'If music be the food of love . .
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.: ACTIVE OR PASSIVE * COOKERY BOOKS * MISSING SAINT ..
..▪ ........................................ Talking Together . . • • . . . . Itlainity for W omen weem..........................::
By FRANCES ASH
" IF music be the food of love . ." This is probably the most quoted of Shakespeare's lines, the opening ones from 'Twelfth Night.'
Before I follow these words where they will lead me. let me confess, here and now, that I am not musical. f scarcely know one end of the piano from the other and alas, I cannot even keep in tune for more than two bars, so I'm not qualified to discuss music at all.
But, oddly enough, both my children show some talent. My small son has a passion for the piano and my daughter plays the recorder and when she dances. seems to catch the very essense of the music she hears.
I deeply enjoy all of Beethoven's symphonies and most of Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Mascagni, Rossini and Mozart's operas.
I also enjoy Gilbert and Sullivan vastly and good dance music, in the young people's jargon, really "senols " me. So I asked a musically learned friend of mine what she would advise in the way of a musical education for children.
There must be many mothers. not perhaps quite as unmusical and ignorant as I am, who would like to know how to guide their children in listening to music in the same way that we want to guide them in their choice of books, paintings, etc. I don't think I can do better than to quote her letter to me as she wrote it:
SINGING OR LISTENING
" I HAVE only a few
• isolated ideas. One is, let them 'do it themselves'. For singing, the most modest accompanying talent goes a long way and it is so much more natural for children to be active than passive. Carols. for instance. help tremendously
." Never take them to or Clurge them to listen to anything beyond their scope of attention and enjoyment. Go to opera and ballet before concerts because of the eye appeal; but everything should be first-rate of its sort, be it Gilbert and Sullivan or Verdi, If you do take them to anything, follow up with records or broadcasts at home. `Swan Lake', for example, is so often heard on the radio.
1 have sometimes wondered which is best—to grow up surrounded by the sounds of Mozart and Beethoven on the wireless and gramophone breathing them in almost unconsciously, or. as I was, to be brought up without mechanical aids (not available then!) but singing and enjoying music round the piano, until, suddenly, at 15, with the purchase of our family gramophone, I was pitchforked headfirst into Beethoven, with an effect as of an earthquake.
" But I imagine that could
Here is a picture I picked up in Paris recently. It is taken in Sainte Chapelle, one of the oldest chapels in Paris and one of the best examples of Gothic art. These happen at any age—a sudden discovery of what one had before taken for granted.
" NE thing 1 do think O is important—never, never let the habit grow of listening to music as a background to talk. It is like having two conversations at once. "If you are listening to something good and your child comes in and wants to listen, too, good. If he wants to talk, either he must wait till the movement is over or you turn it off and give him your attention. "Either course is tar more eau. cative than to talk through the music. Radio turned on all day like a dripping tap is the enemy of all decent selectiveness and of respect for real music."
My friend finished her letter by recommending two good books of Carols, one published by the "News Chronicle" and the other, costing more, she suggests would make a fine Christmas present to a musically inclined family—the Oxford Book of Carols costing 10s. 6d.
SPEAKING of Christmas gifts reminds me that soon we shall all be choosing these. Some of us may well have started already. I'd like to recommend some new books which I feel will give a new angle on some familiar things. magnificent stained-glass windows reach nearly to the floor. The Sainte Chapelle, built by St. Louis and consecrated in 1248, stands within the precincts of the [Wain
There's a splendid new cookery book costing only 5s. called Ready When You Are". Not only does it give you delightful recipes and basic ones for the sauces, etc. But, which is so important, each recipe is labelled "cheap". "reasonable", or "expensive", so that you know just where you are before you begin. This is a book cooks have been waiting for a long time. And what is more, the author has a sense of humour rarely found in cookery books. By the way, it's by Harold Wilshaa and nuhlished by Barrie Books I tJ
CHILDREN IN HOSPITAL
" book is " Young Children in Hospital " by James Robertson (Tavistock Publishers, paper 4s. 6d., cloth 9s. 6d.). Though this is primarily, I feet, for Hospital Management Committees to study, its notes on the reactions of children who have been in hospital for short or long periods, will be of interest to all parents.
Dr. Benjamin Spock's book "Baby and Child Care" (Bodley Head I 5s.) is another detailed guide to parents, possibly written for those who believe in bringing up their children by book and not instinct.
Lastly, if any of you are thinking of entertaining in the grand manner, with really expensive dinner parties, then the new cookery hook 'Recipes from No. 10' (Collins, 18s.), written by Georgina Landemare, cook to Lady Churchill, will fascinate you. It did me, though I'm certain I won't ever be wealthy enough to try its recipes!
AS far as I'm concerned there are only two kinds of Christmas card 1 care to send. I don't feel that robins, puddings, holly and snow convey to my friends the true meaning of Christmas. 1 don't
much care for the rather sugary type of relig.ous card either.
But there are some hearing the most delightful drawings of Our Lady, the Nativity, Carols. and other symbols of Our Lord's Birthday which 1 feel many readers would like to have. Many of these can be obtained from Catholic Bookshops but two of the nicest I have seen have been designed by "Klara" and can be obtained from the Gordon Fraser Gallery, Redford, and these are kept exclusively for personal printing and are reasonable in price. The other kind of card is more of a gift as well. If you want to send a relative or close friend an inexpensive present. then what could be nicer than a family portrait?
Most photographers at this time of the year will take groups and issue you them in simply designed Christmas cards at very reasonable prices. I do them in my studio at 6 for 10s. 6d. and 12 for £1 but I am well outside London, in a small village in fact!
A FORTNIGHT ago I wrote about. the United Nations and suggested the women of the world might send up a wave of prayer at a given time to turn the hearts of meo away from war.
Mr. Nash from Brighton endorses my suggestion and says "... though I am a man, I think this is a fine idea. I have often thought that 9 p.m. each day would be a grand time for a universal prayer for peace. This was the time during the war when we were all united every day in practically every country listening to the news. We could all be united in the same way at the same time now for peace".
How about it, readers? Particularly women readers. Shall we start such a Union of Prayer all
I over the world—in Russia ,