. Roberts explains the grading system then in use, to wit: The elementary grades were numbered rom 10, the lowest grade, to 1, the highest. On page 20 under Number o classes in a division, it is revealed that grades 4, 3 2, and I were known as the grammar department,~ and the grades 10 to 5 as the primary depar tmen t (150)... In the Grammar Department, the time o a school year is not too long or completion o the work o a grade, and as a general rule it is long enough. In the Primary Department, rom six months to a school year will serve as about the proper time or completion o the work o each o the several grades ( 150: 40) Seri.ous attention was also given to sight-reading as is evidenced in the Report o the Committee on Music, l8r9 ~he inal examination consisted o the reading o music at sight prepared by Messrs. Palmer, Blackman, Murray and Higgins. Most o the classes examined did themselves great credit, and in all the result was very satisactory. During the examination the scholars were intensely interested, which speaks well or those engaged in the work l (100:120)..' In the Sixteenth Annual Report o the Board o Education the Committee on Music reports as ollows: \ The instruction in Music in our schools has been conducted on the same plan as in onner years, the music teachers having general superintendence, visiting the schools at stated interval~ ~ach wesk, and doing the work they ound necessary to be done; but the chie labor has been done by the regular lady teachers. Primary Department. During the past year there has been a continued progress.in all ~he grades, so that the classes in the lower grades o this department now read music, which one year ago was read only by classes o the higher grades. Grammar Department. During the past year, there has been a very commendable degree o improvement in the music o this department. The teacher, Mr. E. E. Whittemore, has introduced three-part music in the two highest grades with gratiying success. In attempting to introduce sharp our and il!! seven into the 3rd and 4th grades great success was not attained, because many o the assistants were unable to perect their classes in these important intermediate tones without the aid o an instrument. In the Three-Part Music, the boys sing the third or lowest part, and the girls sing the irst and ~ second parts. Ater about three months practice, the boys were able to sustain their part quite creditably, so that at the close o the term, Lit Thine Eyes by Mendelssohn, was sung in several o the schools very inely. eo, High School. The pupils o the High School have been obliged to use the large hall in the Scammon School Building at the noon hour, during the last two years; this has been very inconvenient, necessitating the loss o many lessons, on account o the inclemency o the, weather. It
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