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Jobert, L. (1934). Addenda to the Psychopathology of Everyday Life: The Cases of two Students of Music. Psychoanal. Rev., 21(2):154-167.

(1934). Psychoanalytic Review, 21(2):154-167

Addenda to the Psychopathology of Everyday Life: The Cases of two Students of Music

Leon Jobert

One of the typical features of the music-teaching profession is the belief of its members in the superiority of one method of instruction over another. As a result, there are probably more courses of instruction in existence than actual musical compositions. Likewise, it has become more important to an increasingly large number of students to follow some particular “school” or approach than to understand the very goal which that school is designed to attain. Now, the addition of another method to the voluminous amount of educational material already on hand is always based upon the premise that previous methods of instruction have expounded the elements of the subject to an inadequate extent or in a confusing, complicated or pedantic manner. Yet, notwithstanding the fact that the elements of music are relatively few and simple or that the methods are necessarily more and more efficient, the flow of the introduction of new methods continues unabated. Without further evidence, this situation would seem to point to the conclusion that the stimulation of new methods of instruction is provided by a source they can never hope to dry up. The purpose of this article is to support such a conclusion by revealing a possible source of those difficulties which the sundry methods are projected to overcome and by showing that a solution thereof lies elsewhere than in a more lucid or novel exposition of the elements of the subject. It is hoped thereby to turn in time the teacher's attention from universality of method to a method for each individual student grounded upon the assumption that the greater part of the student's difficulties lies not in the subject of study but in himself. Should this reversal of attention ultimately come about, the best interests of the student will be served for it will have focussed his incentive upon an artistic goal rather than upon an assiduous cultivation of the idiosyncrasies of a particular school or approach. (The objection may be raised that an article such as this is called into being by the great influx of non-professional students into the field of music and that therefore its conclusions apply solely to these less-endowed members of the music group.

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