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Letters to the Editor: May/June 2017

Dear Editor,

My wife is a retired piano teacher and has been a long-time subscriber to your magazine and its precursors. As a music lover, I like to read it too and appreciate it very much. But I must object to your foray into identity politics ("Walk a mile in your neighbor's shoes," Jan/Feb 2017).

From a practical point of view, what is a piano teacher supposed to do? Advertise for minority students? More importantly, from an ethical and philosophical standpoint, mandated diversity is just as reprehensible as mandated segregation. Forced diversity neither helps neither the students nor the teacher.

                                                       —Walter Gerhold, Osprey, FL 


Dear Editor,

Unfortunately, Pete Jutras's excellent article regarding the defining characteristics of humility (Nov/Dec 2016) will most probably have very little impact, if any, on limited narrow-minded traditionalists (no criticism intended), as the open-minded very naturally adhere to the concepts described without hesitation or even counsel: preaching to the choir.

As it is probable that a few or more may mostly remain in an almost intractable mold, this is very reminiscent of my many years teaching in public schools: innovative clinicians would be invited to the schools at times to share innovative pedagogical ideas to the staff. As almost all in attendance would gleefully nod their heads in approval during the sessions, almost all, upon observation, would seem to revert back to their natural teaching styles once back in their own classrooms.

On the other hand, for those capable of being influenced and those who can acknowledge non-traditional tastes and approaches—"truth has many faces"—it also seems crucial to highly value one's own natural inclinations, subject of course to continued growth and development, delivered with conviction and confidence. And yes, humility.

Bottom line: We are mostly at our best contributing when being true to ourselves.

                                                   —Fred Barnett, Lake Grove, NY 

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In Memoriam: Robert Vandall
Poetry Corner: May/June 2017
 

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