« AnteriorContinuar »
and the singing of regioos bymns at the beginning and at the close of the dacy instruction. It is laid down as a princ.ple, that a man whose reügion is not intimate's combined with his sentiments, is totally unable to teach region to others with any practical effect, whatever may be his power of instruction or bis eloquence. This, therefore, is looked upon as the true basis of religious instruction. At the same time the seminarists continue the study of the Bible and of the tenets of the Christian church to which they belong; and they must be acquainted with both so intimately as not only to be able to answer every question on religious matters, but likewise to explain the different Christian doctrines in a well-connected discourse, quoting for every tenet contained in it the passages of Scripture which prove such doctrines. To this the seminarist must also add the power of speaking to children on religious subjects in such a way that his reasoning may not only be easily comprehended, but also adapted to affect the minds of the children, and to operate on their habits.
To effect this object, the seminarists are instructed in dogmatical, moral, and religious science, and in ecclesiastical history, and are made acquainted with the most important introductory observations on the whole Scriptures, as well on every part of it. At the same time the Bible is read with them, sometimes the New and sometimes the Old Testament, partly as a devotional exercise, and partly to instruct the seminarists in the best method of explaining the most difficult passages to children.
Peculiar care is taken to instruct the seminarists in the German language, as this is the most important of the instruments by which they have to perform their
labour. In order that they may speak and write correctly, the grammatical part of the language is treated with great attention, and the results of modern researches on the German language are communicated to them, whenever they are of such a nature as to admit of practical application. No less care is taken in bringing them to a habit of writing every kind of prose composition ; for which purpose Falkmann's “Manual for German Composition," and the “Methodic” of the same author are much used. Another kind of exercise consists in making a discourse, or a kind of lecture, on any given subject, and frequently without previous preparation. Lastly, the seminarists are requested to read the most classical German authors, poets as well as prose writers, to one another, and they are required to explain those passages which are obscure, which contain allusions, or present any other kind of diffi. culty.
The seminarists are taught to cast up every kind of accounts with quickness and exactness, and they are also 'made acquainted with the rational principles on which every arithmetical operation rests, so that they may be able to explain them to their pupils with clearness and precision. They are frequently exercised in casting up accounts mentally, and they are not permitted the use of figures till they have attained a certain degree of facility in calculating without them. In the instruction itself, pure arithmetic always precedes the application of the operations to particular cases, in order that the seminarists may in this way be accustomed to a methodical proceeding. The printed books used are the arithmetical treatises of Kawerau, Diesterweg, and Scholz,
Singing constitutes an important subject of instruc tion all over Germany, even in the schools for the lower classes, especially in the Protestant countries. This is to be attributed to the manner in which divine service is performed in church. Luther was very fond of singing, and he was of opinion that his devotion was considerably increased by the singing of a religious hymn. He therefore promoted, by every possible means, the introduction of sacred hymns into divine service. This practice has continued nearly unaltered since his time, and it is the custom for the whole congregation to join in the song with a loud voice. This renders instruction in singing a necessary part of school education. In the Prussian seminaries singing is taught on the system of Nägeli, a Swiss, in a methodical manner, beginning with instruction in the principles of time, and then proceeding to the theory of harmony, &c. But as the seminarists, before their admission into the seminary, have generally acquired some knowledge of and practice in singing, this system is not so strictly adhered to as would be necessary if the instruction was given to mere beginners. It is rather intended to indicate how this art is to be taught in a methodical and scientific way. Besides the study of an instruction-book of singing, the seminarists are required to exercise themselves in chorusses, sung by more or less numerous voices, sometimes arranged only for the voices of grown-up men, and sometimes intermingled with those of boys. In this way chorusses and motets of Haydn, Bach, Mozart, Klein, Rungenhagen, Rink, Schultz, &c., are studied and publicly sung on some solemn festival, as for instance on the foundation-day of the institution, at a public examination, &c.;
sometimes also in the cathedral at Christmas, Easter, &c. In that portion of the Prussian dominions in which Königsberg is situated, singing is not so extensively diffused as in some other provinces; but as it is considered one of the most efficient means for harmonizing the mind and exciting proper feelings, this part of the instruction of the seminarists is most carefully attended to, and the exercises are systematically practised. It is required of them to sing more easy compositions at sight.
Those seminarists who show talent for music receive also instruction in the rudiments of harmony and thoroughbass, according to the method of Logier. This branch of instruction is carried so far, that they are enabled to supply with precision all the omitted voices when only one of them is given, to compose preludes and postludes to every piece of sacred music, and to compose tunes and music to any given poetry. This last accomplishment of course can only be attained by a few of the seminarists.
As many of the seminarists may be appointed to schools where the teacher is required to play the organ of the parish church, instruction on this instrument is considered an integral part of the education of a schoolmaster; and in the written testimonials which are delivered to the seminarists on their leaving the institution, it is expressly inserted if they are qualified to act as organists. To obtain such a testimonial the seminarist must be able to play at sight every given piece of sacred music, with the pedal bass figured only and the simple melody, and to play it on an organ with pedals ; besides, he must know how to compose preludes, postludes, and interludes, and be acquainted
with the theory of music, or the thoroughbass. The seminarists also receive some instruction in playing the yiolin, because this instrument is the most proper for being used in teaching singing. Other instruments are taught only to a few, and for the purpose of enabling them to accompany the larger chorusses with instru, ments in their exhibition at some solemnity. In this branch also other seminaries of the Prussian dominions are much more advanced than that which we are here describing. In Silesia, Saxony, and other parts of the monarchy, music is much more diffused among the people, and the seminaries are accommodated to this taste. In Breslau, Bunzlau, Erfurt, Magdeburg, Halberstadt, the seminarists play large symphonies with great taste and precision.
The study of mathematics is carried to a considerable extent. Those seminarists who show talent for this branch of knowledge go through a complete course in the geometry of lines, planes and solids, and are instructed in the art of surveying, but without the use of artificial instruments. The instruction in algebra comprehends simple equations, with one or more unknown quantities; and the seminarists are not allowed to write down the equations, but must solve them mentally. Besides this, they are instructed in proportion, the doctrine of progressions, the binomial theorem, and pure and adfected quadratic equations.
As the Prussian government desires to diffuse as much as possible the knowledge of nature, and to excite the lower classes to observe its productions, the study of natural history is much attended to in all semi naries. A general view of the three kingdoms of nature, as they are called, is given to the seminarists, and