Dissipation and Music Study

By Chas. E. Watt

“It is dissipation that kills, not work,” said Robert J. Burdette in a recent sermon, and the astute Robert never uttered truer word in or out of the pulpit. For, work done according to sane principles and within legitimate working hours never yet hurt anybody –whereas, dissipation has killed its tens of thousands, and where it has not killed it has stunted the development so as to dwarf the mental possibilities, and so has ruined the mind and heart, even if the body still lives. That “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is very true, and it is equally true in the fact that it makes Mary a dull girl also–but play and dissipation are two distinct things and the trouble with young people is that they are too prone to insist on “having a good time” too much of the time and do not remember that growth will only come through a judicious admixture of work with play.

A high school girl for instance needs an hour or two of outdoor relaxation each day and she should have a social evening at least once a week, and either a concert or a play on another evening. This, however, is all legitimate relaxation, and with a normally healthy girl it may be managed, and time and strength enough still be left for the moderate study of piano. But, can the school girl afford to dissipate to the extent of going continuously to the theatre, or devoting all her evenings to society, or even to the extent of occasionally going to a dance where in one evening she will use the strength that properly belongs to three days? Emphatically she cannot, and if she is not willing to forego these excesses she might just as well make up her mind, first as last, to be a failure not only in music, but in every serious study as well, for–inevitably she will fail.–Ex.