The Victrola in Rural Schools
(Revised Edition, July 1919)
The Victrola in Rural Schools was published to promote the Victor School Machine (technically the Model XXV, Victor’s last external-horn phonograph) and the company’s extensive catalog of “educational” records.
And just to make sure the kiddies also got some culture, the booklet recommended a healthy dose of classical and operatic Red Seals. It’s fun to imagine how Galli-Curci’s rendition in Italian of the “Bell Song” from Lakme (“Have students note the exquisite tone, the long-sustained notes, the echo effects, the trills”) might have gone over in, say, Pumpkin Center, Colorado.
Advice to Teachers:
“Do not permit promiscuous and irresponsible playing of records.”
“Respect for good music may be inculcated if silence be invariably required while records are being played.”
“Simply hearing records played is only the first step. There must be discriminating hearing, correlation, discussion, relation to facts historical, geographical, etc., appreciation of mood, thought, color, story, etc. Then there must necessarily come response, tests, etc.”
“Listen intently while Record No. 18145 is played… Develop the meaning of such unusual words as ‘palaces,’ ‘hallow,’ ‘drear wild,’ ‘woodbine,’ ‘dazzles,’ ‘thatched,’ etc.”