Music Appreciation Broad Overview – Principles and Practices



  •  “Musical Appreciation lessons should be held every week for half-an-hour. Ten minutes of this might be given to ear-training. Saturday morning often proved a good time and several families could join for this Class. To have Musical Appreciation three times a term was little good, and to play through the programme once a term was no good at all—this merely became a school concert. The children must not be given too much at a time; they would listen to a certain amount and then they would not want to hear any more that day. No piece must be left before the children were able to recognise it and really know it. The month before the opening of each term, an article on the composer to be studied appeared in the “Reviews.” Names of books on the subject were given and a programme of music to be performed for the children to listen to, with suggestions as to easier pieces which children might play themselves. Notes on each of the pieces in the programme were given—more particularly on things which were not to be found in books. Music should be fitted into the scheme of history-study, and  not left isolated—for instance, Frederick the Great and Bach, Joseph II and Mozart, Beethoven and Napoleon would naturally be linked together, and use should be made of the history charts.”   Parents’ Review Vol. 33, “Mrs. Glover on Musical Appreciation”


  • “A Daily musical half-hour of this nature will be found to awaken keen  musical enthusiasm in the children, even in those who have shown no aptitude in their musical lessons, and the idea of music will be lifted above the drudgery which is inseparable from the practice of technical difficulties.” Mrs. Howard Glover,  PR: Our Work , Vol. 16, page 312


The following excerpts are from The Term’s Music written by Mrs. Glover’s son.  She was the mother in Mason’s volumes with the Musical baby! She wrote most of the Music Appreciation lessons in the Parents’ Review until her death.  Her son Howard Glover worked with the PNEU for many years and wrote many of the Music Appreciation lesson plans in the Parents’ Review after his mother’s death.  The Term’s Music  was not used in the PNEU, but he wrote it based on all of his work with the PNEU.  He lays out in the introduction what a Music Appreciation class should look like.  The points below have been summarized from that introduction.
  1. “The music lesson will naturally fall into several divisions.”
  2.  At least one quarter of the time available should be devoted to Ear Training – Progressive lessons each term
  3. After ear training, a short space of time should be devoted to acquainting the pupils with the  basics of music–the meaning of common musical terms, the instruments of the orchestra.  The information should be severely practical,  care being taken not to burden the minds of the pupils with lists of technical terms
  4. Attention focused on things such as the historical growth of the different musical forms, the evolution of the orchestra and the keyboard instruments, not on the names of chords or types of counterpoint.
  5. The remainder of the time should be devoted to studying the composer of the term. The chosen biographies are chosen with reference to the teacher rather than the pupil. The composer must be made a living personality, and should be linked up as far as possible with any pre-existing facts in the minds of the pupils regarding the times in which he lived, composers being too often regarded as so many isolated figures, entirely dissociated from common experience and knowledge. The connotation of each composer’s name should be as wide as possible, the mere mention of it conjuring up a certain atmosphere
  6. Having prepared the ground, as the climax of the lesson, we turn to the actual music of the composer. Each syllabus consists of five or six works for pianoforte, pianoforte duet, voice, or violin and pianoforte.”
  7.  “It is better to work thoroughly at two or three items in the syllabus than attempt to compass the whole superficially; the amount of time allotted in the week to the subject will naturally govern the disposition of the work. In any case each piece of music should be mastered before passing on to the next; the mere playing through of the music is in itself quite valueless and only the vaguest impressions result and as quickly disappear. Before any attempt at a dissection of the structure of the music is made, the pupils should be familiarized with the thematic material of the movement, each tune in turn being played through several times, until the class can hum or whistle it without assistance.”

Mason gave Howard Glover permission to compile all the old PR Articles to write this book – here is the note about it from the front of the book:
“Note: The matter contained in this book has appeared in a series of articles in the “Parents’ Review.” It is now reproduced, with certain additions and alterations, by the courtesy of the Editor of that periodical, to whom the author tenders his grateful acknowledgements. “)

L’Umile Pianta Article – See Pages 75-77 for an idea of what a Music Appreciation Class looked like for forms 1-4
Parent’s Review 16 – Our Work –  See page 312 – One of the first Music Appreciation Programmes set out for the PNEU written by Mrs. Glover.  You can see at the beginning they didn’t study just a single composer.  But eventually they did.